Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will learn about forensic psychology, with a focus on lie detection (including some of the technology used), and eyewitness testimony and its limitations.

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand what forensic psychology is and its importance
  • Students will understand the use of psychology and technology in the detection of lies
  • Students will understand what memory is and its influence in eyewitness testimony.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCritical ThinkingEthical UnderstandingProblem SolvingProblem Finding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 10 Science

  • Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE191)
  • People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE194)

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-12ES, SC5-13ES

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students evaluate the validity and reliability of claims made in secondary sources with reference to currently held scientific views, the quality of the methodology and the evidence cited. They construct evidence-based arguments and select appropriate representations and text types to communicate science ideas for specific purposes.

Topic: STEM

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: Real-life CSI – Secondary 

Time required: 65 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and assistance with practical work required.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video and slide deck to the class
  • A willing teacher to take part in the activity.
  • Real-life CSI slides

Keywords: Forensic science, forensic psychology, lies, lie detection, memory, eyewitness testimony, photofits, police line ups, reliability, STEM, psychology.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … understand the use and importance of forensic psychology
  • … understand the use of psychology and technology in the detection of lies
  • … understand what memory is and how it influences eyewitness testimony.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … explain what forensic psychology is and some of the ways it is applied to solving crimes.

Teacher content information: Forensic psychologists specialise in the application of psychological theory and skills to the understanding and functioning of the legal and criminal justice system. They can:

  • Perform psychological assessments and provide psychological reports for the courts
  • Appear in court as an ‘expert witness’ and give opinions on psychological matters
  • Assist the police with the profiling of potential suspects, particularly for serious crimes such as serial murders
  • Assess and treat people who are the victims of crime or witnesses of crime
  • Determine how dang
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