On 11 June 2022, PsyConnect (SUSS Psychology Student Interest Group) held its inaugural PsyConnect Movie Event! The long-awaited event was an opportunity for SUSS’ Psychology students to informally meet on campus after the pandemic. The theme for the movie event was centred around ‘Forensic Psychology’, which has seen a rising popularity in movies and popular media surrounding this subject. SUSS ran its first Forensic Psychology course in 2021 titled ‘Criminal Psychology in Singapore’, which drew in record numbers of sign-ups from students. This event was an opportunity for our Psychology students to explore their interest in a fun way, by watching a movie through the lens of forensic psychology.
The movie screened for the inaugural event was “Starred Up”, a prison crime drama film about violence and corruption within a British prison. After watching the gripping and intense movie with the students, SUSS Psychology faculty, Associate Professor Timothy Leo, shared his thoughts on the movie and the field of forensic psychology based on his extensive career and experience.
During the course of his career, Associate Professor Timothy Leo visited a number of prisons in the United Kingdom (UK), including high security institutions holding dangerous and violent offenders. He shared with the students his experiences from these visits and highlighted some similarities and differences between the prison systems in the UK and Singapore. He shared with the students the high standards of safety within the Singapore prisons, enabling prisoners, staff and community volunteers to feel safe and work safely within the prison.
The floor was then opened to students who asked questions on topics ranging from working as a prisons officer, managing clients in group therapy settings, to the differences in prison lifestyle and management between the UK and Singapore. All in all, it was an eye-opening and enjoyable event for everyone involved!
Associate Professor Timothy Leo discussing his thoughts on the movie “Starred Up”.
SUSS Psychology student, Queenie Huang, was excited to attend a PsyConnect event in-person for the first time. The chosen film “Starred Up” provided a great platform for Associate Professor Timothy Leo to share his experiences as a criminal psychologist where she learnt a lot from his insights. She hopes to attend more events like this!
Giovanni Lee, SUSS Psychology student, found the session thought-provoking and insightful. “Having Associate Professor Timothy Leo join in and share his first-hand experience alongside his own insights into how people behave when subjected to different types of influences – during development and reinforcement of anti-social behaviours further in adulthood – was validly intriguing.” Watching the dramatisation of what was taught in class and seeing the portrayal of behaviours discussed was an eye-opening experience for him.
May Thu Tun, SUSS Psychology student, found that the session was productive and knowledgeable. She liked how meaningful discussions were brought up after the movie. Associate Professor Timothy Leo’s sharing on the comparison of prison services between the movie and real life was also very helpful in giving her an idea of what it is like to work in the forensic psychology field. She looks forward to taking his course on ‘Criminal Psychology in Singapore’!
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