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

Good Deeds, Sinister Motives

Good deeds can have a dark motive

Sex, Secrets, and Shame

By Marty Klein PhD on September 26, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Should the government criminalize fantasies? Many people already feel ashamed of theirs.

White Sensitivity Is Like Black Sensitivity

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on September 26, 2016 in Feeling Our Way
Being put in your body unexpectedly is status-lowering, whatever color your skin is.
K. Ramsland

The Murder Market

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 25, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Novelist takes readers on a very dark journey into the addictive world of the murder market.

The Truth Shall Set You Free—Except When It Doesn’t

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on September 24, 2016 in Excellent Beauty
Uncertainty can be more deadly than certainty, but certainty is what the law is looking for. Why, when it is such a rare commodity?

5 Ways of the Corporate Psychopath

How ruthless predators infiltrate and compromise organizations.

Women’s Right to Say YES to Sexuality

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in In the Name of Love
Women’s sexual right to say “yes” should be respected, including their right to freely shape their sexual performances, without incurring any social or emotional censure.

The Power of Contamination and Taint in Language

By Laura Niemi, Ph.D. on September 18, 2016 in Morality in Language
Do we need to distinguish between harm and purity to understand moral psychology? Contamination concepts in political rhetoric and coping suggest that we do.

God Is Watching You

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on September 15, 2016 in Naturally Selected
Is God our Big Brother who watches over us to make sure we do not do anything bad or foolish?

Is Extreme Childhood Obesity 'Nutritional Neglect'?

By Sylvia R. Karasu M.D. on September 14, 2016 in The Gravity of Weight
By the latest statistics, about 17% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese and of these almost 6% are extremely obese. To what extent should parents be held accountable?

When Porn Consumption Goes Up, Sex Crimes Go Down

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Standard Deviations
Contrary to media hysteria, research shows that when porn consumption goes up, sex crimes go down.

The Lobby Against Medical Marijuana

By Allen J Frances M.D. on September 13, 2016 in Saving Normal
Protecting profit against patient welfare

The Macabre Appeal of Serial Killers

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in Wicked Deeds
Serial killers are transformed into culture celebrities through the efforts of law enforcement authorities, the media and the public’s appetite for the macabre.

On Being a Weird American on 9/11

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Do you ever struggle with your identity as an American? A simple reframing can really help!

Watching Myself Die

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on September 09, 2016 in Naked Truth
My mother, Dr. Karen J. Warren, was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. This blog explores why legal end-of-life options are essential to dying with autonomy and dignity.

Why Louisiana Defendants Say, "Geaux Tigers!"

Two economists suggest a surprising source of racial bias in juvenile sentencing.
Sony

What Keeps Us Glued to the Screen?

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 08, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
New TV series, Notorious, should inspire conversations about the entanglements of news, crime, and viewers.
K.Ramsland

Serendipity and the Serial Killer

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
A series of coincidences made possible a unique approach to a serial killer's narrative.

Do Racial Stereotypes Have Nothing to Do with Race? Part II

Some readers objected to my coverage of research suggesting race stereotypes are often ecology stereotypes. Steve Neuberg, an author of that research, responds thoughtfully.

Madness and Guns

By Lawrence D. Blum M.D. on September 04, 2016 in Beyond Freud
The ability to control anger, and to distinguish fantasy from reality, are difficult tasks to master. What does this mean for access to weapons?

Fancy a New Cell Phone? Not So Much

Need a rest from all the hype surrounding the latest, greatest cellphone? You're not alone. What consumers really want is to hear that the best phone is the one they already own

Are Racial Stereotypes NOT Really About Race?

New research, published in the prestigious journal PNAS, suggests that stereotypes about race are, mostly, not about race at all. How can that be?

TRAPing the Lone Terrorist, Part 2

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 01, 2016 in Media Spotlight
Intended to help law enforcement agencies identify people at high risk of extreme violence, the TRAP-18 shows great promise though more research is needed.

Terrorism: Criminality in Search of a Target

Focus on the personality, not the after-the-fact justification

Why I Prefer “Victim” to “Survivor”

Change the connotation of “victim,” not the term for it.

Homeless, Mentally Ill, and Neglected

When the symptoms of mental illness are acute, they affect an individual’s decision-making capacity. Our failure to provide treatment to those in need is discrimination..

Murder of Mississippi Nuns Echoes Homicide From Long Ago

A suspect has been arrested—but did he know right from wrong?

The "School Did Nothing to Stop the Bullying" Lie

By Izzy Kalman on August 25, 2016 in Resilience to Bullying
When children like Daniel Fitzpatrick commit suicide because of bullying, parents accuse the schools of having done nothing. They're usually wrong.

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.