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Dr Nitesh Kumar Jha - Clinical - Criminal - Psychologist

Demystifying thoughts to predict behavior

Much of what we don’t understand about being human is simply in our heads. From those clusters of cells in our head arises the elusive, but powerful, mind. Despite our best attempts to “know ourselves,” the truth is that we often know surprisingly little about our own minds, and even less about the way others think. Meet Psychologist Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha, Clinical Research Officer at INCLEN (The International Clinical Epidemiology Network) Trust International, New Delhi, who has long sought insights into the complex mental processes that dictate human actions, and has made significant strides in lifting that veil of mystery.

Dr Nitesh hails from a small village Uchhati, Biraul in the district of Darbhanga in Bihar. With limited resources at his disposal, he could not pursue higher education in science stream because his family was not in a position to afford it. With the support of his brother, he pursued his higher education in Arts with specialization in Psychology. He completed his BA (Hons. Psychology) in 2010 from LNMU Darbhanga and MA (Hons. Psychology) in 2013 from GNDU Amritsar.

Because of the consistent support and help of my parents and my brother Mr. Narayan Jha, I am able to achieve what I am today in my life specially, in academic arena. My school teacher Adv. Mahip Kumar Karna has been my role model under whose guidance I was able to choose psychology as the area of study.
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha

Dr NItesh Kumar Jha - Convocation
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha receiving his Ph.D. degree at GNDU Amritsar Convocation 2019

Doctoral Research

Dr. Nitesh was awarded Ph.D. degree in Psychology in 2019 by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. The topic of his research was Criminal Thinking Styles, Sociomoral Reasoning, Empathy and Locus of Control in Offenders and Non-Offenders: A Comparative Study.

The results of his research suggest that Offenders possess different Criminal Thinking styles, Level of Sociomoral reasoning and Locus of Control than Non-offenders. Empathy variable was not found to differentiate offenders from non-offenders significantly may be because sample of offenders included in the study was non-violent and also non-convicted.

Surprising part of result was that like offenders, normal individuals i.e. non-offenders too possess distorted thinking styles. However, non-offenders are found to have mature sociomoral reasoning skill than offenders that helps them to give justification for the consequences resulted from their act or behavior. Offenders believe that locus of control lies in the hand of oneself at one end and at other end they also blame luck, fate, chance as well as powerful others for the consequences resulted from their act or behavior.

I am indebted to the guidance and support of my Ph.D. supervisor Dr. Rupan Dhillon for my research. I could not have done my Ph.D data collection easily from offenders at District Court Amritsar without the immense support of Adv. Amandeep Sharma and his wife Adv. Kanchan Sharma.
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha

Dr Nitesh Kumar Jha - Physical Activity Program at GNDU Amritsar
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha (extreme right) had organized a Physical Activity Program at GNDU Amritsar in 2017

Dr. Nitesh started his career with Expressions Children Homes Organizations of India in 2018. Through this organization, he was placed to provide psychological services at Observation Home for Boys-II (OHB-II), Department of Women and Child Development, Government of NCT Delhi, Sewa Kutir Complex, Delhi; and later on promoted and transfered to Children Home for Boys (CHB – I & II), Department of Women and Child Development, Government of NCT Delhi, Alipur; on the position of Clinical Psychologist.

At OHB-II, he dealt with  young offenders and used to take counseling and therapy sessions of both, the children in conflict with law and also of their family, on receiving the court order from different Juvenile Justice Boards. And, with the understanding of the cases, he used to help the magistrates to understand the mindset or intentions and behavioral dynamics of the adolescents behind criminal offence.

At CHB – I & II, he used to take sessions (individual session, family session and group sessions) of the children in need of care and protection on routine basis. He used to also help and support the Superintendent and Child Welfare Officers in management of the child inside institution, their intake, transfer, and restoration process, as well as the assessment and evaluation of their progress inside the institution on periodical basis. This way, he also used to support District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in making any decision about the welfare of the child.

A person’s involvement in criminal or antisocial behavior largely depends on Social Cognition – how they perceive the information from his environment and social situation, process at cognitive level and react to the same.
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha

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Dr Nitesh Kumar Jha - Physical Activity Program at Children Home Complex for Boys Alipur
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha coordinating a Physical Activity Program at Children Home Complex for Boys, Alipur with the aim to enhance physical and mental health.
Dr Nitesh Kumar Jha - Physical Activity Program at Observation Home for Boys - Delhi
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha has coordinated Physical Activity Programs at Observation Home for Boys, Sewa Kutir Complex and Children Home Complex for Boys, Alipur with the aim to enhance physical and mental health.
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‘Criminal thinking’ is the thought content and cognitive process that leads to law breaking behavior. Understanding criminal thinking is the key for prediction of criminal behavior, whether it is of a first offender or of a repeat offender.
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha

Other Research Work

Police Psychology – The findings of his research show that women police constables face more stress and have poor ways of coping skills than men police constables. He has submitted a paper to the Indian Police Journal published by Bureau of Police Research Development.

Investigative Psychology – Implications of his study highlighted the importance of cognitive interview in criminal investigation. His study was published in Indian journal of criminology and criminalistics, Lok Nayak Jayprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, New Delhi.

Neuropsychology – He is currently working on a policy oriented research project, ‘Dementia Science Program’, which is related to Neuropsychological aspects of dementia disease among elderly. The project is funded by Ministry of Science and Technologies, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

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Dr Nitesh Kumar Jha - Presenting in a Conference
Dr Nitesh Kumar Jha presenting his paper in 2nd International Conference on Medico-Legal Issues and Use of Forensics in Criminal Investigation held in New Delhi in 2019
Dr Nitesh Jha - IPA Gold Medal
Dr Nitesh Kumar Jha received Indian Psychological Association (IPA) President’s Gold Medal Award in the category of Young Psychologist during the International Conference on ‘Psychology of Crime’ at Department of Psychology, T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bihar, in 2019
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He is presently working as a Clinical Research Officer at INCLEN Trust International, New Delhi, from March, 2019. He works on different policy oriented research projects like value of vaccine on cognitive development of the child, Dementia Science Program for elderly, and Social Adversity on Cognitive Impairments among older adults.

Along with leading Scientist / Researcher Neurologists, Neuropsychologists representing topmost medical or scientific research institutions of the country, I carry out intensive research in the area of neuropsychology and others in these projects.
Dr. Nitesh Kumar Jha

Dr Nitesh is happily married to Ms. Manika Sharma who has also pursued Psychology in her Masters, inspired by his research work and relevance of the field in the present social scenario. He aspires to excel in his specialization of Criminal / Clinical Psychology by pursuing opportunities in the field of teaching and research in education sector. He looks forward to help and support prison, police and investigative departments in understanding criminal mind-set and behavioral dynamics based upon the facts and principle of Psychological Science. He believes that the human mind is a mysterious and elusive thing yet a fascinating area of study.

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