Quest International University held a webinar on ‘The Monster Within’ which featured Associate Professor Dr. Geshina Ayu Maat Saat, criminologist and psychologist, Forensic Science Programme, School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Forensic Science Dr. Chung Kai Li, Deputy Head of Psychology, Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, University of Reading.
Based on a study, people are more likely to commit crimes when facing hardships including poverty and drug abuse. Such acts can also be triggered by psychological factors such as losing a job or ending a relationship.
According to Dr Geshina, criminology is the study of crime from a social perspective, including examining who commits crime, why they commit them, their impact and how to prevent them. Some careers that involve criminology are: police officers, probation officers, criminal investigators, judges and lawyers.
Dr Chung explains forensic psychology as “trying to apply the knowledge of psychology from various aspects, involving social psychology, individual differences, biological psychology and cognitive psychology.”
“The bulk of the work that forensic psychologists do is not so much in forensic science, but rather trying to understand how certain analysis of evidence in science can cause bias in our perception when we are trying to understand crime and the criminal justice system.
“You don’t just work on murder cases. In fact, forensic psychology is very much broader than just solving crime cases,” she added.
Why do people resort to violence?
According to Dr. Geshina, there are several contributory factors but it mainly depends on one’s resilience in facing hardships. Criminals think they can get away with their misdeeds.
“Different crimes are triggered by different motives. There’s a common misconception that individuals who commit crimes are men. However, women commit crimes too. There are many reasons that prompt people to go astray, some of the more common ones are survival and poverty. Mixing around with the wrong crowd can be harmful too,” she explained.
Dr. Chung said, “A personality trait is an inherent characteristic that is stable across time and that implies that it’s unlikely to change despite rehabilitation. The public’s reaction would be if environmental factors can’t change them, we should really not allow them to be out in the public. Thus, we have reduced funding for rehabilitation.”
“Just because somebody has inherent traits of criminality doesn’t mean that they would necessarily be criminals. The environment plays a huge role in terms of how they contribute to creating a criminal,” she stressed.
For more information on the webinar, visit QIU’s FB page.