4 credits
60 hours

Criminal Psychology

Dr. Sanjeev P. Sahni & Kriti Ranjan

Psychology, as we all know is the scientific study of human behavior. For the community at large, it is important to recognize that criminal science is larger than criminal law. As a one semester elective course, this module focuses on understanding the criminal behavior and what causes such behavior from a psychological perspective. Starting with an introduction to basic theoretical concepts in psychology, the course moves on exploring various mental and psychological conditions and their relationship with the propensity to commit crime. We critically examine ideas and theories and build an inclusive understanding towards the complex nature of criminal behavior. This course also looks at psychology in the courtroom, police psychology, and in prevention and rehabilitation. This course imparts an understanding of what makes an individual a ‘criminal’ and the methods used to identify offenders through psychological profiling, detection of deceit and eye witness testimony. More contemporary topics like white collar crime, technology and crime, terrorism and others are also discussed. The idea is to look derive at certain indicators for crime causation, and recommendations for the protection of witnesses and victims and rehabilitation of offenders through discussions, debates and directed thinking.

3 credits
45 hours

Forensic Psychology

Dr. Mohammad Hadi Ghasemi Nejad

An introductory course in Forensic Psychology would provide students with the salient, essential, and fundamental knowledge in this field so that they can understand the relevant concepts of forensic behavioural, emotional, and cognitive science relevant to psychology and law. The study of forensic psychology encompasses the intersection of psychology, the criminal justice system, and the law. This course will comprehensively examine the role of the forensic psychologist in the criminal justice system in North America, and to a certain degree in India. It will focus on the interaction between the psychology and law, with an emphasis on North American (and Indian) applications. This course explores the differing, yet varied facets of the field of forensic psychology including landmark legal cases relevant to psychology, potential careers in forensic psychology, police psychology, expert testimony, eyewitness and expert testimony, jury selection, repressed memories, profiling, victimless crime, the insanity defense, lie detection, forensic psychological assessment, psychopathy, homeland security, ethics, correctional psychology, and issues in working in the juvenile justice system.

3 credits
45 hours

Psychology of the Courtroom

Dr. Mohita Junnarkar

This course will provide an insight into understanding the psychological perspective of crime scene. When an individual commits an illegal activity she/ he is subsequently charged with the crime. In any illegal activity there are often three individuals involved: perpetrator, victim and eyewitness. Once illegal offence is registered the justice system gets involved which comprises of police, advocates and judges in Indian context. This course shall focus on (i) the psychological research of witness and (ii) psychological research on the justice system. The course would cover the different factors categorised in the psychological research such as estimator variables, system variables and post-diction variables and how they affect accuracy of witness, confidence of witness and judgement of justice system. Broad introduction to psychological theories and research concerned with accuracy of witness memory and making sense of the eyewitness memory process of acquisition (exposure duration to event), retention and retrieval of information will be discussed in relation to the factors. Further the course would dwell into eyewitness decision making process and relevant theories, psychological research on line-up presentation and identification accuracy of perpetrator. Students shall learn about the different factors that affect the accuracy of eyewitness and how eyewitness confidence affects judge’s decision making.