‘Criminologists have been waiting a very long time for a psychology of crime that speaks their language. Finally it has arrived.’ - Dr David Gadd, Keele University Now in an updated second edition, this book explores the links between psychology and crime, taking the reader through psychological explanations of crime and the use of psychology within the criminal justice system. The book aims to demystify some of the myths of psychological criminology and situates the subject within its historical and theoretical foundations, whilst maintaining a contemporary outlook and critical awareness of the field’s advantages and limitations. This second edition includes: • Four new chapters, on ‘Psychological perspectives and their approach to crime’, ‘Mentally disordered offenders’, ‘The Criminal Courts and the role of the Jury’, and ‘Victims, Fear of Crime and Offender Management’. • Improved coverage of the issues around interpersonal violence, sexual violence and deviancy, the psychology of crime in groups, and war crimes. • Increased analysis of psychology and the criminal justice system. Essential reading for students in criminology, sociology and psychology.

Psychological Perspectives on Crime

Psychological Perspectives on Crime


Moving on from a historical overview of social scientific understanding of crime, this chapter looks at the different psychological perspectives that constitute psychology. We will see that although they are sometimes presented as discrete areas of research, in fact there is some significant overlap between them. If we want to understand the problem of many accounts of crime, both sociological and psychological, then we can interrogate them through the lens of age. One of the key criminological truisms is that most people grow out of crime (Rutherford 1986/2002). This will be a recurring theme of this chapter so that the different psychological perspectives can be understood through issues like aging and desistance from crime.

Key terms

■ Psychological Perspectives; Biological ...

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