coachdanyell  asked:

I'm in my second year at a community college, with a 3.8 GPA and a part of the honors program. I'm looking to transfer to UC Irvine in Fall 2016. My question is that while I am majoring in psychology, I still don't know whether I want to go towards Criminal Psych or Forensic Psych. I am eventually planning on achieving my doctorate. Any insight as to which would be a better field? What are the differences from each other? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Difference Between Criminal Psychology & Forensic Psychology (Profiling, Researching, Evaluating):

Although they both work closely with the legal system, criminal and forensic psychologists have different focuses. While both professionals generally have a doctorate in psychology, a criminal psychologist evaluates criminals exclusively. A forensic psychologist, by contrast, works with all types of court cases, including civil matters not involving criminals. Much of a criminal psychologist’s work is done on a theoretical basis, before a perpetrator has even been identified, while a forensic psychologist tends to evaluate persons already identified by the courts.

Criminal Psychologist vs. Forensic Psychologist (who, what, where):

Criminal psychologists focus primarily on determining a motive and creating a profile of the perpetrator, while forensic psychologists specialize in the aftermath of a crime, including evaluating a suspect’s mental state or counseling victims and their families.

Difference Between Criminal Psychology & Forensic Psychology:

Criminal psychology is primarily used to determine the criminal’s reasons for committing a crime; forensic psychology analyzes the effect of the crime on victims and the mental condition of the offender.

Sensation (Part 1)


  • Sensation: the activation of the sense organs by a source of physical energy
  • Perception: the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information; helps us to recognize meaningful objects and events
  • Sensation and perception are parts of one continuous process
  • Sensory Adaption: diminished sensitivity as a consequence of constant stimulation (why you get used to certain smells, sounds, feelings, etc after a being around it for a while)
  • Transduction: conversion of one form of energy into another; in terms of sensation it’s the transforming of stimulus energies (sights, sounds, smells, etc) into neural impulses our brains can interpret
  • Bottom-Up Processing: information processing that happens at the lowest level of mental processes and uses our senses (this is like when you first only see the rider in the horse in the forest)
  • Top-Down Processing: information processing that begins with the brain and flows down; uses our experience and expectations to produce perceptions (when you notice that the painting has a lot of hidden faces)

Keep reading