19 Forensic Psychology

History of Psychology

  1. Thomas Grisso PhD1,
  2. John C. Brigham PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop201021

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Grisso, T. and Brigham, J. C. 2012. Forensic Psychology. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 1:19.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

  2. 2

    Florida State University, Department of Psychology, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Forensic psychology has two general definitions: broadly as a field of science that applies psychology to legal issues, and narrowly as a professional specialty in practice. The history of forensic psychology is reviewed from both of those perspectives, but with emphasis on the formal development of forensic psychological practice, which has been established only within the past 40 years. The latter history focuses on the field's development of professional organizations, literature, training mechanisms, and most recently its formal recognition as a specialty by the American Psychological Association. Finally, historical perspectives are offered on advances in forensic psychological practice and on forensic psychological science.


  • psychology;
  • forensic;
  • law;
  • ethics;
  • standards