Introduction to Forensic Psychology
Unit code: HAY120
|Credit points||12.5 Credit Points|
|Duration||One Semester or Term|
|Contact hours||36 hours|
A unit fo study in the Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Forensic Science), Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology and Forensic Science), Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Science programs.
Aims and objectives
This unit aims to introduce students to fundamental principles involved in research and practice within Forensic Psychology. Students are introduced to the structure of the criminal justice system in Australia and in other countries. They study the methodologies involved in forensic work including interviewing and deception detection techniques and risk assessment. Psychological factors involved in eye-witness testimony and false memories are described The nature of criminal behaviour is explored and developmental risk factors are discussed
After successfully completing this unit you should be able to:
- Describe the structure of the criminal justice system in Australia and internationally
- Understand the principles of interviewing suspects and witnesses used by the police, by psychologists and in the court room
- Outline the strategies used to deception and detecting lies
- Describe the process of risk assessment for violence and re-offending
- Understand the psychological factors which impact upon eye-witness testimony
- Outline the different positions taken in the debate on false memories
- Explain how crime is defined and measured and describe the different perspectives in criminology
- Understand developmental risk factors related to criminal behaviour
Generic skills outcomes
The graduate attributes which relate to this unit help to produce students who:
Are capable in their chosen professional, vocational or study areas.
- Have a basic understanding of the theoretical principles involved in forensic psychology.
- Have an in-depth technical competence in the specific (core) discipline.
- Can apply specific knowledge of the (core) discipline to real situations.
- Are able to engage in informed critical inquiry.
- Have a sense of social responsibility for subject specific knowledge and its applications.
- Have the ability to critically understand innovations and developments.
- Respect multiple points of view.
- Have the ability to identify opportunities for responsible innovation and/or developments within/across the technical, social, cultural, ecological and economic environments.
Can operate effectively and ethically in work and community situations.
- Can effectively communicate within and without the subject discipline.
- Are self-motivated.
- Have multifaceted research and problem solving skills.
- Are flexible.
- Can understand problem identification, formulation and solution.
- Have an expectation that learning is lifelong.
- Have the ability to keep learning past the lifetime of the course.
Are aware of environments in which they will be contributing.
- Have a broad understanding of the technical, social, cultural, ecological and economic environments and their interconnectedness.
- Have a basic understanding of the need to carry out work in an ethical and socially responsible fashion.
- A comparative analysis of the Australian criminal justice system
- Theoretical perspectives in criminology (psychological, sociological, psychiatric)
- Defining and measuring crime: the uniform crime reporting system
- Interviewing and deception detection techniques
- Research methods in forensic psychology
- Risk assessment
- Eye-witness testimony and false memories
- Developmental risk factors for criminal behaviour social risk factors, parental and family risk factors, psychological risk factors
ReferencesArrigo, B.A (2000). Introduction to forensic psychology Sydney: Academic Press
Bartol, C.R., & Bartol, A.M. (2008). Criminal behaviour: A psychosocial approach (Eighth edition). London: Pearson Education
Fritzon, K., & Wilson. P. (2008). Forensic psychology and criminology: An Australian perspective. Sydney: Mcgraw Hill
Memon, A., Vrij, A., & Bull, R. (2003). Psychology and aw: truthfulness, accuracy and credibility (2nd edition). Chichester: Wiley & Sons