All About Law and Crime

Psychology and the law intersect in the field of forensic science. Legal practitioners require a grasp of human motivation at its most basic and most debased in order to render fair judgment.

Recent posts on Law and Crime

Why Juries Should Be Skeptical of Forensic Evidence

There are many reasons why forensic evidence can be inaccurate and unreliable. The FBI's own crime lab has a 20 year track record of flawed forensic results.

DSM-5 Made a Mistake Eliminating Substance Abuse

By Allen J Frances M.D. on August 24, 2016 in Saving Normal
By eliminating "Substance Abuse," DSM-5 confounds the very different treatment, course, and prognosis of the typical college binge-drinker and a down-and-out end-stage addict.

TRAPing the Lone Terrorist (Part One)

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in Media Spotlight
A new screening tool to help identify potential lone wolf terrorists is currently being evaluated. Can the TRAP-18 help prevent future violence?

Is Committing Rape Just Making a Mistake?

Why are young male athletes getting away with sexually assaulting girls? Entitlement is part of the answer.

Should We Want a President Who Can’t or Won’t Lie?

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on August 23, 2016 in Face It!
When it comes to lies, they are not all created equal. At what point do we accept that some lies are beneficial, especially when it comes to our leaders?

The Strange Allure of the Killer Living Next Door

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on August 21, 2016 in Wicked Deeds
A serial killer is frequently an unassuming everyman who could easily be a next door neighbor or co-worker.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/4984060658

Who Blames the Victim?

By Laura Niemi, Ph.D. on August 18, 2016 in Morality in Language
Moral values constitute a core framework that organizes psychological processes to motivate predictable patterns of condemnation toward victims. Still, language matters!
https://pixabay.com/en/brain-think-human-idea-20424/

Alluring Brain Science: Stale, Creative Ferment or Both?

Brain science is complex and fast developing. Is it providing the answers we need quickly enough?

Beating Back Trump's Threat to US Democracy

By Allen J Frances M.D. on August 10, 2016 in Saving Normal
Democracy is a precious, but historically infrequent and perilously fragile method of governance. Trump Threatens it and must be stopped.

Understanding Elder Abuse (Part Two)

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 10, 2016 in Media Spotlight
As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, the demand for help and the burden this places on family members, will mean more cases of elder abuse as well.

The Logic Underlying Trump's Outrageous Comments

Trump phrases things in a way that gets through to his supporters, but leaves him almost immune from attack by his detractors.

Mental Illness and Violence

The psychotic killer may make a great Halloween costume, but in real life, they're surprisingly rare.
D. P. Lyle

Walk in My Shoes, Said the Serial Killer

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 09, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
As I discuss "Confession of a Serial Killer" on "Crime and Science Radio" this week, I'm reminded of how complex this 5-year project from a killer's point of view was.

Do Suicide Squad Villains Harley and Joker Defy Diagnosis?

The film Suicide Squad toys with the question of whether Harley is genuinely "crazy" or merely putting on an act, but does it suggest any realistic answer?

Do Criminals Desire to Get Caught?

In 1915, Freud wrote about an unconscious desire to get caught and punished. But he did not treat criminals.

People Will Like You if You Make Them Laugh

Couples who share laughter experience more satisfying long-term relationships.

What Is the Face of Truth?

In the detection of lying, verbal cues outweigh nonverbal ones, a new study shows.

Understanding Elder Abuse (Part One of Two)

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 03, 2016 in Media Spotlight
According to the 2009 National Elder Mistreatment Survey, at least ten percent of elderly people living in American communities (4.3 million people) experience abuse each year

Protecting Yourself From Digital Predators

Not all people you digitally communicate with are predators, but all predators use the same communication skills to develop a relationship with you as do sincere people.

Jack the Ripper: History’s Greatest Murder Mystery

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on July 31, 2016 in Wicked Deeds
More than 125 years after his killing spree abruptly ended without his capture, the murders of Jack the Ripper continue to tantalize people around the world.
K. Ramsland

Sugar and Spice, and a Nasty Little Vice

More crime stories today feature teenage girls as perpetrators, including those who aspire to kill. Our past crime categories don't quite address their stated motives.

Unsafe Refuge

The Centers for Disease Control recently reported on the case of a family poisoned in their home after a botched Florida fumigation. It would be reassuring to view this as a fluke

Should We Torture Suspected Terrorists?

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on July 29, 2016 in Face It!
Weighing in on the use of torture as an interrogation tactic for suspected terrorists.

I Like You, But How Do I Know You Like Me?

Observing a few nonverbal cues instantly lets you know if someone likes you or not.

Our Emotional Reactions to Terrorism

By Paul Ekman Ph.D. on July 27, 2016 in Face It!
Here's how to untangle the confusing array of emotions we feel in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.

Anomic Homicide

How can a profound disconnection from others foster the rationale for homicide? And what can we do to change this?

Don’t Blame Trump: Heal Thyself, America

It is always easier to understand, celebrate or attack single individuals than it is to comprehend and address the context that gives rise to them.

Inside the Mind of the Munich Mass Killer

This kind of conundrum has led some psychiatrists to suggest mass or spree killers suffer from a rare disorder so far unclassified and unknown in the textbooks.

Juries, Lawyers, and Race Bias

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 22, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
Juries are a central part of the legal system. Racial bias can cause significant problems in juries. Are lawyers sensitive to the biases of jurors?

What Is the Best Path Forward After Terrorism?

Our mind makes intuitive mistakes about how to deal with terrorism in the best manner. This article uses insights from neuroscience to show the best path to deal with terrorism.