Crime and Criminality: A multidisciplinary approach (Paperback) book cover

Crime and Criminality

A multidisciplinary approach

By Sandie Taylor

© 2016 – Routledge

800 pages | 68 B/W Illus.

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The question of ‘why’ and ‘how’ certain individuals are drawn towards behaving in a way that contravenes the ‘Law of the Land’ is not an easy one to address. Researchers from various different fields have nevertheless attempted to develop theoretical explanations for the existence of different types of crime and why some individuals commit such acts. Crime and Criminality draws on criminology, sociology, psychology and neuroscience to offer a balanced perspective of crime, the criminal and criminality. Coverage includes:

  • a comprehensive discussion of theoretical approaches to criminal behaviour, including biological, social and ‘rational choice’ approaches;
  • an analysis of legal and social definitions of crime and how these definitions influence the way specific behaviours are labelled as criminal;
  • an examination of different types of crime and criminals, from delinquents to ‘psychopaths’ and sex offenders;
  • an exploration of different ways in which crime is predicted, including risk assessment and offender profiling and an overview of investigative techniques.

Addressing a broad range of topics and offering a synthesis of competing theoretical explanations of criminality, this book is essential reading for students taking courses in criminology, criminal psychology, criminal behaviour, forensic psychology and psychological criminology.


‘In this very impressive book Sandie Taylor successfully faces the challenge of bringing a high-quality, multidisciplinary perspective to the vexing topic of crime. Only very occasionally within a single book is such mastery of the wide and sometimes conflicting literatures demonstrated. Having once, many years ago, been Dr Taylor’s undergraduate supervisor, I am deeply proud of what she has achieved here.’ - Ray Bull, Professor of Criminal Investigation, University of Derby, UK

‘The complexity of crime and its causes is increasingly being recognised. Therefore, this timely account, that explores every corner of criminality and explanations for it, is essential reading for all serious students of this topic that so dominates both factual news and fictional creations.' - David Canter, Professor and Director, International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology, University of Huddersfield, UK

‘This is a comprehensive and detailed book, which provides an accessible overview of criminal behaviour and criminal investigation. The merits of a multidisciplinary approach are highlighted clearly throughout this volume and the book integrates divergent perspectives in an authoritative and thought-provoking manner.’ - Rachel Taylor, Principal Lecturer in Psychology, University of South Wales, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction Section 1: What is crime? 1. Defining and Examining Crime from Different Perspectives 2. Concepts in Crime Definition Influencing Crime Classification Section 2: Nature-Nurture Explanations of Criminal Behaviour 3. Biological Constraints and Evolutionary Factors 4. Social, Learning and Developmental Approaches to Understanding Criminality 5. Decision-Making Processes by Criminals Section 3: Different Types of Crime and Criminal as Evidence of Nature, Nurture or Nature-Nurture 6. White-Collar Criminals and their Crimes 7. Psychopaths and their Crimes 8. Sex Offenders and their Crimes 9. Female Offenders and their Crimes 10. Delinquents and their Crimes Section 4: Prediction of Criminal Behaviour 11. Dangerousness, Risk Assessment and the Mentally and the Personality Disordered Offender 12. Offender Profiling: Serial Killers Section 5: Reliability of Investigative Processes 13. Eye-witness Testimony and Extra-legal Defendant Characteristics 14.Cognitive Interview 15. Confessions Section 6: Discussion about the Function of Law and its Impact on Antisocial Behaviour an its Origins 16. 'Big 5' Legal Concepts 17. Law Drives Criminality 18. Concluding Comments.

About the Author

Sandie Taylor was a senior lecturer in psychology at Bath Spa University until late 2012. Sandie's teaching and research interests overlapped between forensic/investigative/criminological psychology and developmental/biological psychology. Specialist areas of teaching and research included forensic, criminological and investigative psychology. Sandie is currently a visiting lecture in psychology at the University of South Wales and a freelance writer on psychology.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology