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Criminological and Forensic Psychology

Criminological and Forensic Psychology

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January 2014 | 424 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Criminological and Forensic Psychology is a brand-new theoretically rigorous, practically relevant, engaging and fun introduction to this broad and fascinating field. It covers both the conceptual basis within which psychology knowledge is applied in forensic contexts and the practical applications of psychology to the criminal civil justice systems.

Key Features:

  • Case studies, which include the James Bulger investigation in Chapter 5, are woven into every chapter to bring the topic to life and encourage the application of knowledge by placing you in the full context of a criminal case, showing you how psychological theories can be used to explain real-life crimes.
  • In-depth exploration of the fascinating courtroom process including separate chapters on The Defendant’s Mind and The Jury.
  • A dedicated chapter on research methods specific to forensic psychology to help you do your research project around this topic.

A Companion Website available at is provided to support learning and includes chapter-by-chapter multiple choice questions to test understanding of the topic, additional case studies to reinforce learning, and links to further readings to continue your exploration of the subject.

Chapter 1: Defining Forensic Psychology
Chapter 2: Research Methods in Forensic Psychology
Chapter 3: Theoretical Explanations of Crime
Chapter 4: Who Commits Crime? The Criminal Mind
Chapter 5: Juvenile Criminals
Chapter 6: The Psychology of Homicide
Chapter 7:The Psychology of Terrorism
Chapter 8: Crimes of a Sexual Nature
Chapter 9: The Psychology of Firesetting
Chapter 10: The Psychology of Theft, Robbery and Burglary
Chapter 11: The Psychology of Economic Crime
Chapter 12: Psychology in the Investigation of Crime
Chapter 13: Psychology in the Police Station 1: Victims and Witnesses
Chapter 14: Psychology in the Police Station 2: Investigative Interviews and the Psychology of False Confession
Chapter 15: Psychology in Court 1
Chapter 16: Psychology in Court 2 - The Defendant's Mind
Chapter 17: Psychology in Court 3 - The Jury
Chapter 18: Psychology in Prison
Chapter 19: Imprisonment and Mental Disorder
Chapter 20: Long Term and Life Imprisonment


Click for online resources

For students:

  • Multiple Choice Questions per chapter to test understanding of the topic

For lecturers:

  • Test bank including Multiple Choice Questions and Short Answer Questions per chapter
  • PowerPoint presentations including key concepts from each chapter

'The great strength of this book is that it covers a broad spectrum of topics and real cases in a way that will be of great interest to students of forensic psychology, criminology, police work and all other related disciplines.'

Elizabeth Noon
De Montfort University

'A good review of the field of forensic psychology, it will certainly help aspiring students with writing their essays and get excited as they do so.  In a crowded world this one stands out.'

Mike Berry
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

'Criminological and Forensic Psychology is undoubtedly an extraordinary book that has long been missing in psychology. To the best of my knowledge, there is no other text at present that can compete with it in breadth, depth and expertise coverage.'

Shulamith Kreitler
School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University

This book covers an extensive range of topics that I learnt during my Forensic Psychology studies. It is very engaging and is written in a simple and easy to follow way. It was also a good point of reference for me as I became a novice lecturer in the field of Forensic Psychology.

Former Student
University of Huddersfield

This book is a good introductory text for Foundation Degree learners studying criminology, psychology, forensics, offender management, policing, and and the law. It includes a broad range of topics. It makes good use of appropriate case studies to contextualise important issues and highlights the psychological issues involved with specific offences

Mr Mark Jagus
Interdiscipline , Derby College
August 17, 2016

A good supporting text for my lectures.

Dr David Keatley
Department of Psychology, Lincoln University
August 25, 2015

This book provides valuable, in-depth incites into the various aspects of crime and criminal investigation. It is a fantastic feature of this book that it highlights the psychological issues involved with specific offences as well as providing views relevant to the different stages of the investigative process. The book is clearly written and presented and uses appropriate case studies to contextualise important issues.

Dr Iain Channing
Law School, University of Plymouth
June 23, 2015

Key introduction to the areas

Dr Richard Wild
Law and Criminology, Greenwich University
June 10, 2015

This book has interesting and informative outlook. For all those wishing to investigate the crossover between psychology and criminology this is the book for them.

Miss Anna Waistnage
Health and Social care sciences, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
June 2, 2015

As the author Helen Gavin notes in the preface, the book Criminological and Forensic Psychology is not only for final-year psychology students who are undertaking criminal psychology courses, but also for postgraduate students in forensic psychology courses.
Over 20 chapters, the book does not only offer plenty of information regarding recent research findings and concepts, but distinguishes itself by also including many case-studies that are very helpful in understanding how theories of psychology and techniques are combined when examining real life crimes. This book is a terrific resource for anyone interested in criminology and forensic psychology.
I will suggest my students to buy this book as supplementary for the course “Forensic Psychology”, since although the book covers most of the subjects that I am covering in my lectures, my student’s level of the English language is intermediate; therefore I don't think they will appreciate the knowledge that this book has to offer. Nevertheless, I will strongly suggest this book to those students who are confident with the English language and I will definitely use it to expand my own knowledge of the field.

Dr Marilena Mousoulidou
Department of Psychology, Neapolis University Pafos
April 20, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5 Juvenile Criminals

Preview this book

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.