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Stacy Orr-Sprague


Forensic psychology is a distinct specialization requiring practitioners to approach problems differently than in other psychological specialties. While the use of problem-based learning in the medical field is well-researched, there is a lack of literature regarding its use in forensic psychology. This quantitative survey-based study was designed to investigate the relationship between learning models and personality traits and job satisfaction in forensic psychologists. In the current study, an adaption of Vygotsky’s constructivist zone of proximal development theory and Holland’s theory of career choice were applied to forensic psychology instruction to assess the degree to which personality and learning models interrelate among forensic psychologists. Overall, the sample population of 49 forensic psychology professionals experienced moderate to high levels of job satisfaction, irrespective of personality. No statistical significance was found with regard to learning model, personality, and job satisfaction. While not statistically significant, the findings do highlight a personality typology that differed from the overarching psychology profession. Holland’s theory categorized individuals in the psychology/psychologist profession as social and artistic. In the current study approximately 37% identified as investigative, while only 4% identified as artistic. It may be beneficial to expand the inclusion criteria to international participants to provide additional statistical analysis with a larger data set. Positive social change may result from an increased awareness of which personality types are better aligned to the forensic psychology profession.

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