Welcome to Criminal Psychology!
This course aims to analyze the mind of criminals, particularly of those who commit heinous crimes, which include murder, sexual assault/rape, and arson. We begin with the evolution of crime and seek to “explain” what factors influence these criminals, such as environment, mental illnesses, and personality. We will examine real cases of past criminals to learn what shaped them. We will learn what discoveries researchers found, and how these discoveries are used to create profiles. And to top it all off, we will see
how law enforcement has handled these cases, and the efficacy of forensic psychologists when used in law and order (i.e. how police and courts use forensic psychologists).
At the end of the course, students are expected to understand:
• What may “create” or shape a criminal to commit heinous crimes
• How real past criminals behaved, with examples
• Criminal profiles and their accuracy
• The efficacy of forensic psychologists
• How law enforcement and the legal system use forensic psychologists
Class will be held once a week, for 1.5 hours. Classes will primarily be lectures, but student discussions will be an important part of many classes to investigate the many “unknowns” of criminal psychology. All readings will be optional, provided on bcourses, from online sources (e.g. newspapers) that are written and published as the semester progresses (there are always new studies and highly publicized criminals making the news).
Students are only allowed two absences, excused or unexcused. Absences include illness, midterms, or any other reason deemed appropriate by the facilitator. Additional absences will affect the student’s grade
in that each absence will result in a letter grade decrease in the student’s attendance grade. You must attend the first two classes of the course. You will be dropped if you miss these classes without providing us with reasons in advance.
Pass/No Pass. Students will need at least 70% to pass the course. The breakdown is the following:
● Attendance 30% (2 absences (excused or unexcused)) - Must provide notice of an
absence 24 hours in advance - with the exception of unexpected illness or emergency.
● 2 Papers 20% (10% each) (2 pgs each, one profiling worksheet one correlational essay)
● Midterm Presentations 19% (Groups of 4 or 5)
● Final Exam 31%
Prompts for papers will be given two weeks prior to the due date (see schedule). Format will be 12-point font, double-spaced, 2 pages. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and any student who plagiarizes will receive zero credit for the assignment and possible disciplinary action set by the university guidelines. Papers will be accepted until the day after they are due. The highest grade a late submission can receive is a B- (80%).
No day(s) left until application deadline!