Forensic psychology

Study level: Graduate study programme in psychology
Language: Croatian
Semester: 1st and 3rd (winter)
Status: elective
Form of instruction with class hours: 30 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars, 15 hours of practical work
Prerequisites: none
Student evaluation: Written and oral.

Course description

Domain of forensic psychology. Application of psychological knowledge in various domains of law. Forensic importance of the basic mental processes. Forensic importance of the understanding of personality. Eyewitness psychology: psychological processes underlying eyewitness memory, factors and conditions influencing accuracy of eyewitness memory. Psychological factors in identifying perpetrators. Psychological factors in recall of witnesses and victims. The possibilities of improving the recall and recognition. Psychological aspects of suspicion and sentencing. Techniques of interviewing adults and children. Cognitive interview. Psychology of criminal conduct. Psychological characteristics of perpetrators. Antisocial personalities: biological, social and interactive factors in their forming. Diagnostic of antisocial personality. Forensic-psychological aspects of juvenile delinquency. Psychological profiling. Forensic-psychological aspects of penology. Psychologist as a part of a forensic team. Psychologist as witness expert. Domains of psychological expertise. Psychological methods in lie detection. Credibility assessment of statement. Analysis of nonverbal behaviour. Analysis of physiological indicators (polygraph examination). Detection of lie by the means of psychological tests (simulation, dissimulation, aggravation of psychological disturbances).

Course objectives

Enabling students for understanding and recognizing influences of the basic psychological processes and principles, personality characteristics and dynamics of all participants in the criminal and court procedures, especially in the process of giving statements and testifying. Understanding and recognizing psychological peculiarities and process which are specially related to the violators of rules and laws, as well as to the victims. Enabling students to participate as experts in the process of giving statements, diagnostics of psychological disturbances (especially antisocial personality) and rehabilitation process of perpetrators.

Required readings

Hess, A. K., Weiner, I. B. (1999). The Handbook of Forensic Psychology. Chichester: Wiley.
Zarevski, P. (1991). Pamćenje i vjerodostojnost svjedočenja. Penološke teme, 1-4, 57-77.
Memon, A., Vrij, A., Bull, R. Psychology and Law. Truthfulness, Accuracy and Credibility. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill.
Recommended readings
Gudjonsson, G. (1992). The Psychology of Interrogations, Confessions and Testimony. Chichester: Wiley.
Millon et al. (1998). Psychopaty. Guilford press.
Milne, R., Bull, R. (1999). Investigative Interviewing. Psychology and Practice. Chichester: Wiley.
Sporer, S.L., Malpass, R.S., Koenhken, G. (1996). Psychological Issues in Eyewitness Identification. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Blackburn, R. (1993). The psychology of criminal conduct. Theory, Research and Practice. Chichester:Wiley.
Bajer, M., Kljaić, S. (1990). Kasniji životni put delinkventne djece (izbor iz pojedinih poglavlja). Zagreb: RZ RKSSOH.
Ljubin, T. (2002). Kognitivni intervju. Policija i sigurnost.