Forensic Psychology: A Complete Overview

Forensic Psychology is defined as the application of psychology in legal system for the purpose of investigation. It focuses on the mental state and behaviour of an individual which makes him/her commit crimes.


1. In both criminal and civil proceedings, treatment providers may be requested to deliver psychological treatments to people who require or want assistance.

2. Forensic psychologists conduct evaluations and examinations to determine a person’s psychological condition for legal purposes.

3. To help law enforcement, attorneys, and other legal professionals or procedures better understand human behaviour (e.g. criminal, witness, victim, juror), civil processes, the impact of trauma or other life events, and so on, forensic psychologists provide consults.

4. Assistance with criminal profiling, creating hiring policies and tactics, assessing the psychological health of returning officers, or just providing knowledge on particular criminal habits are all examples of law enforcement consultations.

5. Trial Consultants are psychologists who assist attorneys and other legal professionals in case preparation. Jury selection, case strategy formulation, and witness preparation are all part of this process.

6. Expert testimony concerning psychological issues is another area in which forensic psychologists are involved. Unlike fact witnesses, who are confined to testifying about what they know or have seen, expert witnesses can convey additional knowledge about a situation or issue since, as their name implies, they are believed to be “experts” in that field.

7. Forensic psychologists produce scientific breakthroughs in the fields of psychology and law.

8. Academic forensic psychologists are involved in a variety of educational activities, including teaching, research, training, and supervision of students. These professionals usually work in colleges and universities and have a master’s degree in psychology (most likely a PhD).

Abnormal Psychology is a field of psychology that investigates aberrant or unusual patterns of behaviour, emotion, and cognition that might be interpreted as a mental illness.

Illnesses that cause changes in emotion, thought, or behaviour (or a combination of these). Distress and/or difficulty functioning in social, job, or family activities are linked to mental disorders.

Sexual perversions are conditions in which sexual gratification is associated with aberrant behaviours or imagery in the society. It is also known as sexual deviation or Paraphilia. The experience of extreme sexual desire to unusual items, circumstances, imaginations, actions, or individuals is regarded as Paraphilia. If the condition exists for more than 6 months, then it is characterised as paraphilia.


  1. Experiencing neglect or abuse as a child
  2. Temperament issues in children
  3. Mental illness or substance misuse in the family or personal history
  4. Below-average intelligence
  5. Birth weight that is too low
  6. Socioeconomic disadvantages
  7. Absence of one or both parents, criminal activities, or substance addiction
  8. Prenatal exposures to alcohol or drugs
  9. Cancer, persistent pain, and hypothyroidism are all serious medical problems
  10. Stressful or traumatic life events
  11. Substance abuse


1.)Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Characterised by a high level of inattention as well as hyperactive impulsivity. Listening problems, thoughtless mistakes, disorganisation, item loss, being easily distracted, and forgetfulness are all signs of inattentiveness.

2.) Anti-Social Personality Disorder: Callousness, deception, remorselessness, lack of empathy, impulsiveness, and grandiosity are among these personality characteristics. Other characteristics that may be present include superficial charm, sexual promiscuity, and compulsive lying.

3.) Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): Involves a single person with various different personalities. Multiple selves are defined as having their own consciousness and awareness in people with DID. The post-traumatic and socio-cognitive theories are the two primary etiologies for DID. According to the post-traumatic models, DID is produced by unavoidable previous trauma, such as child abuse. Even after the trauma has passed, the personas continue to cause problems in the person’s life. According to the socio cognitive paradigm, people act as though they have multiple personalities in order to conform to cultural standards.

4.) Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): A strong aversion and fear to social situations. SAD might arise as a result of a traumatic and/or humiliating incident that occurred while the person was being seen by others in social surroundings.

5.) Generalized anxiety Disorder (GAD): Characterised by a persistent, chronic state of concern and anxiety that is difficult to regulate and related to a wide range of events. Irritability, tiredness, concentration problems, and restlessness are all possible symptoms of GAD.

6.) Schizophrenia: Defined as a condition characterised by a severe loss of touch with reality. Delusions, as well as auditory and visual hallucinations, are all signs of schizophrenia’s psychotic character.

7.) Specific Phobia: Characterised with a strong fear and avoidance of certain items or situations. E.g.: Acrophobia-fear of heights, hemophobia-fear of blood, hydrophobia-fear of water, claustrophobia-fear of confined or crowded spaces, arachnophobia-fear of spiders.

8.) Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): It’s defined as a failure to recover from traumatic events. Nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance and/or physiological reactions connected to stimuli associated to the trauma, humiliation, guilt, rage, and social withdrawal are just a few of the symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms can develop as a result of a variety of events including real or impending violence, injury, or death.


  1. Medications to treat anxiety
  2. Antidepressant drugs are used to help people feel better or make their mood better.
  3. Coexisting conditions must be identified and treated.
  4. Hospitalization due to coexisting medical conditions, significant consequences, or a serious disorder
  5. Therapy in a group setting
  6. Family counselling can assist in the development of support and understanding.
  7. To work on thinking patterns and behaviour, cognitive behavioural therapy is used.
  8. Antipsychotic medicines are used to treat abnormal thinking processes and perceptions.
  9. Individual therapy
  10. Mood-stabilizing medications
  11. Psychodynamic treatment aims to uncover and comprehend previous difficulties as well as their connections to contemporary attitudes and actions.
  12. Groups that are assigned to support people with mental disorders.
  13. Talk therapy


(Para-abnormal, philia-attraction)

1.)Sexual Sadism: An individual who undergoes sexual gratification by inflicting pain, torture or humiliation to their partners. This term was 1st derived from Marquis de Sade who was the first person to describe practices of sadism in his book. In extreme cases, a person may kill their partner to achieve sexual arousal (lust murder).

2.) Masochism: It can be regarded as the opposite of sadism. A person gets sexual gratification from suffering or humiliation, being beaten, abused etc. This was first described by a novelist, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and hence the name.

3.) Fetishism: This is usually observed in males where they undergo sexual arousal from seeing any female body part or some objects belonging to a female. For example: Sandals, lipstick, inner garments etc.

4.) Transvestism/Transvestic fetishism: An extreme desire to wear the clothes of opposite sex or change sex by means of surgery.

5.) Exhibitionism: Sexual gratification by indecent exposure of one’s genitals in public place to unsuspecting and non-consenting others. Usually observed in males who expose their penis to women in public. It is a criminal offence and punishable under section 294 IPC and can be imprisoned up to 3 years with or without fine.

6.) Voyeurism (Scoptophilia):  Describes the sexual arousal or pleasure obtained from looking or peeping the other person while undressing, bathing or doing sexual intercourse (Myxoscopia). These individuals will obtain sexual gratification from pornography also. Male voyeurs who do such activities repeatedly are known as peeping tom.

7.) Troilism: This is an extreme form of voyeurism where a person gets sexually aroused by seeing his wife having sexual intercourse with another person. Individuals with troilism may even insist or force their wife to do sexual intercourse with another person for sexual gratification.

8.) Frotteurism: Sexual satisfaction is obtained by intentional touching or rubbing against the body parts of another person. Frotteurism is punishable under section Sec 290 IPC.

9.) Necrophilia: Sexual gratification is obtained by having sexual intercourse with a corpse or dead person.

10.) Pedophilia: Adult males get aroused and undergo sexual satisfaction by having sexual intercourse with children.

11.) Stigmatophilia: Sexual gratification is obtained from skin piercing or tattoos.

12.) Zoophilia: Individuals who are sexually aroused by having intercourse with animals.

13.) Telephone scatologia: An Individual who makes obscene phone calls for sexual gratification.

14.) Somnophilia: People who undergo sexual satisfaction by having sexual intercourse with sleeping people.

A paraphiliac frequently has many paraphilias. Guilt, sadness, humiliation, loneliness, and impairment in the ability to have regular social and sexual interactions are all common side effects of paraphilias.


  1. A young kid who has been mistreated sexually.
  2. A person who is forced to wear women’s clothing as a form of parental punishment.
  3. Inadequate counselling
  4. Physiological issues caused by high alcohol consumption
  5. Sociocultural trauma
  6. Psycho-sexual trauma


  1. Aggression, antagonism, or agitation
  2. Abuse of alcohol or other drugs
  3. Changes in energy levels
  4. Anxiety
  5. Confusion or a sense of disconnection
  6. Behavior that is erratic
  7. Changes in mood and irritability
  8. Psychoses or perception, such as hallucinations and delusions.
  9. Mood swings that are persistent or sudden and might cause problems in daily living
  10. Denial of a problem
  11. Social withdrawal
  12. Other physical symptoms that can be observed are : Malaise or lethargy, Disruptions in sleep, Changes in weight and appetite, Inexplicable physical problems.


Paraphiliacs don’t seem to seek therapy until they’re forced to by an arrest or a family member’s revelation. This makes pre-confrontation diagnosis extremely difficult. They might choose a career, hobby, or volunteer activity that exposes them to the desired sexual stimuli, such as selling women’s shoes or lingerie in fetishism or dealing with children in paedophilia. Alcohol or drug misuse, relationship issues, and personality disorders, particularly emotional immaturity, are all possible coexisting issues.


1.) The coupling of a sexually stimulating paraphilic stimulus with an unpleasant picture, such as getting arrested or having one’s name appear in the newspaper, is known as aversion imagery.

2.) Social skills training is aimed at increasing a person’s capacity to create interpersonal interactions and is used in conjunction with either of the other techniques.

3.) Orgasmic retraining may tell a person to masturbate with his paraphilia fantasy and then transition to a more suitable imagination right before the moment of orgasm.

4.) Desensitization techniques use a progressive exposure approach to neutralise the anxiety-inducing components of nonparaphilic sexual settings and conduct.

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  2. Jiloha, R. C. (1984). A case of unusual sexual perversion. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 26(4), 403–404.
  3. Morgan, E. L. (1896). Sexual perversion. Journal of the American Medical Association, XXVI(4), 189.
  4. psychiatric nursing. Basically,. (2015). 2015.
  5. Ranger, R. C., Ottawa, R., Health, M., & Fedoroff, P. (2015). Perversions and Sexology . The International Encyclopedia of Human Perversions and sexology. February.
  6. Williams, D. J. (2021). Forensic Behavioral Science of Serial and Mass Murder with an Addition of Leisure Research: A Descriptive Synthesis. Forensic Sciences, 1(1), 16–24.
  7.  Psychological Disorders,healthgrades, November 23, 2020, Healthgrades Editorial Staff,
  8. Sexual Perversions,The free dictionary by FARLEX,
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  12. Chapter Twenty-three FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY: THEORY AND APPLICATION, Rotimi Oguntayo University of Ilorin, Helen O Osinowo
  13. Kreitler, S. (2015).  Helen Gavin, Criminological and Forensic Psychology . Psychology Learning & Teaching, 14(1), 72–73.
  14. Us, L., Up, S., Questions, U. E., & Readings, S. (n.d.). Unit 3 Forensic Psychology and.
  15. Us, L., Up, S., Questions, U. E., & Readings, S. (1981). Unit 4 Roles and Functions of a. 45–55.

Authored by:


BSc Forensic science

JAIN (Deemed-to-be-university)

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