Theories of Cognition
Debra A. Bekerian*
Susan J. Goodrich
Department of Psychology, University of East London, UK
Applied psychology involves the extrapolation of basic theory and research to a particular real world situation, or class of situations. Ideally, the relationship between theory and real world application is reciprocal. Theory should dictate what factors in the real situation are likely to be important. On the basis of existing research, the psychologist offers an explanation of the factors contributing to the situation, and suggests what might be done to remedy difficulties that are arising. In turn, the real world situation can identify what factors are in need of greater attention, as perhaps theory has yet to consider them or they require further investigation.
One area of extensive collaboration between psychology and the real world is in the application of theories of memory and emotion to forensic domains. Broadly speaking, forensic domains are those pertaining to the courts of judicature, and those procedures involved in investigations. There is remarkable overlap between those issues that are regarded as basic to the understanding of human memory and emotion, and those that are critical in forensic situations. Because of these common interests, psychologists are regarded as potential experts in many different forensic situations, taking key roles in providing evidence regarding memory and its operations.
* All correspondence should be sent to: D.A. Bekerian, Psychology Department, University of East
London, Romford Road, London, E15 4LZ.