Criminological Psychology

Clive R. Hollin

in The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590278
Published online June 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191783760 | DOI:
Criminological Psychology

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This chapter examines criminological psychology, which involves the application of psychological theory and investigation to understand (and attempt to change) criminal behaviour. It begins by outlining the early history of psychology as an academic discipline, highlighting differences between Europe and North America, and its relationship to the emerging discipline of criminology. Drawing on Sigmund Freud's ideas, the chapter considers the early psychological theories and the growth of the behaviourist tradition in the study of crime. It then looks at the changing relationship over time between the disciplines of psychology and criminology, and how this relationship moved from early agreement to conflict and a parting of the ways, but more recently to something of a reconciliation. In particular, the chapter analyses Hans Eysenck's psychological theory of crime based on his own theory of personality, with an emphasis on the link between extraversion and neuroticism. It also discusses social learning theory, influenced by cognitive and social psychology, and the trend towards more complex ‘multimodal’ models.

Keywords: psychology; criminal behaviour; criminology; Sigmund Freud; crime; social learning theory; Hans Eysenck; personality; extraversion; neuroticism

Chapter.  16306 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminology

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