A new degree in forensic psychology, based on new data from the UK and US, has been awarded to a team of psychologists and computer scientists from the University of Bristol.
The team from the School of Psychology at the University, which has been at the forefront of developing a new type of forensic psychology in recent years, says the project will help develop new tools and techniques that will allow for a more accurate forensic assessment of the state of the countrys criminal justice system.
The project has been described as “groundbreaking”, and is expected to lead to the development of new tools for the forensic psychologist.
Dr Stephen Rees, the principal investigator of the project, said: “In the past we have had a large body of work demonstrating the reliability of the forensic process and this project is one of the first in which this has been achieved.”
The new project aims to create new tools, techniques and techniques for the field that are designed to reduce the likelihood of false positives in criminal justice and improve the reliability and confidence of forensic investigations.
“I am particularly pleased that the team is combining expertise from both academic and industry, and that the project is supported by a UK Government Science and Technology Research Council grant.”
In the coming years, we will see the emergence of new technology and techniques to enhance the forensic evaluation of forensic evidence and we look forward to the potential benefits of this.
“The new graduates of the programme, who will be joined by three other graduate students from the same institution, will then be required to work in an independent forensic laboratory to provide “first-hand” and “independent” assessments of the national criminal justice systems.
A review of the new graduate project will be completed by a board of eminent forensic psychologists, including Professor Tim O’Brien, one of those involved in the initial research.
The new degree, from Bristol University, will be offered by Bristol and Cambridge Universities, and is the culmination of a £2.3 million research project funded by the UK’s National Crime Agency.
The graduates of this new project will join more than 600 graduates from across the UK.
In addition to the newly-formed team of graduate students, a second group of six graduates will also be working with the UK National Crime Intelligence Unit to work on the development and testing of a new tool for forensic psychologists that will enable them to use “a range of new approaches and tools to make forensic investigations more robust”.
The project, the first of its kind in the UK, is expected bring “a new perspective on the forensic analyst” and will also “reduce the burden of errors in forensic investigations and increase the confidence of the outcome”, said Dr Rees.
The University of Bath has previously developed a unique new type, called a “field of psychology”, which is designed to improve the way forensic psychologists assess the state and circumstances of the criminal justice process.
Dr O’Connor said: The project will lead to new tools that will improve the accuracy and reliability of forensic assessment.
This new forensic project will provide a new way of doing this and will provide an alternative to relying on the traditional forensic psychologist and the existing forensic psychologist’s experience to evaluate the state in relation to a specific criminal case.
The UK Government funded the project and a number of leading UK universities have also funded the work.
The research team involved in this new degree are:Professor Tom O’Shaughnessy (Director of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the School), Dr Stephen Reens (Principal Investigator), and Dr Stephen E. Gennaro (Assistant Professor in Psychology at Bristol University).More: