Sample Coursework on Psychology in Criminal Investigations

Questions for Discussion

  1. According to Havelock Ellis and Richard von Krafft-Ebing, criminals are considered to be abnormal. Do you think that an individual becomes a criminal due to clinical and biological influences? Why?
  2. Do you think individuals chose tocommitcrimes due to their own background and circumstances in life? If so, outlinesome of the circumstances that influence an individual to turn into a criminal.
  3. How do psychologists help in carrying out the selection for juries? According to Curtis and Ann Bartol, what can be done to prevent and control criminal cases?
  4. How does behavior and psychology influence crime?
  5. How does the psychological factor influence the crime rates?
Critical reading
  1. [Overarching Theme # 1] Criminality as a form of abnormality caused by biological and clinical factors.
    1. In this chapter, Havelock Ellis and Richard view criminals as being abnormal. Itis in support to Darwinian’s discovery of criminals being less developed in comparison to a normal human being.
    2. A criminal is no different from the rest of the people in the society. Sunderman provides an array of reasons on what factors influence an individual to turn into crime. He opposes Ellis’s, Richard’s and Darwinian’s opinion that criminals are abnormal and biologically primitive.
  2. [Overarching Theme # 2]The role of psychologists in the selection of the jury
  3. The prevention and mitigation of crime in the society as written by Ann Bartol and Curt Bartol. Different professional psychologist authors write on different topics on Psychology to influence the knowledge and skills of the students pursuing psychology as a future career.
  4. [Overarching Theme # 3] Behavior and mental health as factors that influences an individual to commit a certain crime.
    1. This chapter outlinesa list of different journals that have been written to elucidate on how behavior and mental health are key aspects that may influence one into committing crime.
  5. [Overarching Theme # 4] Not all offenses are the same and not all criminals are grouped into the same category.
    1. According to this chapter, it is important to categorize offenders in accordance to their psychological significance as opposed to their legal distinctions.
    2. Determining whether a person is a psychopath depending on his/her offenses and psychology. Ithas been clearly elucidated by Hare and Cooke who study the traits of a psychopath.
  6. [Overarching Theme # 5] Mental illness as a clear factor that causes individuals to commit heinous crimes.
    1. According to Ellen Kjelsberg, substance abuse by adolescence is a primary factor that contributed to the development of criminal behavior.



            Psychology has been used in identifying some of the traits that influenced an individual to commit a specificcrime. Thus, psychology has been adapted in the jurisdiction sector as one of the most vital tools in the department of criminal investigations. Ithas been employed in criminal investigations to identify any form of deception and false testimony from the eyewitnesses. Itis also a key tool in performing case linkages and in profiling offenders.


            In conclusion, psychology remains to be an essential tool in criminal investigations. Itis vital in unraveling the truth from both the criminals and eyewitnesses. The study of human mind and behavior is important in ensuring justice to prevail over any form of injustices.