chapter  1
12 Pages

Introduction

The aim of this book is to provide a general introduction to a range of psychological research into crime. It is chiefly aimed at students studying the various A2-Level courses which include criminological psychology as an option topic, but, it is hoped, will be useful to any reader requiring basic information on criminological psychology. The authors have attempted to cover all of the topics in which students will be interested. This chapter introduces the subject and describes some of the ways in which psychology can be used to understand crime. Chapter 2 examines a range of different approaches to defining and measuring crime. Chapters 3 and 4 discuss a number of different psychological explanations for offending, including biological, personality and social theories of crime. Chapter 5 examines the police and looks at a range of issues such as police bias and interviewing techniques, whilst Chapter 6 examines a more direct application of psychology to policing in the form of offender profiling. The focus of Chapters 7 and 8 is the courtroom and a range of research is discussed concerning witness testimony, trial procedures and jury processes. Chapter 9 examines the ways in which the judicial system responds to crime and looks also at the effectiveness of psychological treatments for crime and crime prevention programmes. Finally, Chapter

10, which is aimed specifically at A2-Level students, gives guidance on answering exam questions and includes comments from senior A2Level examiners.