Criminology Social

The psychological expert: characteristics and structure

informe pericial psicológico perito psicologo

Psychologist’s role does not end with the assessment and intervention of the subject, can not forget the importance of proper psychological preparation of the report. This is the last phase of the psychological process and we must know structure and write the information presentation face either the own patient or client or the entity that requires it.

In the field of social psychology clinic or subsequent report it is not the last object of the process but as the assessment and intervention have its greatest purpose, however the report can be requested by the patient alike.

However, the legal or forensic psychology evaluation process ends with the communication of the results either orally, in writing or both.

Then we will define the expert report and detail its considerations, features and present a possible model structure.

What is the expert report?

The work of forensic psychologist ends with the translation of its assessment to a report submitted to the authority that requested it, this is what we call psychological expert or psychological expertise. Since the expert report is the summary of the work performed it is essential to be worded in a properly structured and under a number of considerations.

The expert report or opinion (from a judicial point) is a written document, signed and dated the psychological expert presents its findings and conclusions on the facts evaluated. It is issued by order of the judicial authorities and the expert shall confirm verbally.

10 Considerations for proper preparation of the expert report.

  1. The language must be clear and simple. It has to be understood by non-technical professionals who are specialists in behavioral sciences. It should not contain too many psychological or scientific technicalities.
  2. The expert must explain and answer a clear, concise and specific questions asked by the judge or court form.
  3. The report should contain verifiable evidence and defensible
  4. They have to avoid inaccuracies in the statements.
  5. Do not include irrelevant to the cause issues.
  6. It must be consistent and defensible.
  7. Do not include value judgments or personal opinions.
  8. Should not rule on the attribution of the subject. This part is the exclusive decision of the judiciary. The expert should only identify possible mental disorders that may affect the subject’s capacities.
  9. Never determine the guilt or innocence of the subject. Not the same that the judicial expert work.
  10. Do not report a pretext to display the knowledge of the subject or to flaunt wealth of vocabulary.


Features expert report.

There are two main features to consider for successful communication of the results by the psychological expert technician, the expert report is:

It is a scientific paper (Fernandez-Ballesteros, 2007) that meets the following criteria:
It is the result of a tight process through which standards have been obtained results than a (psycho-legal) technical considerations that respond to the lawsuit arising
The survey process was conducted by an expert, forensic psychologist who assumes responsibility for all his actions.
It should contain enough to be replicable or contrastratable by other reviewers, like any other scientific research data.
It is a legal document.
You must be practiced with constitutional guarantees and in accordance with the procedural laws. In Spain under the Law of Criminal Procedure.
Provides a basis for judicial decisions, ie works as evidence.

Other features of the psychological expert:

It is archivable and durable opinion that provides a basis for comparing the results of the evaluation at other times.
It serves as a reference point on a situation or particular moment in the life of a person involved in legal proceedings. It is a cross evaluation, as a rule, except that longitudinal monitoring required.
Completion and closing of the diagnostic process where the results, guidelines and judicially required assessments are communicated.
Structure of the psychological expert.

There is no consensus on the type model expert report but the Law of Criminal Procedure of Spain (Article 478) recommends that these aspects be included:

Description of the person or thing object thereof, in the state or the way in which it is located.
Detailed list of all operations performed by the experts and their outcome.
Conclusions that in view of the data inquiries made by the experts, according to the principles and rules of science or art.
In addition, the psychological expert report shall contain:

Questions or issues that he previously raised the expert.
helpful responses expert.
technical elements that have been used to arrive at these answers.

Structure model expert report.

The report should opened with a header that reflects its subject matter clearly: forensic psychological report. From here it will be divided into a number of sections:

  1. Expert identification data and evaluated. They are the data identifying the technical psychologist responsible for the psychological expert opinion. Name, membership number and details of the procedure and the court to which the document is provided. Date of receipt of the order, date and place of the data evaluation and evaluated.
  2. Reason for the report. Here the purpose of the report will be collected and be quoted verbatim as requested in the judicial office or claimed by the customer.
  3. Methodology. all techniques that have been used for the evaluation of the subject (interviews, tests, test, observational records, etc.) and scores on each of the tests are described. It is advisable to make a brief description of the technique used collecting scientific reviews to support the use of it, you can also collect the indices of reliability and validity and significance of the scales for proper interpretation.
  4. Exhibition of the information gathered. This section contains several subsections:
    1. Family background. Family of origin and acquired psychopathological problems concerning the family and criminal records of family members. Also we highlight the current family relationship.
    2. Personal history. Children and psychobiographical, socialization process and behavioral disorders, educational history, criminal and prison history, grade ratings, etc. Development
    3. Toxic habits, if any. Age of onset in substance, consequences, stints in rehab, relapse, motivation for change, prevention skills, etc.
    4. Clinic history. List of relevant medical illnesses and diagnosed psychiatric disorders.
      psychopathological assessment: attitude subject to evaluation, clinical impression, mental state, personality.
    5. Exhibition of the results of the tests applied. You can choose to list the evidence in the metolodogía section and here give way to the detailed explanation of the results and their interpretation.
  5. Psycholegal or forensic discussion. This is the main part of the report because that is where the expert reasoning justifies and technical considerations accordance with scientific basis. In this section the information obtained by assessing the data obtained depending on the demand psicolegal discussed. inconsistencies found are discussed. The psychologist has to be clear that only has the certainty concerning the facts and never absolute certainty. It will be assessed here on whether an expert opinion seems some kind of disorder that affects their abilities or was at the time of the crimes in their full mental faculties. Is advised in this section seek to make the slightest mention of legal terms and use plain language.
  6. expert conclusions. Numbered they exposed and comprehensible manner all findings without including new data. They will be as brief and concise as possible conclusions. It is advisable to contact the requesting authority with the relevant treatment to it:
    Example: The undersigned expert has written the contents of this report impartially and in accordance with his knowledge with. With all respect to SSª issues the following conclusions:
  7. Date and signature. The psychological expert must always sign the report foresnse name, membership number, date of preparation or issuance of the report (which determines the temporal and contextual validity). It is advisable here to add an additional clause to safeguard cross-cutting expert. It would be something like:
    Note- This report is the result of a psychological evaluation referred only to the specific circumstances of the context in which it was requested therefore not be used in cases or different times this context. If a substantial change should occur in any of the circumstances considered proceed further evaluation.

Remember that it is only an example model. If you want to leave your clarifications and contributions in this respect you can do so leaving your comment and expand the article together.

Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

20 Comentarios

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  • Para el informe es necesario incluir la pregunta pericial?
    Como debe redactarse el diagnostico
    En caso de no describir ni realizar la pregunta pericial solicitada el informe es valido?
    Se pueden incluir antecedentes familiares del sujeto evaluado sin haberse preguntado por los mismos o los test pueden dar resultados de antecedentes o historia familiar del evaluado.
    eL PERITO PSICOLOGO DEBE TENER TITULO DE PERITO O PUEDE HACERLO UN PSICOLOGO SIN ES formacion avalada por un titulo en procesos judiciales.

    • Hola William. Gracias por tu comentario, es una interesante pregunta.
      La “pregunta pericial” se incluye en el apartado de “Motivo del informe”, donde se explica textualmente la solicitud del juez. Toda la información recopilada para el informe se ha tenido que elaborar con consentimiento, y se incluirá tanto los antecedentes familiares como personales en el apartado de exposición de la información recabada.
      En cuanto al título, la titulación mínima es la de universitaria de graduado o licenciado en psicología, no obstante en procesos oficiales se suele exigir que el profesional psicólogo posea alguna acreditación como perito judicial avalada por el Ministerio de Justicia.

      De todas formas, te aconsejo que consultes con tu colegio de psicólogos porque en cada país puede ser diferente.

      Un saludo.

      • Muy agradecido. Me queda la duda de si los test empleados, al margen del relato obtenido del peritado, pueden arrojar antecedentes por ejemplo familiares como por ejemplo “historia de maltrato infantil” u otro antecedente que no fue expuesto por la persona analizada. Los test psicológicos utilizados tienen el alcance de relatar historia de algún suceso previo en la vida del paciente?. Agradeceré mucho me aclare esta duda. Un cordial saludo.

        • ¿Cómo consigues recoger esos datos sin consentimiento de las personas que los dan? El psicólogo tiene que investigar en la historia del paciente, para ello ha de utilizar los métodos éticos acorde con ella, ya sean test o entrevistas semiestructuradas, que quizás consigan que el sujeto exponga sus sucesos vitales.

  • Hola Iván , es muy interesante la información que brindas. Necesito orientación sobre el tema que estoy desarrollando: La prueba: características y aspectos formales y sustanciales de la labor pericial. Tu información me ha orientado en la parte de aspectos formales , me falta aspectos sustanciales de la labor pericial, autores a quien recurrir.

  • Hola Ivan 🙂
    estoy con la memoria y el TFG, estaba buscando información y mira por donde coincidí contigo. Me hizo gracia pq también vivo en Lugo y estoy acabando psicología en la UNED. Lo que leí me gusto mucho, así que gracias por haberme ayudado pasar un buen rato.
    Un saludo

  • Tengo una duda por ejemplo el abogado que este trabajando con el perito puede utilizar la valoración en el juzgado de una forma como por ejemplo en forma de prueba que diga tengo esta prueba y aquí la psicóloga dice que se va a hacer esto.

    • Hola Diana. Creo que no he entendido la pregunta del todo. El informe no se trata de una prueba sino de una valoración que se puede tener en cuenta para lo que el juez dictamine, como apoyo al caso en cuestión. Existen casos en los que se necesita hacer una valoración de tipo psiquiátrico o clínico que debe ser elaborado por el personal acreditado para realizar dicho informe. Desde mi punto de vista personal, se trata de describir una situación en la personalidad y contexto del caso que facilite el entendimiento y evaluación del caso por parte del juez que se apoyará en un profesional de la conducta humana para tomar las decisiones, que siempre deben ser suyas.

      Espero haberte ayudado. Si necesitas alguna aclaración más házmelo saber.

      Un saludo,

    • Hola Ruth.
      Entiendo que podría ir dentro del apartado de antecedentes familiares, como esquema de su estructura o núcleo familiar que puede ser parte importante del hecho por el que se solicita el informe.
      Sí lo ves relevante, puedes incluirlo.

      Un saludo,

      Iván Pico

    • Hola.
      En las conclusiones periciales se podría mencionar, muy brevemente, que el sujeto necesita algún tipo de tratamiento y si se tiene certeza estimada de su duración se podrían incluir como dato pero sin extensos detalles al respecto.

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