Psychology and Professional Practice: The Interface of Psychology and the Law

By Francis R. J. Fields; Rudy J. Horwitz | Go to book overview

9

G. THOMAS GATES


A Judge Views Psychology

A. INTRODUCTION

Law and psychology are similar in that both deal with human activities. Behavioral control is the ultimate end product of each profession. Nonetheless, the imagery of a "Cold War," as described by Professor Sheldon Glueck, 1 between lawyers and psychologists is but recently emerging from the thaw stage. 2 Perhaps the distrust on the part of the legal profession is rooted in the fact that psychology, as a separate discipline, is in its infancy when compared to the historical role of the law and lawyers in the control of human behavior. A likely cause for the slow development of a rapport is a distrust based upon a mutual lack of knowledge. Such a mutual distrust is inherent in any undertaking that approaches the same goal with totally dissimilar methods.


Interdisciplinary Disputes

In many ways jurisprudence has been out of cadence with the advanced state of psychology. The most discordant sounds in law are the quaint, unscientific terms ascribed to various forms of mental illness. Lunacy, insanity, idiocy, incompetency, and diminished capacity are but a few examples of the language found in the case law and statutory law of the United States. The courts have engaged in complex and confounded rationalization of such simple terms as shall as being directory or mandatory; reasonable in terms of standards; obscenity to whom and under what circumstances. Yet relatively little time is devoted to bringing psychological and legal terms into harmony.

The role of a psychologist as an expert witness in the law gives rise to another point of stress between the professions. Lawyers are accustomed to seeking out facts and applying those facts to the accepted law. Expert witnesses are employed in the law by reason of necessity. Opinion evidence is

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Psychology and Professional Practice: The Interface of Psychology and the Law
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • New Titles from Quorum Books ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Bibliography xiii
  • 1: Independent Practice of Psychology 3
  • Conclusion 15
  • Bibliography 15
  • 2: Testing: The Armamentarium of Psychology 17
  • Summary and Concluding Remarks 30
  • Bibliography 31
  • 3: The Clinical Psychologist 33
  • Bibliography 55
  • 4: The Counseling Psychologist 59
  • Summary and Conclusions 69
  • 5: The School Psychologist 73
  • Cases Cited 90
  • Bibliography 90
  • 6: Ethical and Legal Issues in Community Psychology 93
  • Introduction 93
  • Bibliography 111
  • 7: The Clinical Neuropsychologist 113
  • 8: The Psychologist in the Employee Assistance Program Consortium 133
  • Bibliography 144
  • 9: A Judge Views Psychology 147
  • Notes 168
  • 10: A Jurist's Legal Opinion Regarding Practical Legal Issues Facing the Psychologist Practitioner 179
  • Appendix A Pennsylvania's Licensure Statute 187
  • Appendix B Ethical Principles of Psychologists 197
  • Index 205
  • About the Editors and Contributors 208
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