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Forensic Psychology: An Overview

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Forensic Psychology: An Overview

27,March 2024

When human psychology is linked with scientific techniques to solve criminal and civil cases it is known as Forensic Psychology. It deals with analyzing the psychology of people involved in a crime to make relevant conclusions in the case investigation. The experts in this field interrogate the suspects and the victims to understand their involvement in the crime. They assist the police in criminal profiling by studying the personality traits of the criminals and suggest the measures that can be taken by law enforcement agencies to control the crimes.

What is Forensic Psychology?

The branch of forensic science that deals with the psychology of victims and criminals using scientific techniques is known as Forensic Psychology. It is a bridge that connects human psychology with the legal system. The experts in this field examine the people involved in the case and conduct research on them thus concluding their findings on the case. Through this, they help the law enforcement agencies to investigate the case and thus identify the culprit.

What Do Forensic Psychologists Do?

These experts play an important role in the country’s legal system by aiding the judicial system. These people are responsible for presenting the thoughts of the criminals and thus give a new dimension to the case. These people present their insights on the behavior of the victim and the suspects. Apart from this, they also testify in the courtroom by either supporting the victim or presenting proof against the offender. The list of the duties that are performed by these professionals is long, for your convenience we have mentioned some of the important roles and responsibilities fulfilled by them here:

  • Provide Opinion: They provide their expert opinion to the judiciary in civil and criminal cases.
  • Act as Witness: These experts serve as witnesses of the interrogation in front of the judiciary when asked to do so.
  • Gives Insight on Victim’s Health: These people provide insight into the competency of the offender and suggest the treatment required by the offender or the victim.
  • Draft List of Suspects: They take down the list of suspects by analyzing evidence and the crime scene.
  • Make Suggestions: These experts suggest measures that can be taken to improve interrogation techniques, criminal rehabilitation centers, etc.
  • Interact With People: These experts are also required to coordinate with attorneys, judges, victims, and offenders.
  • Testify In Court: These experts attend the hearings and provide their testimony.
  • Act As Evaluators: These are the people who perform evaluations in child custody cases.
  • Examine People’s Behavior: Such an expert assesses the emotional and psychological behavior of people and their impact on the case.
  • Prepare Reports: After determining the findings on the case these people prepare the reports and keep the records for future reference.
  • Provide Counseling: These people provide counseling to victims and children concerned with the case.

Forensic Psychology Syllabus:

Pursuing a degree in forensic psychology is not a usual thing, thus the number of institutes offering this course is also less. The syllabus for this program varies from institute to institute however here we have mentioned some of the common subjects:

Serial No. Subject Syllabus
1. Psychology General/Cognitive Psychology, Abnormal/Clinical Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Social Psychology, Biopsychology.
2. Criminology Crime & Deviance, Criminology, Crime Prevention, Schools of Criminology, Criminal Justice System, Criminal Law & Procedure, Criminological Research & Statistical Applications, Juvenile Delinquency, Victimology.
3. Aptitude in Forensic Science Fundamentals of basic Sciences as applied to Forensic Investigation, Quality Control and Quality Assurance in the analysis of evidence materials and proficiency test, Techniques and Instruments for Evidence analysis, Expert testimony in the court of law, Admissibility of Evidence, Laws relevant to Forensic Science, Ethics in Forensic Science.
4. Reasoning Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning, Analogies, Similarities, Relationship Concepts, Arithmetical, Visual Memory, Discrimination, Reasoning, Differences, Space Visualization, Problem Solving, Judgment, Verbal and Figure Classification, Number Series Observation, Decision Making,
5. Positive Psychology Positive Psychology and Principles of Pleasure, Self-Efficacy, Optimism, and Hope, Resilience, Positive Emotions and Well-Being.
6. Research Methods in Psychology Research: A Way of Thinking, Formulating a Research Problem, Identifying Variables and Constructing Hypotheses, Qualitative Quantitative Research Design, Selecting a Method of Data Collection.

Specializations in Forensic Psychology:

The primary task of psychologists is to understand human behavior and thus make conclusions about the mentality of the criminal. They try to determine the presence of any kind of childhood trauma that influenced the thought process of the offenders who committed such crimes. Some of the specializations that these experts deal with are as follows:

1. Clinical Psychology:

This branch deals with the mental and behavioral health of people of all age groups. It is concerned with the comprehensive mental health of individuals, groups, and families. These specialists treat people with mental health concerns and regularly examine them.

2. Developmental Psychology:

This branch deals with the changes a human goes through across his entire lifespan. These changes include physical, social, intellectual, emotional, and personality changes.

3. Cognitive Psychology:

This branch examines the decision-making processes of people. Their task is to understand the thought process and response mechanism of people. These are the people who study the factors responsible for influencing the testimony of the witnesses.

4. Social Psychology:

This branch studies the impact of surrounding people on an individual’s mental health. It studies an individual’s personality and relationship with other people.

5. Counseling Psychologist:

These experts help people to understand and handle their personal and interpersonal issues. Their main task is to provide therapy to people struggling with their mental issues. Some of them work independently while others work under some organizations.

6. Child Psychologist:

These experts deal with helping children and adolescents undergoing trauma or developmental disorders. They assess the impact of trauma a child has to deal with because of involvement in legal proceedings.

Career Options After Forensic Psychology:

Once you are done with the graduation in the concerned branch you can choose to work with a range of organizations. You don’t need to worry thinking as a psychologist you will be required to work in the hospitals only. This field offers multiple job opportunities to such graduates. Apart from opting for the job, candidates can also go for post-graduation followed by the doctorate program in the respective field. The job options that you have after the completion of your education in this field are:

  • Forensic Psychologist,
  • Forensic Behavior Analyst,
  • Criminal Profiler,
  • Correctional Psychologist,
  • Jury Consultant,
  • Police Psychologist,
  • Victim Advocate,
  • Researcher in Forensic Psychology.

Forensic Psychology Salary:

Due to less availability of such experts in society, the salaries these experts are offered are quite appealing. The organizations that hire such experts offer lucrative packages with additional benefits. So if you are someone who wishes to opt for this career but is confused about the salary. Then you don’t need to worry about it. For your convenience here we have mentioned the salary structure for all the job profiles that fall under the banner of Forensic Psychologists.

Serial No. Job Profiles Salary (Per Annum)
1. Forensic Psychologist 6 Lakhs
2. Forensic Behavior Analyst 12 Lakhs
3. Criminal Profiler 10 Lakhs
4. Correctional Psychologist 12 Lakhs
5. Jury Consultant 10 Lakhs
6. Police Psychologist 14 Lakhs
7. Victim Advocate 6 Lakhs
8. Researcher in Forensic Psychology 7 Lakhs

Factors That Affect Forensic Psychologist Salary:

The salary of these experts is not fixed and hence varies depending on multiple factors. The factors that affect the salary bar are as follows:

  • Geographical Factors: The region you are working in affects the salary you are getting as a company located in a remote area will offer relatively lower salaries as compared to those located in urban towns.
  • Educational Qualification: A person with a post-graduate degree or doctorate will get a higher salary offer as compared to someone with only an undergraduate degree. This is because the skills of a graduate are not up to the mark but a post-graduate one holds better skills.
  • Experience: After acquiring enough years of experience in your industry, you will get better salary packages because now the organizations don’t require providing you training and can rely on you.

Salary Variation Based on Experience:

As mentioned above in the blog, the salary varies depending on the years of experience that a candidate has. Here in the table below we have mentioned the salary variation based on the experience one holds:

Serial No. Experience Salary (Per Annum)
1. Entry level (less than one year) 5-6 Lakhs
2. Early career (1-4 years) 6-8 Lakhs
3. Mid career (5-9 years) 8- 11 Lakhs
4. Experienced (10-19 years) 11- 15 Lakhs
5. Late-career (20+ years) 15 Lakhs+

These experts play diverse roles in the field of crime investigation and forensics. Their task is a never-ending thing and they need to deal with several people during their career. They contribute to making this society a better place to live by suggesting measures that can be taken to control the crime rate.


  • https://www.apa.org/ed/grad uate/specialize/forensic
  • https://www.psychology.org/ careers/what-is-forensic- psychology/
  • https://www.verywellmind.com /an-overview-of-forensic- psychology-2794901
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com /topics/neuroscience/ forensic-psychology
  • https://www.nu.edu/blog/ what-is-forensic-psychology/