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Psychological Techniques in Forensics

Code: 44452 ECTS Credits: 12
Degree Type Year Semester
4317571 Legal and Forensic Psychology OB 0 1


Juan Deus Yela

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Merce Jodar Vicente
Jenny Cubells Serra
Andrea Riera Campillo
Sergio Mora Cirujeda
Judit Castellà Arbós
Elena Garrido Gaitán
Rocío Pina Ríos
Anna Melendez Pereto


There are none. It is highly recommended to have studied, in your degree, the subjects of Clinical Psychological Assessment in Adults and Childhood, Psychopathology of Adults and Childhood, Personality Disorders and Clinical Neuropsychology.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This module focuses on the psychological techniques necessary for good forensic psychological practice. Specifically, the objectives of this module focus on:

1. Knowing and knowing how to make good use of interview techniques and their adaptation according to the type of patient to be assessed.

2. Knowing, knowing how to use and interpret the most frequent psychometric evaluation and assessment tests in the forensic psychological field.

3. Know, know how to make good use and interpret the psychometric instruments that allow an assessment of personality, normal and pathological, as well as the possible psychopathology of the case.

4. Know, know how to use and be able to carry out an adequate interpretation of psychometric instruments that allow for the evaluation of intellectual capacity or intelligence.

5. To provide basic and essential foundations of forensic neuropsychology, social psychology and gender perspective.

6. To provide the fundamentals of basic psychology (eminently Memory of Testimonies and Content Analysis).


  • Analyse and organise the psychological information available in order to give advice in judicial processes.
  • Apply the applicable regulations and show ethical and professional responsibility in the practice of forensic psychology.
  • Contextualise the competences and specific concepts of general psychology within the area of legal and forensic psychology.
  • Organise and plan activities in order to achieve professional goals.
  • That students have the learning skills that enable them to continue studying in a way that will be largely self-directed or autonomous.
  • Use the basic techniques and suitable methodologies to draw up and defend judicial reports.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse the ethical consequences of the professional practice of forensic psychology.
  2. Identify the techniques and measures of psychology that are applicable in the field of legal and forensic psychology.
  3. Organise and plan activities in order to achieve professional goals.
  4. Select the appropriate techniques for the defence of judicial reports.
  5. Systematically analyse the information available in legal proceedings.
  6. That students have the learning skills that enable them to continue studying in a way that will be largely self-directed or autonomous.


The contents of this module are organised in a logical and coherent order, in such a way that the student can acquire them in a sequential and cumulative manner, in accordance with the training in forensic psychology. Specifically, the contents to be covered are:

1. Application of the forensic psychological interview: General process; Main difficulties; Simulation in the forensic interview; Practice and structure of the forensic criminal interview; The presentation, development and closure; Types of interview depending on the procedure: The civil and labour interview: process and framework of the interview; obtaining information in the criminal sphere; interviews in the family and canonical sphere.

2. Evaluation and assessment of intelligence. Assessment: Assessment of intelligence; Most relevant assessment tests; Description of their forensic use; Main problems of interpretation.

3. Evaluation and assessment of adult personality: normal and pathological personality assessment tests; most relevant assessment tests; description of their forensic use; main problems of interpretation.

4. Child psychometric assessment: Description and interpretation of the main psychometric tests; Projective assessment tests; Suitability for civil forensic practice and main limitations.

5. Neuropsychological assessment and evaluation: Most relevant neuropsychological assessment tests; Description of their forensic use; Assessment of executive functions; Main problems of interpretation. Global evaluation and interpretation of different measures.

6. Diagnostic neuropsychological assessment: Fundamentals of neuropsychological diagnosis; Main tools and their application to forensic psychology.

7. Evaluation of simulation: Psychology of Memory and Accuracy; Evolutionary memory disorders; Simulation in criminal, civil and labour processes; Simulation, dissimulation and exaggeration; Evaluation and Forensic Implications.

8. Integration of assessment in the forensic field: Assessment tests in forensic practice: selection, interpretation and limits; Adequacy and selection of assessment tests; Forensic interpretation; Limits in their forensic use; Global synthesis of the general interpretation of the different assessment measures and integration of the assessment results together with interviews and other sources of information obtained.

9. Fundamentals of mediation: Concept of reparation and restitution. Objectives and strategies of criminal mediation (restorative justice).

10. Social psychology applied in the forensic field: Prison Training Programmes and MPA. Characteristics of the programmes and group intervention.

11. Psychology of memory. Forensic applications: Importance of the witness in the legal process. Accuracy and memory factors. Encoding, retention and retrieval factors.
12. Cognitive psychology in the field of emergencies: Fundamentals of victim assistance in emergency situations. Relevant aspects for forensic assistance and subsequent intervention.


The teaching methodology of the subject is aimed at promoting decision-making skills, planning skills, autonomy and a critical attitude. The aim is for the student to be able to decide, according to the hypotheses formulated in the case, the procedure, the most appropriate forensic psychological evaluation and, finally, to culminate the evaluation process with the oral and written transmission (report) of the results. It is necessary for the student to be proactive in the search for information regarding the current state of the different instruments of forensic psychological evaluation.

The teaching methodology of this module can be divided into three blocks:

1. Directed teaching. This is structured in a compulsory attendance activity: Cycle of lectures, face-to-face modality, supported by multimedia technologies and carried out in large groups. The aim is for the student to be able to obtain the main theoretical concepts of the techniques within the field of forensic psychology. The duration of this activity will be a minimum of 36 hours for all students in the module.

2. Supervised Activity. This consists of problem-based learning (PBL), centred on the description of real cases in the classroom from which the aim is to encourage debate and the resolution of the case in the context of the forensic psychological techniques to be used. This activity will be used in conjunction with and during directed teaching.

3. Autonomous Activity. The student's autonomous work activities include, in addition to the study and bibliographic search, the reading of specialised or complementary content materials of special interest for the acquisition of the subject's competences.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Masterclasses 60 2.4 1, 2, 3, 4
Type: Supervised      
Problem-solving classes; problem-based learning and discussions. 12 0.48 5, 1, 2, 3, 4
Type: Autonomous      
Personal study; reading of articles or reports of interest; preparation of assignments. 220 8.8 5, 2, 6, 4


The assessment of the course contains individual learning evidence according to the assessment guidelines established by the Faculty of Psychology (https://www.uab.cat/doc/DOC_Pautes_Avaluacio_2023_2024). Four individual learning evidences have been designed, with different weights for each one, which allow for continuous assessment.

Individual learning evidence. Four tests have been designed: 1) Written case study tests (EV1, EV2 and EV3) involving formative assessment through case studies. A minimum of 3 written tests. These tests consist of a written multiple-choice multiple-choice test, in classroom mode, of 5 questions on a forensic case on a specific topic given to the module in classroom format. The practical case will be placed on the moodle, with time prior to attending the seminar involved in order to be autonomously worked-discussed by the student individually and in groups, and the 5 multiple-choice multiple-choice questions will be answered during the last part of the class. The total mark for these evidences of learning has a maximum value of 60% of the final mark of the module, being 20% for each of the three evidences; 2) Written test (EV4). It is a compulsory written test in virtual mode, multiple-choice multiple-choice test on all 12 topics that make up the module, which will be applied at the end of the semester during the assigned evaluation week. The total mark for this evidence of learning is worth a maximum of 40% of the final mark for the module.

In order to obtain a final mark for the module or subject, which is between 0 and 10, the student must have presented the 4 proposed learning evidences. The final mark for the module is made up of the following formulation: Final mark= [(mark EV1x0.2) + (EV2x0.2) + (EV3x0.2)+ (EV3x0.4)]. Each of the evidences of learning has a pre-established weighted weighting.

Timing of the evidences of learning. Evidence 1 to 3 will be carried out during weeks 14, 18and 19 respectively. Evidence 4 will take place on 23 February 2024 (week 23). The data of learning evidences 1 to 3 can be modified according to unforeseen needs of the teaching programme, except for learning evidence 4.

Definition of an assessable student: a student who has completed all the proposed evidence of learning with a weight equal to or higher than 4 points (40%) will be considered as "assessable".

Definition of passing the module-subject: a student has passed the module-subject when he/she has taken all the proposed learning evidences, obtaining a total of at least 5 points in the continuous assessment, with a minimum of 3. 5 points or more (on a scale of 0-10) for learning evidences 1, 2 and 3. If this requirement is not met, the maximum mark that the student may obtain is 4.9 points (fail). Students who do NOT present all the evidence of learning will NOT pass the subject-module, even if the overall grade is equal to or higher than 5. Once the subject-module has been passed (grade > 5) NO systems can be established to improve the final grade.

Recovery test. Only students who have a continuous assessment mark of 3.5 points or more, but less than 5 points, may take this test. In order to be eligible for this test, students must have previously been assessed in a set of activities, the weight of which is equivalent to at least 2/3 of the total qualification of the subject-module. This recovery test will consist of 40 written multiple-choice questions corresponding to the content taught in the 12 seminars that make up the module. This recovery test does not serve to increase the mark if a student has already passed it. The maximum mark that a student who takes the make-up test can obtain in the overall course is a 5.

It is not foreseen that students of 2nd or subsequent enrolment will be assessed by means of a single synthesis test.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Case study written test_1 20 2 0.08 5, 1, 2, 6
Case study written test_2 20 2 0.08 5, 1, 2, 6
Case study written test_3 20 2 0.08 5, 1, 2, 6
Written multiple-choice test 40 2 0.08 5, 1, 2, 3, 4



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Elena Garrido


Applications of forensic interviewing









To be allocated


Intelligence Assessment-Evaluation









María Riera


Child psychometric assessment









Joan Deus


Evaluation-Assessment of the adult personality









Mercè Jodar


Valoració-Avaluació Neuropsicològica









Mercè Jodar


Neuropsychological Assessment-Evaluation









Sergio Mora


Simulation assessment









Rocío Pina


Psychology of memory: forensic applications









Judit Castellà


Cognitive psychology in the field of emergencies









Elena Garrido


Integration of assessment in the forensic field









Jenny Cubells


Social Psychology applied to the forensic field









Anna Meléndez


Fundaments of mediation


The established programme may be modified for teaching reasons or for reasons beyond the coordination's control, and students will be promptly informed of any possible changes.