IGNOU BPCE 021 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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IGNOU BPCE 021 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Important Note – IGNOU BPCE 021 Solved Assignment 2022-2023  Download Free You may be aware that you need to submit your assignments before you can appear for the Term End Exams. Please remember to keep a copy of your completed assignment, just in case the one you submitted is lost in transit.

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

All questions are compulsory.

Section A

Answer the following questions in 1000 words each. 3 x 15 = 45 marks

1. Describe the relationship of forensic psychology with cognitive psychology, developmental psychology and social psychology.

Over the last few decades, forensic psychology has become increasingly popularized, thanks in part, to popular TV shows and movies like “NCIS”, “CSI”, and “Silence of the Lambs”. In recent years, true crime podcasts and documentaries have sparked interest in the field even further. While popular, and often exciting, these depictions sometimes give inaccurate representations of the field. Outside of pop culture, the field of forensic psychology has a rich and varied history that dates back to the 19th century.So what is forensic psychology, really? Forensic psychology is a specialized field in which psychological principles are applied to activities within the judicial and legal systems. Forensic psychology represents the intersection of legal theory, laws, and judicial procedures with clinical issues, practice, and professional ethics.The field of forensic psychology is a branch of applied psychology, incorporating aspects and theories of various other disciplines like clinical psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, neuropsychology, and even sociology. Its applications are far-reaching and can be found in:

  • Psychological testing and assessment
  • Legal proceedings and deliberation
  • Criminal profiling

Forensic Psychology and Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is another branch of applied psychology. It is primarily concerned with research and practice that seeks to provide comprehensive mental and behavioral healthcare for families and individuals. Understanding clinical psychology requires an understanding of psychopathology and abnormal psychology, which is directly related to the understanding of human behavior as it is studied by forensic psychologists. Practitioners are sometimes called upon to provide testimony or submit case notes during criminal and civil proceedings. Others are asked to provide assessments in prisons and investigations. More often, forensic psychologists use clinical skills to analyze and measure behavior, conduct research to improve clinical assessments, and provide counseling for those in the legal system.
Forensic Psychology Examples
Some of the most common applications and forensic psychology examples are:

  • Intelligence testing, competence evaluation, and psychological in criminal cases
  • Custody evaluations, including parental and child evaluations
  • Threat evaluations in schools
  • Counseling for victims and perpetrators of crimes
  • Death notification processes
  • Psychological evaluation of police officers and cadets in training
  • Design and implementation of treatment programs in correctional facilities
  • Providing expert witness courtroom testimonies
History of Forensic Psychology
The history of forensic psychology has deep roots and is fraught with innovations and legal battles. The earliest forensic psychologists were students of Wilhelm Wundt, a researcher who founded the first psychological laboratory in Leipzig, Germany in 1879. Most of the research at this time involved the study of memory distortions and suggestibility. However, research findings were not generally considered to be applicable as expert testimony or evidence due to scientific limitations at the time. It was not until the 1960s that American psychologists were allowed to testify as expert witnesses on issues related to mental disorders.
Forensic Psychology Origins
Although researchers like James McKeen Cattell and William Stern were some of the first to study factors related to eyewitness testimonies and are famous forensic psychologists in their own right, it wasn’t until 1908 that Hugo Munsterberg published his book “On the Witness Stand” that the field of forensic psychology truly began to gain traction. Often called the father of applied psychology, Munsterberg discussed how suggestion could lead to false memories, showing that eyewitness testimonies were often unreliable. His research began over ten years earlier when he opened a psychological lab at Harvard University, dedicated to studying biases, inaccuracies, memory lapses, and suggestibility of eyewitnesses to various crimes. Munsterberg’s research was not well-received at first. In addition to his home being vandalized, Munsterberg was criticized by a judge in 1906 for thinking that he had expertise in a case where a mentally disabled man was sentenced to death for a murder that Munsterberg believed he did not commit.Researchers James McKeen Cattell and William Stern’s work set the foundations for Munsterberg’s book. In a 1895 experiment at Columbia University, James McKeen Cattell conducted a study in which he provided a series of questions and asked participants to rate their degree of confidence in their answers. The results of this experiment showed that there was a surprising degree of inaccuracy with participant responses, prompting several other psychologists to conduct their own experiments on eyewitness testimonies.In 1901, William Stern conducted an experiment in which he staged an intense argument between two students, resulting in one of the students brandishing a firearm to the other. After the incident, students in the classroom were asked to recall details of the incident. Stern found that those students who directly witnessed the event made anywhere between four and twelve errors regarding the argument they witnessed. Stern’s findings further supported the idea that an eyewitness’ testimony can be inaccurate, especially when they or the incident in question are emotionally charged.Alfred Binet replicated James McKeen Cattell’s experiment and studied the results of his contemporaries, resulting in the French government taking interest in his research. Binet was tasked with developing an assessment that could be used to identify children with learning disabilities or who required special education in schools. Together with Theodore Simon, he developed the first psychological intelligence scale, the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale. This scale was later revised by Lewis Terman as Binet realized that his intelligence test had some significant limitations. Notably, he believed that intelligence was not fixed and complex. Binet believed that intelligence was not something that could be quantified with a single measure and understood that these kinds of measures were not always generalizable to all backgrounds and experiences.
Terman further elaborated on Binet’s research by designing his mental tests to distinguish gifted students from those that were cognitively impaired. His tests also measured complex cognitive abilities that included measures of creativity, mathematical ability, memory, motor skills, logic, and language mastery. After becoming a professor at Stanford University, he revised the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale to be used with American populations, calling it the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Termin also established the concept of the intelligence quotient or IQ. He later used his intelligence test as part of screening procedures for selecting the best candidates for law enforcement personnel.William Marston, who was a student of Hugo Munsterberg, developed the infamous polygraph test. Through his research, he realized that there was a direct correlation between lying and a person’s systolic blood pressure. The polygraph test became established as one of the most well-known tools used in the criminal justice system when Marston used it to assert the innocence of a criminal defendant because of his lowered blood pressure. Marston’s influence set the stage for future psychologists to work as consultants in the legal system. He also conducted research on juries, finding that women often analyzed evidence more than their male counterparts and witnesses allowed to provide information freely were often more accurate than those that were cross-examined.

2. Explain various approaches to causes of criminal behaviour.

Biological theories of crime asserted a linkage between certain biological conditions and an increased tendency to engage in criminal behaviour. In the 1890s great interest, as well as controversy, was generated by the biological theory of the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, whose investigations of the skulls and facial features of criminals led him to the hypothesis that serious or persistent criminality was associated with atavism, or the reversion to a primitive stage of human development. In the mid-20th century, William Sheldon won considerable support for his theory that criminal behaviour was more common among muscular, athletic persons (mesomorphs) than among tall, thin persons (ectomorphs) or soft, rounded individuals (endomorphs). During the 1960s, significant debate arose over the possible association between criminal tendencies and chromosomal abnormalities—in particular, the idea that males with the XYY-trisomy (characterized by the presence of an extra Y chromosome) may be more prone to criminal behaviour than the general population.

Although the popularity of such earlier biological theories has waned, research has continued, yielding important findings. For example, studies have found general evidence for a connection between biology and criminality for both twins and adoptees. Twins are more likely to exhibit similar tendencies toward criminality if they are identical (monozygotic) than if they are fraternal (dizygotic). The fact that identical twins are more similar genetically than fraternal twins suggests the existence of genetic influences on criminal behaviour. Similarly, studies of adopted children have shown that the likelihood of criminality generally corresponds with that of their biological parents. The rate of criminality is higher among adopted children with one biological parent who is a criminal than it is among children who have one adoptive parent who is a criminal but whose biological parents are not criminals. The highest rates of criminality are found among children whose biological and adoptive parents are criminals.

Biochemical research in the 1980s and ’90s attempted to identify specific factors associated with an increased risk of engaging in criminal behaviour. For example, certain neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain (e.g., low levels of serotonin), hormonal imbalances (e.g., higher levels of testosterone), and slower reactions of the autonomic nervous system appear to be associated with increased criminality. These factors do not absolutely determine whether a person will commit a crime; indeed, most people with these factors do not commit crimes. Instead, the presence of these factors merely increases the chance that the person will engage in criminal behaviour. Because these various biological factors may be influenced by environmental conditions, however, the direction of causation is unclear.

Psychological theories

Psychologists approach the task of explaining delinquent and criminal behaviour by focusing on an individual’s personality. In particular, they examine the processes by which behaviour and restraints on behaviour are learned. These processes often are conceived as being the result of the interaction of biological predispositions and social experiences.

Among the earliest psychological theories of crime were those based on the work of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). Freud argued that human nature includes a great reservoir of instinctual drives (the “id”) that demand gratification. These drives are restrained by moral and ethical codes (the “superego”) that children internalize as a result of their great love for and attachment to their parents. Adults develop a rational part of their personality (the “ego”) that mediates between the drives of the id and the restraints of the superego. Because the id is a relatively constant drive, criminality is assumed to result from the failure of the superego, a consequence of its incomplete development. However, the empirical evidence for this theory is thin.

Later psychological theories of crime were based on behaviour theory, such as that of the American psychologist B.F. Skinner (1904–90), who viewed all human behaviour—criminal and otherwise—as learned and thus manipulable by the use of reinforcement and punishment (see behaviourism). The social learning theory of Ronald Akers expanded behaviour theory to encompass ways in which behaviour is learned from contacts within the family and other intimate groups, from social contacts outside the family (particularly from peer groups), and from exposure to models of behaviour in the media, particularly television.

Beyond these broad psychological theories, it is sometimes argued that crime is associated with certain mental conditions. Mental illness is generally the cause of a relatively small proportion of crimes, but its perceived importance may be exaggerated by the seriousness of some of the crimes committed by persons with mental disorders. The closure of many American mental institutions in the 1960s and ’70s thrust many mentally ill people into the surrounding communities, where some of them later became troublesome. Because authorities had no other place to put them, there was a strong tendency for mentally ill people to end up in jails and prisons.

One particular personality configuration—antisocial personality disorder—is thought to be strongly associated with criminality. However, because the criteria for diagnosing the disorder emphasize committing crimes and engaging in crimelike behaviour, it is unclear whether the disorder is a cause of crime or simply a label that psychiatrists use to describe people who happen to be criminals. In the 1990s, psychological research was focused on early childhood experiences that tended to lead to criminality in later life, including poor parental child-rearing techniques, such as harsh or inconsistent discipline. Research also isolated impulsivity—the tendency to engage in high levels of activity, to be easily distracted, to act without thinking, and to seek immediate gratification—as a personality characteristic associated with criminality.

Sociological theories

The largest number of criminological theories have been developed through sociological inquiry. These theories have generally asserted that criminal behaviour is a normal response of biologically and psychologically normal individuals to particular kinds of social circumstances.

Another set of sociological theories also denies the existence of subcultural value systems. Neutralization theory, advanced by the American criminologists David Cressey, Gresham Sykes, and David Matza, portrays the delinquent as an individual who subscribes generally to the morals of society but who is able to justify his own delinquent behaviour through a process of “neutralization,” whereby the behaviour is redefined to make it morally acceptable. Control theory emphasizes the links between the offender and his social group—his bond to society. According to this view, the ability of the individual to resist the inclination to commit crime depends on the strength of his attachment to his parents, his involvement in conventional activities and avenues of progress, and his commitment to orthodox moral values that prohibit the conduct in question.

The theory of low self-control retains the focus on restraints from engaging in crime but argues that those restraints are primarily internal. People with low self-control, according to this theory, are impulsive and insensitive to others, tend to engage in physical rather than mental activities and to take risks, and are oriented toward the short term rather than the long term. Advocates of self-control theory argue that these characteristics result from parental child-rearing practices and coalesce in the individual by about age eight, remaining stable throughout life.

3. Explain the psychological assessment and evaluation in forensic psychology.


Psychological assessment is a process of gathering and integration of psychology – related data to make a psychological evaluation by using tools such as tests, interviews, case studies, behavioral observation, and specially designed apparatus and measurement procedures. In general, the process of assessment begins with a referral for assessment from a source such as a teacher, a school psychologist, a counselor, a judge, a clinician, or a corporate human resources specialist, in order to answer one or more referral questions, solve a problem, or arrive at a decision through the use of tools of evaluation.

Psychological assessment can help in understanding psychological and mental health status of individuals who are caught up in the legal process, assessment can cover depression, substance abuse, competency, criminal intent, dangerousness, parental fitness, and intelligence, and the purpose of psychological assessment in forensic setting (e.g., juvenile justice programs, correctional institutions, and non-correctional settings in which therapy services are provided to forensic populations such as abuse and crime victims) is to assist legal-decision maker, by providing him with clinical and scientific data gathered from psychological evaluations that are performed by mental health professionals such as psychologist or psychiatrist, this assessment is different from other assessments conducted for therapeutic purposes such as treatment planning and diagnosis, which will be discussed in the next section.


Heibrun and his colleagues determined differences between forensic assessment and therapeutic assessment in many aspects as following:

The first differences has to do with the purposes of each of them, while the primary purpose of forensic assessment as mentioned before is to provide the legal decision-maker by information about an individual’s relevant capacities underlying the specific civil (e.g., child custody, personal injury) or criminal (e.g., competence to stand trial, sanity at the time of the offense) legal question. Therapeutic evaluation, by contrast, is usually conducted for diagnosis and treatment reasons.

The second difference between the two types of assessments concerns with the nature of the examiner-examinee relationship. In forensic assessment, the psychologist or the psychiatrist plays an objective role or quasi- objective role in data collection and documentation, he or she concerns with objectivity and accuracy. While the role of the psychologist or the psychiatrist in therapeutic assessment is a helping role, he or she concerns with the person being evaluated.

The standards used in forensic and therapeutic assessment are different. Standards in therapeutic assessment help in diagnosis and treatment, and serve organizing, condensing, and orienting functions. While the forensic assessment include both clinical and legal standards. For example, when the evaluator is asked to consider the relation between the underlying mental, emotional, and cognitive deficits and a variety of legal issues, such as sentencing considerations, competencies, or criminal responsibility.

The fourth significant difference between the two types of assessment concerns with the sources of information used in each. Both of them rely on clinical data and psychosocial information through the utilization of self-report measures, psychological testing, and behavioral assessment. Unlike the therapeutic assessment, these sources are not sufficient for forensic assessment. More information is needed through the use of collateral information (e.g., document review, interviews) to assess the accuracy and consistency of gathered information by self-reports.

Individuals who are evaluated through forensic assessment have a lot of reasons to give inaccurate information. For example, some people may over-estimate their parent skills to obtain custody of their children, while others may exaggerate mental health problems in order to avoid criminal responsibility or to obtain monetary gain in personal injury cases, While in most therapeutic evaluation cases, there is usually limited expectation about the possibility that the individual being evaluated will deliberately (through exaggeration or minimization) distort the nature of symptoms or experiences.

Another difference between the therapeutic assessment and the forensic assessment has to do with the clarification of reasoning and the limits on knowledge. In therapeutic assessment, there is little expectation that the assumptions and methods used to complete the evaluation will be challenged, because therapeutic evaluation relies on the training, theoretical orientation, professional expertise, and knowledge of the evaluator. Unlike the therapeutic evaluation, forensic evaluation is conducted in an adversarial legal context, and is subject to challenge through rules of evidence or by cross-examination by opposing counsel.

Documentation and communication of results is another difference between therapeutic assessment and forensic assessment. In therapeutic evaluation, there is no identified expectation about the structure, format, level of detail, and content of the written report needed to document such evaluation. The reverse is true in forensic assessment, forensic evaluation reports tend to be lengthy and detailed due to the legal referral questions that require more information about the procedures, findings, and reasoning used in the assessment, and that has to do with the expectation that the assumptions and methods used in the evaluation will be challengeD.

Also there is an important distinction between the two type of assessment in light of verbal communication about the evaluation results. The likelihood that the therapeutic evaluator will give an expert witness in legal issues is rare. While the forensic evaluator should always testify as an expert witness and that testimony would be associated with the assessment, the forensic evaluator as an expert witness have to explain clearly to the trier of fact (often a jury, in some cases the judge) the theory that forms the context and framework for the tests used in the evaluation , how the tests were created, the ways in which the tests are used, how the results are interpreted, and the ways in which the test results at hand can be validly and reliably used, so that the attorney is unable to demonstrate that the expert is in fact not an expert in this area and has misunderstood, misused, or misstated the workings and results of the tests.

The last difference between therapeutic assessment and forensic assessment is relevant to the previous point, the forensic assessment emphasis on psychometric considerations such as normative data, reliability, validity, and sensitivity. In contrast, therapeutic assessment relies on theoretical orientation of the practitioner and a corresponding array of assessment approaches and instruments .

Section B

Answer the following questions in 400 words each. 5 x 5 = 25 marks

4. Explain the potential attractions and drawbacks of careers in forensic psychology.
5. Highlight the risk factors that contribute a young person becoming a deviant or criminal.
6. Define criminal responsibility and describe the factors that have to be considered in regard to criminal responsibility.
7. Elucidate malingering with a focus on its assessment and evaluation.
8. Describe the Polygraph test.

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Section C

Answer the following questions in 50 words each. 10 x 3 = 30 marks

9. Clinical- forensic psychology
10. Crime analysis
11. Violent crimes
12. Paranoid personality disorder
13. Mens Rea
14. Competency to stand trial
15. NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI- R)
16. Potential criteria for civil commitment
17. Police stress
18. Eyewitness 

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IGNOU BPCE 021 Solved Assignment 2022-2023 Download Free  Before attempting the assignment, please read the following instructions carefully.

  1. Read the detailed instructions about the assignment given in the Handbook and Programme Guide.
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