Advertisement

The police psychologist on the silver screen: Reviewing the roles on the reels

  • James S. Herndon
Article

Abstract

This article examines the portrayal of police psychologists in the cinema. A comparison is made between motion picture and television depiction of “cop shrinks.” Through content analysis of video segments from recent films, the case is made that a skewed picture is provided to the viewing public about the actual roles and functions of professional psychologists employed by law enforcement agencies. The value of entertainment is discussed in terms of the importance of accuracy. An argument is made for the need for professional organizations such as the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology (SPCP) to lobby film makers to more completely present the realistic contributions of psychology to law enforcement personnel and organizations. Stereotypes and type casting are revealed as media perpetuation of myth and misinformation.

Keywords

Police Department Role Conflict Psychological Service Federal Bureau Criminal Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bartol, C. R. (1996). Police psychology.Criminal Justice & Behavior, 23 (1), 70–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bergen, G. T. & Aceto, R. T. (1992). Job satisfaction of police psychologists.Criminal Justice & Behavior, 19 (3), 314–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blau, T. H. (1994).Psychological Services for Law Enforcement. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  4. Chandler, J. T. (1990).Modern Police Psychology: For Law Enforcement and Human Behavior professionals. Springfield, IL: Thomas.Google Scholar
  5. Coleman, D. M. (1995). Images of psychotherapists from feature films: 1945–1994.Dissertation Abstracts International, 56-05B, 2858.Google Scholar
  6. Curran, S. F. (1955). Positioning psychological services for the 21st century. In J.T. Reese & R.M. Solomon (Eds.)Organizational Issues in Law Enforcement. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.Google Scholar
  7. Delprino, R. P. & Bahn, C. (1988). National survey of the extent and nature of psychological services in police departments.Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 9, 421–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis, J. A. (1995). The police psychologist: The emergence of behavioral scientists in law enforcement.The Police Chief, 62 (11), 36; 39.Google Scholar
  9. Dietz, P. E. & Reese, J. T. (1986). The perils of police psychology: 10 strategies for minimizing role conflicts when providing mental health services and consultation to law enforcement agencies.Behavioral Science & the Law, 4 (4), 385–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Flanagan, C. L. (1986). A comparison of the roles of police psychologists and the psychological consultant to law enforcement agencies. In J.T. Reese & H.A. Goldstein (Eds.),Psychological Services for Law Enforcement. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.Google Scholar
  11. Greenberg, S. A. & Shuman, D. W. (1997). Irreconcilable conflict between therapeutic and forensic roles.Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 28 (1), 50–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Herndon, J. S. (1999). The police psychologist on the silver screen: Reviewing the roles on the reels. A presentation at the annual conference, Society for Police and Criminal Psychology, Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York, October 8.Google Scholar
  13. Herndon, J. S. (2000). Readdressing role conflicts in police psychology: Inside, outside, upside, downside. Poster session presented at the Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association, Division 18, Washington, DC, August 6.Google Scholar
  14. Kirkham, G. (1976).Signal Zero. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott.Google Scholar
  15. Konigsberg, I. (1995). Cinema, psychoanalysis, and hermeneutics: G.W. Pabst's “Secrets of a Soul.”Michigan Quarterly Review, 34 (4), 518–547.Google Scholar
  16. Kurke, M. I. & Scrivner, E. M. (Eds.) (1995).Police Psychology into the 21 st Century. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  17. Lefkowitz, J. (1977) Industrial-organizational psychology and the police.American Psychologist, (5), 346–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Loo, R. (1986). Police psychology: The emergence of a new field.The Police Chief, 53 (2), 26–29.Google Scholar
  19. Mann, P. A. (1973).Psychological Consultation with a Police Department. Springfield, IL: Thomas.Google Scholar
  20. McMains, M. J. (1988). Psychologists roles in hostage negotiations. In J.T. Reese & J.M. Horn (Eds.),Police Psychology: Operational Assistance. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.Google Scholar
  21. Mohandie, K., Piersol, F. E. & Klyver, N. (1995). Law enforcement turmoil and transitions and the evolving role of the police psychologist. In J. T. Reese & R. M. Solomon (Eds.),Organizational Issues in Law Enforcement. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.Google Scholar
  22. More, H. W. & Unsinger, P. C. (Eds.) (1987).Police Managerial Use of Psychology and Psychologists. Springfield, IL: Thomas.Google Scholar
  23. Price, K. O. (1995) The expanding role of psychologists in police departments. In J. T. Reese & R. M. Solomon (Eds.),Organizational Issues in Law Enforcement. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.Google Scholar
  24. Reese, J. T. & Horn, J. M. (Eds.) (1988).Police Psychology: Operational Assistance. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.Google Scholar
  25. Reiser, M. (1972).The Police Department Psychologist. Springfield, IL: Thomas.Google Scholar
  26. Reiser, M. (1982).Police Psychology: Collected Papers. Los Angeles, CA: LEHI.Google Scholar
  27. Reiser, M. & Klyver, N. (1987). Consulting with police. In I.B. Weiner & A.K. Hess (Eds.),Handbook of Forensic Psychology. New York. Wiley.Google Scholar
  28. Sancho-Aldrige, J. & Gunter, B. (1994). Effects of a TV drama series upon public impressions about psychiatrists.Psychological Reports, 74 (1), 163–178.Google Scholar
  29. Schlossberg, H. & Freeman, L. (1974).Psychologist with a Gun. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan.Google Scholar
  30. Scrivner, E. M. (1994).The Role of Police Psychology in Controlling Excessive Force. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
  31. Somodevilla, S. A. (1978). The psychologist's role in the police department.The Police Chief (4), 21–23.Google Scholar
  32. Trotter, R. J. (1987). Psychologist with a badge.Psychology Today, (11), 26–30.Google Scholar
  33. White, E. K. & Honig, A. L. (1995). The role of the police psychologist in training. In M.J. Kurke & E.M. Scrivner (Eds.),Police Psychology into the 21 st Century. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Herndon
    • 1
  1. 1.Organge County (FL) Sheriff's OfficeOrlandoUSA

Personalised recommendations