Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience – from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental healthcare services, “the understanding of behavior” is the enterprise of psychologists (Source: American Psychological Association).
Forensic Psychology is a branch of applied psychology which deals with the collection ofinformation, analysis and presentation of evidence in crime cases for judicial purpose. Itis an attempt to apply psychological knowledge to civil and criminal justice systems(Bartol, 2004).
Techniques available in this department include Psychological Profiling, Polygraph Examination, Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature (BEOS) Profiling and Narcoanalysis.
a) Psychological Profiling It includes personal history of the subject, such as history related to his family, childhooddevelopment, marital life, medical and personality factors, etc. Case related information isobtained from the subject in his own version and he will be questioned on IO’s versionand confronted if any discrepancies.
b) Polygraph or Lie Detector Test A polygraph examination is a non-invasive procedure. This is based on the Psychophysiologicalprinciple that there will be an ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) arousal that can be detected in the bodily functioning when a person tries to lie or hide information related to his involvement in criminal conduct.
Application of Polygraph in aiding Investigation in detecting deception to check for the involvement of suspect.
c) Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOS) is a technique that is based on various principles of Neurosciences in detecting the involvement of individuals in crime with the use of an applied Electroencephalogram (EEG). This technique is based on the concept of Experiential Knowledge acquired by the subject through participation in criminal activity. This is acquired through the execution of a particular act or personal participation in an event and hence it is different from Conceptual Knowledge of familiarity with the world. BEOS helps to reveal the presence or absence of experiential Knowledge of crime-related activities in individuals who are investigated for the same. This is based on the fact that Probes that are presented to the suspect evoke remembrance of experience that he or she would have had. Such remembrance will be accompanied by extensive changes in the electrical oscillation pattern in the brain. The electrical oscillations are acquired and analyzed by a system called Neuro SignatureSystem (NSS) developed exclusively for forensic use.
d) Narco Analysis An invasive technique where a particular Barbiturate- Sodium Pentothal, is administered to the subject which causes an alteration in his state of consciousness during which time questions related to the crime are asked. Sodium Pentothal is given in small increments till the subject exhibits certain symptoms like slurred speech and or motor restlessness. The drug is continuously administered in small doses, to maintain a state of anesthesia. Sodium Pentothal affects the Frontal Lobe of the brain to remove a person’ sinhibition. It makes him more relaxed, comfortable, free, and conversant.