Dissertation Topic Ideas Forensic Psychology

The Top 10 MSc Forensic Psychology Dissertation Ideas

Writing styles that suit forensic psychology dissertations

There are various styles that are ideally suited to forensic psychology dissertations. For example, analysis papers may look in detail on a certain subject, whilst you may decide to use an argumentative style paper in order to back up a hypothesis that you made relating to the subject.

Pick a subject or topic that you will be able to research properly

When you are writing a forensic psychology dissertation, it is important to bear in mind that your ability to research the topic thoroughly may limit the topic that you can do your work on. For example, if you are talking about the criminal justice system in a foreign country, it may make it difficult and costly to carry out any interviews as part of your research.

Appreciating ethical boundaries when it comes to interviewing and other data collection methods

If you do decide to carry out any interviews as part of your research, then it is important that you respect ethical boundaries. In fact, it is not just interviews, but all data collection methods. When you decide to carry interviews, questionnaires or interact with other people in any way whatsoever, you need to have their permission, and you need to respect any conditions that were made prior to collecting the data. Furthermore, it is important that any methods that you use stay within the boundaries of the law, as well as within the boundaries of what is considered to be ethically right.

Ten useful forensic psychology dissertation ideas

  1. The increasing susceptibility that has led to more home-grown terrorist emerging
  2. The effectiveness of rehabilitation in prisons and the criminal justice system
  3. Juvenile murders and what factors affect areas with higher rates of murders carried out by children
  4. How does a role in law enforcement impact on an individual’s private life?
  5. Is enough being down to minimise the risks of those in special education ending up in the penal system?
  6. What is the cause of mass killings in the U.S.?
  7. Is society neglecting domestic violence that is aimed towards men?
  8. How has the internet and other form of technology played a part in copycat crimes?
  9. What strategies have the best chance of success when it comes to policing the internet?
  10. Could the actions of a serial killer have been prevented with a more stable upbringing?

Forensic psychology is a relatively young field of scholarship. Conceptualized broadly, the field encompasses diverse approaches to psychology. Each of the major psychological subdivisions has contributed to research on legal issues: cognitive (e.g., eyewitness testimony), developmental (e.g., children’s testimony), social (e.g., jury behavior), clinical (e.g., assessment of competence), biological (e.g., the polygraph), and industrial-organizational psychology (e.g., sexual harassment in the workplace). Scholars from university settings, research institutions, and various government agencies in several continents have contributed substantially to the growth of empirical knowledge of forensic psychology issues. Though young, the field shows clear signs of maturation. These signs include scientific journals devoted exclusively to forensic psychology research; the publication of forensic psychology research in highly prestigious psychology journals; professional associations devoted to forensic psychology in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia; annual professional conferences; and hundreds of books on forensic psychology topics.

Forensic Psychology Research Topics

Forensic psychology is also a practice. Clinical psychologists who practice in forensic arenas provide assessment and treatment services in a wide variety of criminal and civil matters and in law enforcement. Social psychologists employ their knowledge of forensic psychology as trial consultants, assisting attorneys with jury selection and trial preparation. Clinical and experimental psychologists serve as expert witnesses in criminal and civil trials. These are but a few examples of practice in psychology and law. Practitioners draw on the tools and knowledge supplied by the traditional domains of psychological inquiry and the specialized domains of forensic psychology.

Psychology and law play a significant role in postgraduate education and professional development. Forensic psychology courses are increasingly common in undergraduate psychology programs, and many such offerings are filled to capacity with undergraduate students weaned on justice- and crime-themed media and literature. Attracted by the compelling application of psychology to real-world criminal investigations and trials, undergraduate students frequently volunteer as research assistants in forensic psychology laboratories. Master’s and doctoral programs focusing on various aspects of forensic psychology have been developed and provide the research and service industries with additional intellectual capital. Postdoctoral training and professional certification options in forensic psychology support the development of a profession that is uniquely qualified to address mental health issues in a wide variety of legal contexts.

The development of forensic psychology as a field of scholarship, practice, and education has numerous societal benefits and is consistent with the trend toward interdisciplinary inquiry. Although welcome in these respects, the marriage between these two broad disciplines poses several boundary challenges. Forensic psychology is interdisciplinary in that it encompasses the fields of psychology and law. It is also intersubdisciplinary in that it encompasses all the traditional subdisciplines of psychology. Given the lack of “ownership” of this field by any one discipline or subdiscipline, the lack of comprehensive references sources (e.g., textbooks, handbooks, encyclopedias) is particularly acute. This collection of forensic psychology research topics represents an attempt to help fill this substantial gap in online resources. It is our hope that this resource will be of immense help for scholars, practitioners, and students of psychology and law.

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