PSYCHOLEGAL RESEARCH AND CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR: IMPLICATIONS FOR NIGERIA

Jude U. OKOYE, Ikenga K.E. ORAEGBUNAM

Abstract


This study explores the contributions of psychological theories and empirical research to advancing our understanding of a diverse array of practices and processes within the criminal justice system. Underpinning this exploration is the basic premise that such understanding is crucial for the development of effective practices within the legal system. Psychological theories and research on the causes of crime, psychological approaches to understanding crime, contributions of forensic neuroscience, effects of interpersonal crime on victims, eyewitness evidence, interviewing vulnerable witness, detection of deception, offender profiling and crime linkage, intimate partner violence and stalking, terrorism, the trial process, safeguarding witnesses, identification evidence, the role of expert witness, dealing with offenders, crime and punishment, risk assessment and offender programmes, interventions with dangerous offenders, interventions for offenders with intellectual disabilities, interventions with mentally disordered offenders, offenders rehabilitation, psychology and the police, children as witnesses, the jury, false memories, facial appearance and criminality, cognitive interview, confession, competence and insanity, work place law, harassment, discrimination and fairness, death penalty etc, show that psychology have made significant contributions in these areas that have influenced the legal system particularly the court judgments. The problem of this work therefore is that the Nigerian legal system is not benefiting from these areas of psychological research and theories due to lack of knowledge of its development, study and practice. Hence, psychological theories and research findings relevant to law is not yet advanced and practised in the Nigeria legal system as done in some western jurisdictions.

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