Neumann, C. S., & Hare, R. D. (2008). Psychopathic traits in a large community sample: Links to violence, alcohol use, and intelligence. (5), 893-899. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.76.5.893 Numerous studies conducted with offender or forensic psychiatric samples have revealed that individuals with psychopathic traits are at risk for violence and other externalizing psychopathology. These traits appear to be continuously distributed in these samples, leading investigators to speculate on the presence of such traits in the general population. Nonetheless, few studies of psychopathy have been conducted with large random samples of individuals from the community. The community sample from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study provides an opportunity to examine the prevalence and structural nature of psychopathic traits, as well as their association with external correlates in an urban community. The community data (N = 514) represent a stratified random sample of persons between the ages of 18 and 40 who were assessed on the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL: SV) and also for violent behavior, alcohol use, and intellectual functioning. Structural equation model analyses revealed that a 4-factor model found in offender and forensic psychiatric samples fit the community data well and was invariant across sex and ethnicity. Also, a superordinate factor comprehensively accounted for the 4 psychopathy first-order factors and significantly predicted the external correlates. The findings offer insight into the dimensional nature of the psychopathy construct. . . . The distribution of PCL: SV scores in this sample is consistent with the findings of other large community studies (Coid et al., in press; Farrington, 2006). In each study, most participants had very low PCL: SV scores (
Indeed, many digital forensics examiners consider the search for steganography tools and/or steganography media to be a routine part of every examination (Security Focus 2003). But what appears to be lacking is a set of guidelines providing a systematic approach to steganography detection. Even the U.S. Department of Justice search and seizure guidelines for digital evidence barely mention steganography (U.S. Department of Justice 2001; U.S. Department of Justice 2002). Steganalysis will only be one part of an investigation; however, and an investigator might need clues from other aspects of the case to point them in the right direction. A computer forensics examiner might suspect the use of steganography because of the nature of the crime, books in the suspect's library, the type of hardware or software discovered, large sets of seemingly duplicate images, statements made by the suspect or witnesses, or other factors. A Website might be suspect by the nature of its content or the population that it serves. These same items might give the examiner clues to passwords, as well. And searching for steganography is not only necessary in criminal investigations and intelligence gathering operations. Forensic accounting investigators are realizing the need to search for steganography as this becomes a viable way to hide financial records (Hosmer and Hyde 2003; Seward 2003).
Finally, those of you who erroneously thought that forensic psychiatry was mostly the study of crime and criminals might be interested in a career in criminology or law enforcement, which doesn't take quite so long. An undergraduate degree (BA, BS) in a criminology field prepares one to do a lot of things in law enforcement systems; a graduate degree (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.) is better. To go into law enforcement itself (as a policeman/woman or other form of officer), you may not need a college degree; however, most large law enforcement organizations prefer a college degree. The FBI and other federal agencies pretty much require a college education, often a graduate degree (which may be in lots of different things, including accounting, criminology, or computer programming).
Here are three things we're not: (1) We're not lawyers. We may work with lawyers, or try to understand the legal aspects of the matter we're working on, but our job is to be good doctors who can translate what we know into something useful for the legal system, not to be lawyers ourselves. (A few forensic psychiatrists and psychologists have law degrees as well as medical ones. In my view, those folks usually do best when they pick one role or the other.) (2) We're not judges. We don't interpret the law or tell judges or juries how they should rule. Most of the time, psychiatric issues are only a small part of the entire legal matter being considered. Sometimes we're asked to give an opinion about those psychiatric issues, but that's to help the judge or jury decide, not to tell them what to do. (3) We're not cops. We aren't the folks who protect the community, deal with dangerous or criminal situations, or contain the bad guys. That's not our area of expertise, and nobody gives us permission to do it anyway. So the next time you hear about a hostage crisis on T.V., be glad they call the police negotiators instead of the shrinks. And if they call a shrink to negotiate with the perpetrator, you'll know it's fake.
I get several e-mail requests per month for information on careers in forensic psychiatry and psychology, or for information to help with a school paper of some sort. I'm happy to answer the queries as time permits, but here are some frequently-asked questions and answers that may save you (and me) the trouble. My best advice? Start early and do your homework at the library instead of relying on someone else to give you the answers. Do not copy them directly into your term paper. That’s plagiarism, and if the teacher doesn’t know, you will.
It varies with the case or situation. In private practice, I have a bit of control over my time, which is a plus, but I get involved in some tragic situations, which is very stressful. In addition, forensic matters often have deadlines which must be met. Finally, forensic work involves a lot of writing (reports and the like, which are a little like doing term papers for which you have to get an "A" every time), and occasional testimony (a little like oral exams). When I was in school, I never thought I would be writing term papers and taking oral exams for a living. :-)
Don't commit yourself to a forensic career before becoming competent in your clinical field, at the MD (or PhD, MSW, MSN, or other "terminal degree") level, unless you just want to work for someone else. If you want to be a forensic psychiatrist, be a physician first, then a psychiatrist, and only then a forensic psychiatrist. Also, try to talk with a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist in your community. Most of us are happy to talk with students about what we do, and a short visit will clear up a lot of questions. (Please note that I am not in a position to respond in detail to the many emails I get from students. Talk with some near you.)
Another post of mine about “Forensic accounting in real business conduct” provides basic description of forensic accounting. In fact forensic accounting inter-related with many other fields...
The long history of heterogeneity in both terminology and theory about psychopathy continues. The modern era of thinking about psychopathy begins with Cleckley's work, originally done in 1941. Cleckley's emphasis of the psychopath as a constellation of various personality traits was essentially overturned by the American psychiatric establishment in revisions to the DSM, culminating in 1980 in a behaviorally based description and the use of the term antisocial personality disorder. Robert Hare, through his writing and widely popular testing initiatives, returned to a personality/trait approach derived from Cleckley's original factors. Hare's approach and tests have been particularly influential both in practical forensic settings and in academic research. Although a number of other tests of psychopathy have been developed and a number of authors have expressed reservations about Hare, Hare's approach has dominated. Hare has also been important in popularizing psychopathy in the lay public, especially via his 1993 book and by the 2006 a work he co-authored, examining the psychopath in a business context. This business/leadership theme was later followed up by Lawrence (2010). Hare's works have tended to be somewhat sensationalized and have co-mingled academic and lay (newspaper type) accounts. Despite much research on neurophysiological correlates of psychopathy, no clear consensus has developed yet concerning a neuropsychological theory of psychopathy. Many points of controversy are left unanswered and many key issues remain to be addressed.
Prerequisite: ACCT 610. A study of the nature and elements of fraud. Topics include fraud prevention, fraud detection, fraud investigation, use of controls to prevent fraud, and methods of fraud resolution. Emphasis is on the use of forensic accounting techniques to analyze what is behind the data being generated by the accounting system, detect internal control weaknesses, and map out a fraud investigation program. Students may receive credit for only one of the following: ACCT 630 or ACCT 608.