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Psychological Assessments in Legal Contexts (From Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, P 103-128, 1986, William J Curran, et al, eds., -- See NCJ-110591)

NCJ Number
T Grisso
Date Published
26 pages
This review of psychological assessments conducted for criminal courts and in other legal contexts focuses on the general principles of psychological assessment, the traditional and specialized psychological tests and other instruments that are used in assessments, and practical issues related to assessments.
The assessment process has five steps: 1) problem definition, 2) preparation through the gathering of background information, 3) data collection, 4) data interpretation, and 5) communication. Reliability and validity are crucial to the use of a test. Techniques used in psychological assessments include the examination of demographic and archival data, behavioral observation, the gathering of base rate information, the use of interview guides, intelligence tests, neuropsychological assessment, personality inventories, projective instruments like the Rorschach Test, environmental measures, and specialized forensic measures. The main practical issues involved in forensic psychological assessments include the planning and preparation for the assessment, the lack of norms for particular types of examinees, the interpretation of results, and the presentation of testimony regarding results. Discussion of future developments and 96 references.


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