Abnormal Psychology/Predicting Dangerousness/Patient's Rights and The Insanity Defense Essay

2259 WordsJul 2, 200810 Pages
Predicting Dangerousness When judging whether a patient is a danger to themselves the mental health professionals are often called on. They are also asked as part of the legal proceedings to determine whether people should be involuntarily hospitalized or maintained involuntarily in a mental facility. The accuracy of the judgments made by these professionals on predicting the dangerousness of these people is in question. The mental health professionals are not very accurate when it comes to predicting the dangerousness of the people they treat. They are more likely to over predict, in some cases people may be labeled as dangerous when they are not. These psychologists and psychiatrists tend to err on the side of caution when predicting an individual’s dangerousness. They may believe that a failure in predicting a violent behavior has a more serious, possibly deadly, effect than over predicting. In doing so, these professionals are depriving many people of their constitutional liberties. The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association state that psychologists and psychiatrists cannot predict violent behavior in a reliable manner. These clinicians also cannot predict dangerous behavior accurately based on evidence of past violent behavior. There is no special knowledge or ability for predicting violence beyond the behavior of a normal or average person. The inaccuracy of predicting the dangerousness of an individual is shared by many. This is the same as predicting what someone will pick to wear for the day. Each individual is unique; an example is with children. Two children from the same family have issues of abandonment relating to their father. The son deals with it through anger, lack of self esteem, and has resentment towards his step father. The daughter on the other hand deals with it better. She does

More about Abnormal Psychology/Predicting Dangerousness/Patient's Rights and The Insanity Defense Essay

Open Document