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Forensic Psychology Blog

Forensic Psychology Blog

The All About Forensic Psychology Blog will be used to alert readers to all the latest content and resources added to the website.

It will also document a significant person, event or landmark in the history of psychology every day of the year.

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Jan 21, 2019

The Psychopath: Today in the History of Psychology (21st January 1885)

The Pall Mall Gazette publishes the first recognized account of the term psychopath as we understand it today. Reporting on the acquittal of a Russian woman in a child murder case, the Gazette points to the testimony of Dr. M. Balinsky as being central to the verdict in the case, having informed the jury that the accused was suffering from "psychopathy," and therefore morally irresponsible.

In explaining this "new malady" Dr. Balinsky is quoted as saying that the psychopath "is an individual whose every moral faculty appears to be of the normal equilibrium. He thinks logically, he distinguishes good and evil, and he acts according to reason. But of all moral notions he is entirely devoid. Beside his own person and his own interests, nothing is sacred to the psychopath."

See following link for quality psychopathy information and resources.

The Psychopath

Jan 20, 2019

The Insanity Defense: Today in the History of Psychology (20th January 1843)

Daniel M'Naghten shot and killed Edmund Drummond the private secretary of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel; mistakenly thinking Drummond was Peel, his intended target.

In a landmark legal ruling M'Naghten was found not guilty of murder on the grounds that his delusional mental state rendered him incapable of knowing that what he was doing was wrong. This enduring legal precedent within the insanity defense became known as the 'The M'Naghten Rules.'

See following link to learn all about learn all about The insanity defense.

Insanity Defense

Jan 19, 2019

David Rosenhan: Today in the History of Psychology (19th January 1973)

David Rosenhan's classic article "On Being Sane in Insane Places" was published in the journal Science. Introduced with the question "If sanity and insanity exist, how shall we know them?" Rosenhan's paper outlined the details and addressed the implications of, a study conducted between 1969 and 1972 in which he and several colleagues gained admission to various psychiatric hospitals by faking a single symptom; namely, that they had been hearing voices. Upon admission to a psychiatric ward, Rosenhan and his fellow participants would immediately cease simulating any symptoms of abnormality.

Rosehan's central question was, would anybody detect that the pseudopatients involved in the study were in fact sane. The answer was a resounding no, raising fundamental questions regarding the experience of psychiatric hospitalization and the consequences of psychodiagnostic labeling.

See following link to learn all about 'abnormal psychology,' including an important discussion on whether the term abnormal psychology is actually fit for purpose.

Abnormal Psychology

Jan 18, 2019

Robert Glaser: Today in the History of Psychology (18th January 1921)

Robert Glaser was born. A pioneer in the field of instructional psychology, Glaser founded the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh in 1963 from where he produced a groundbreaking body of work on the role of educational assessment and the science of learning.

A world renowned researcher and academic, Robert Glaser received the American Psychological Association (APA) E. L. Thorndike Award for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education in 1982 and the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology in 1987.

See following link for quality educational psychology information and resources.

Educational Psychology

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Jan 17, 2019

B. F. Skinner: Today in the History of Psychology (17th January 1969)

At a ceremony at the White House, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented B. F. Skinner with The National Medal of Science, "For basic and imaginative contributions to the study of behavior which have had profound influence upon all psychology and many related areas."

The National Medal of Science is the United States Government's highest award for distinguished achievement in science.

See following link to learn all about the life and work of psychology legend B.F. Skinner.

B.F. Skinner

Jan 16, 2019

Franz Brentano: Today in the History of Psychology (16th January 1838)

Franz Brentano was born. A celebrated thinker and influential writer on the philosophical foundations of psychology, Brentano is best known for introducing the concept of intentionality and for developing original theories on a range of topics including consciousness, emotion, judgment and logic.

Brentano's major works include 'The Psychology of Aristotle' (1867), 'Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint' (1874) and 'The Classification of Mental Phenomena' (1911).

See following link to learn all about the history of psychology.

History of Psychology

Jan 15, 2019

Josef Breuer: Today in the History of Psychology (15th January 1842)

Josef Breuer was born. An eminent physician and pioneer in the field of neurophysiology, Breuer is best known within psychology for being Sigmund Freud's mentor and for playing an integral role in the early development of psychoanalysis. Breuer introduced the psychoanalytic concepts of free association and emotional catharsis and it was in a letter to Breuer that Sigmund Freud made his first published reference to das unbewusste 'the unconscious.'

Josef Breuer is also renowned for treating the first patient of psychoanalysis, Bertha Pappenheim. More commonly known as "Anna O," Sigmund Freud was greatly influenced by the case and despite never treating her himself, regularly referred to 'Anna O's' talking cure as a 'great therapeutic success.'

See following link for psychoanalysis information and resources.