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Psychology and Crime

Psychology and Crime

November 2009 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book explores the links between psychology and crime, evaluating psychological explanations of crime and the use of psychology within the criminal justice system. It provides a comprehensive overview that highlights the consequences of crime for victims, offenders and wider society.


The book combines classic theory with new developments in eyewitness testimony, offender profiling and forensic psychology. The resulting text offers an engaging and challenging route to a full understanding of key topics, including:

  • the theoretical history of criminal psychology
  • interpersonal violence, sexual violence and deviancy
  • the psychology of crime in groups
  • mass murder and war crimes
  • psychology and the criminal justice system.

Psychology and Crime genuinely integrates the two areas with the advanced student in mind, and includes a range of practical devices to support the learning process: chapter overviews; study questions; and further reading. Lively and accessible, it is essential reading for students and academics in criminology, sociology and psychology.




The Key Approaches to Criminology series celebrates the removal of traditional barriers between disciplines and, specifically, reflects criminology’s interdisciplinary nature and focus.  It brings together some of the leading scholars working at the intersections of criminology and related subjects.  Each book in the series helps readers to make intellectual connections between criminology and other discourses, and to understand the importance of studying crime and criminal justice within the context of broader debates. 


The series is intended to have appeal across the entire range of undergraduate and postgraduate studies and beyond, comprising books which offer introductions to the fields as well as advancing ideas and knowledge in their subject areas. 

Psychology, Sociology and Crime: Mapping the Historical Terrain
Interpersonal Violence and Investigative Psychology
Investigating Sexual Violence
Crime in Groups: Explaining Subcultures, Groups and Gangs
Mass Murder, Political Murder and War Crimes
Terrorism: From Pathology to Normality
Psychology in the Criminal Justice System: Interviewing Witnesses, Suspects and Eyewitness Testimony
A Brave New World? Psychology as a System of Governance

Criminologists have been waiting a very long time for a psychology of crime that speaks their language. Finally it has arrived. Craig Webber brings together a wealth of psychological research that students of criminology ignore at their peril. He also documents the significant in-roads criminologists are now making with regard to matters of the mind too often treated as 'off-limits' by many social scientists, psychologists included.
Dr David Gadd
Keele University

Webber has pulled off a unique feat by writing a book on the psychology of crime that will appeal equally to sociologists and criminologists. The book provides up-to-date and scholarly coverage of the investigative psychology literature on policing serial offending and mass murderers, but also integrates sophisticated discussions of Stan Cohen's theory of denial, the Birmingham School of cultural studies, and Green Criminology. This exciting theoretical integration bodes very well for the future of criminal psychology.
Professor Shadd Maruna
Queen's University Belfast

Craig Webber’s Psychology and Crime does a good job of opening up psychology to criminologists...Webber’s book is ‘criminological’ in its starting position and psychology is not approached as the stand-alone discipline it is often thought to be. That sets it apart from other texts. For that reason criminologists may well find this one particularly accessible... The book as a whole does a good job in cautiously welcoming psychology into the criminological mainstream. For those initially apprehensive of psychology, this is a good choice of text that should find its way onto readings lists in particular for psychology-related modules within criminology courses. That is a readership for whom this text should be particularly valuable.
Dr Francis Pakes
Internet Journal of Criminology

Clearly written and sufficient detail - Learners like the formatting of this book and agree that it is ideal for newcomers to this topic. Have recommended to our library.

Mrs Stephanie Lee
IIP, Weston College
September 26, 2016

A generalised overview, good starting point.

Mrs Karen Eaton-thomas
School of social justice and inclusion, University of Wales, Trinity St David
January 16, 2015

An excellent book for students with an interest in both criminology and psychology! It is well written in a language that is easy to get to grips with! A long awaited book!

Mrs Karen James
Care, Coleg Sir Gar
May 1, 2013

This is a good book that I am wanting to use as the recommended reading for the new Introduction to Pychology module on our Criminal Justice course. The number of students will vary but I am hoping for a regular cohort.

Mrs Annabel Schofield
Criminal Justice, University of Essex Online
June 14, 2012

An excellent read for students, linking Psychology and Crime, together in a comprehensive and unique way.

Miss Frances Jackson
Public Services, Peterborough Regional College
March 11, 2012

Psychology and Crime book shelps to improve understanding criminologica perspective on the human behaviour.l found it very helpful in terms of undertanding the different aspects of criminology and social inequality from interpresonal violence up to state crime.

Mrs Evgenia Chechel
School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University
March 6, 2012

Easy to digest, good analysis of a range of issues discussed within Criminology.

Miss Rebecca Russell
Criminology, University Centre at Blackburn College
December 14, 2011

This text book does not in my opinion have sufficient breadth of coverage to be used as the sole or main textbook for a final year undergraduate module in forensic psychology. However, it does cover some topics that are rarely included in forensic psychology texts at this level, such as investigating sexual violence, group and gang crime, mass murder (including war crimes), and terrorism. As a result, Webber's text is an excellent supplemental text for use in undergraduate psychology modules.

Ms Shara Lochun
Department of Psychology, London Metropolitan University
August 12, 2011

Excellent work for comparative analysis of the topic.

Dr Vincent Wincelowicz
Criminology, Regis University - Denver
March 8, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

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ISBN: 9781412919425

ISBN: 9781412919418

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