Department of Forensic Psychology
Forensic science is incomplete without understanding the role of psychology in almost all the aspects of legal matters.
About the Department
Interest in forensic psychology has surged in recent years, primarily due to such television programs as “CID”, and movies as “Talvar” where criminal profilers have an almost psychic ability to give elaborate personality and behavioral descriptions of perpetrators. This is a misconception of the role that forensic psychologists play and leads to confusion about who is a forensic psychologist. Since forensic psychology is a relatively new field within psychology, it is still having growing pains. Thus, it would probably be best to start with a definition.
Forensic Psychology is the “research and application of psychological knowledge to the legal system”. The practice of forensic psychology involves investigations, research studies, assessments, consultation, the design and implementation of treatment programs and expert witness courtroom testimony. Forensic psychologist provides expert testimony addressing a variety of issues such as competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility, child custody, personal injury or handicap, and suitability to work in law enforcement. Forensic psychologists are often employed in jails and prisons, providing rehabilitative treatment and education to inmates in preparation for their release and return to the outside world. Forensic psychology professionals are also sometimes hired by police departments as consultants and profilers during criminal investigations as well as in screening and selection of law enforcement applicants. Forensic psychologists conduct research on criminal behaviour and the development of effective clinical treatments. They are also involved in research and theory building in criminology; the design and implementation of intervention, prevention, and treatment for youth offenders; and counselling of victims of crime. The latest in its application form includes Forensic Neuropsychology. Forensic neuropsychologists are generally asked to appear as expert witnesses in court to discuss cases that involve issues with the brain or brain damage.
Forensic psychology as a field acknowledges the fact that forensic practice is occurring at a variety of levels & for different reasons.
Although it is necessary to have training in law and forensic psychology, the most important skills a forensic psychologist must possess are solid clinical skills. That is, skills like clinical assessment, interviewing, report writing, strong verbal communication skills (especially if an expert witness in court) and case presentation are all very important in setting the foundation of the practice of forensic psychology.
The Department of Forensic Psychology offers teaching and training in research, theoretical and applied aspects of forensic psychology to the undergraduate and postgraduate students of Forensic Science. Our undergraduate curriculum focuses on basic concepts, theories, and principles of psychology; introduction to forensic psychology, assessment and evaluation in forensic psychology; applying social psychology in the interpersonal aspects of legal system; legal aspects of forensic psychology; personality disorders; stress and health; causes of criminal behaviour and psychological theories; investigative psychology; police psychology; rehabilitation and counselling; and psychology & court. Undergraduate also receive exposure to learning the administration, scoring, interpretation and report writing of various psychological tests such as intelligence and personality tests. Similarly, postgraduate syllabus includes introduction to various psychological tests; psychopathology and abnormal behaviour; elements of forensic psychiatry; interviewing and interrogation techniques; polygraph/lie detection tests; brain fingerprinting/brain mapping, and legal and correctional aspects. Post graduates also receive exposure various psychological tests and forensic tools such as Polygraph, Narcoanalysis, BEOS, Brain Mapping/Fingerprinting. The department is well equipped with wide range of psychological instruments. The Department has competent faculty who have an extensive experience of teaching in the area of forensic psychology and practising in the field of clinical psychology.
Department of Forensic Psychology