Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, particularly those that affect behavior in a certain context. It is a field of work with myriad branches such as neuropsychology, clinical psychology, educational and developmental psychology, health psychology, criminal psychology and many more. The study of psychology as a whole is a grand object of intrigue that I am not entirely familiar with, but very aware of. I have seen many educational psychologists help students in my past.
Criminal psychology in particular is the study of the will, thoughts, intents, and reactions of criminals and whoever partakes in criminal activity. In order to become a criminal psychologist one must first earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in forensic psychology, a law degree, a doctorate psychology degree, obtain state licensure, and become board certified. The master’s degree in forensics psychology is optional, and the law degree is also optional. As a criminal psychologist one will often study and analyze the research of other criminal psychologists, as well as carrying out their own research.
They may research crime, and the criminals who carry out the crime to discover what characteristics particular criminals have. Criminal psychologists are well-trained in the principles of human behavior, criminal psychologists will work very diligently with courts, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and multiple other stakeholders that include civil and criminal cases. It is a particularly new field of work. They have also been serving as workers who are advisors to the courts for decades. They may also be consultants for defendants or victims of crime. During the trial sequence as an expert witness, they may also rehabilitate offenders that are already convicted of a crime. The field of expertise of a criminal psychologist is in forensics, applying psychological principles to the criminal justice system.
A great deal of their occupied time is for carrying out evaluations of accused and alleged victims. A criminal psychologist could examine a defendant to determine their ability to stand trial. A criminal psychologist could also interview victims of crime to determine a timeline of events.
Supplanting expert testimony is yet another primary field of work for criminal psychologists, as they work in civil, family, criminal, and military courts. They may provide testimony to see which parent is more capable of having custody of children. They work with the witnesses or victims, most often the children, to establish a comprehensible understanding of the situation and the reliability of a witness. Their work in military courts has them elaborating the mental stability of a defendant during his or her crime. The length of time it will take to become a criminal psychologist is typically two to five years of study, possibly entailing an additional year of postdoctoral clinical training. A survey carried out by the American Psychology Association found that a criminal psychologist may possibly earn a median wage of slightly over eighty-thousand dollars a year. The upper twenty-five percent earn approximately one-hundred thousand dollars a year or more, while the lower 25 percent earn sixty-five thousand a year and sometimes less. According to a study done by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the probability of employment is increasing as time passes.
The employment of psychologists is projected to escalate 19 percent a decade from 2014 to 2024, which is at a rate much faster than the average. This predicts that the employment growth will bring as many as thirty-two thousand criminal psychologists to the workforce. In the earlier half of the twentieth century, many psychologists begun offering psychological interpretations of a criminal’s behavior and speculation regarding the motivation for particular crimes. Henry H. Goddard and other psychologists like himself had taken heed to a prominent pattern in particular criminals. It was frequently found that numerous adult and juvenile offenders bore some level of mental deficiency, which brought the vastly insinuated conclusion that there was a prominent cause for crime and misconduct was an intellectual limitation. This had largely reflected the influence of Darwinism, which suggested that humans have little difference from their animal brethren, and that some were “closer” to their animal ancestry than others. The “deficient” offenders were considered morally and intellectually inept in some degree, which caused them the inability to adapt to modern society.
They employed lawless and immoral means of sustaining themselves, such as crime. These notably harsh Darwin-based assertions which had not considered the factors like a cultural polarity, social circumstances, or socialization processes, substantiated the unconscionable practices seen in history such as the extensive incarceration of the disadvantaged, befuddled, and powerless. Throughout the concatenation of the history of psychology, the selection of scholars who have bestowed mindful or detailed theories on criminal behavior or crime itself is scant. The psychologists who have put forth thorough, robust theories on crime have indicated a strong influence in thinking from the cruel Darwinian ideals. And ultimately, theoretical orientations concentrating mainly on biological, constitutional tendencies and mental deficiencies had been considerably prevalent in early psychological criminology.
Within the early 1960s, a psychological criminology inherently distinguishable from psychiatric and more lengthy psychometrics had begun to exhibit indications of life. Hans Toch, whom held responsibility for producing noteworthy contributions to correctional psychology, would edit one of the very first books on psychological criminology known as Legal and Criminal Psychology (Toch, Hans. Legal and Criminal Psychology. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966).
It is argued by some that Hans Gross was responsible for the first criminal psychology book in the year of 1897 called Kriminalpsychologie (Gross, Hans, and Esther von. Krosigk. Kriminalpsychologie. VDM Verlag Dr.
MuÌler, 2007), the same year that he had been appointed professor for criminal law and justice administration at the University of Czernowitz in Austria. One notable writer had asserted that Gross was the progenitor of the study of criminal psychology. Although, Gross was a lawyer by nature. He was trained to be a lawyer, demonstrated practices common to a lawyer, eventually and foreseeably becoming a prosperous judge.
The book he wrote expatiates the examinations he made of criminals, offenders, jurors, judges and witnesses but depends minutely and insignificantly on psychological research. That had not been a topic of surprise, though. This was for the reason that psychology in 1897 was a great distance from being an integrated discipline or study with an enriched collection of knowledge and research. But even so, it is to be noted that Hans Toch’s book would be responsible for publishing something more than six decades later representing the earliest attempt to integrate in an interdisciplinary sense, the empirical study of psychologists pertinent to criminal conduct and legal affairs. It was something of a pioneer in the world of criminal psychology at the time of its advent.
Hans J. Eysenck, a british psychologist makes in Crime and Personality (Eysenck, H. J. Crime and Personality.
Routledge, 2014) , the first comprehensive and theoretical statement on criminal behavior submitted by a psychologist. The theory Eysenck created identified the personality traits of extraversion and introversion, which he thought could lend itself to a biological inclination to seek out or evade sensation and the learning experiences obtained from a social environment. Albeit Eysenck’s theory was disseminated and tested a great deal in the late 1960s and 1970s, it has been dismissed today, swapped for popular developmental approaches. After Eysenck put forth his theory, Edwin Megargee presented his own interpretation concerning undercontrolled and overcontrolled personalities, and their connection to violence. His theory would be a cornerstone for the study of criminal psychology. Hans Toch followed with Violent Men (Toch, Hans. Violent Men.
Schenkman, 1984). The relationship that aggression and violence shared was researched greatly by Leonard Berkowitz in 1962, Robert Baron in 1997 and Albert Bandura in 1959. After the psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley’s innovative study of psychopaths, they became keynotes of theories and research of psychologist Robert Hare and others. Psychopathy is a prolific research area on the study of criminal conduct even to this day.