2nd Edition

Psychological Criminology An Integrative Approach

By Richard Wortley Copyright 2024
    340 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    340 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Psychological Criminology explores what is it about individuals and their experiences that causes them to commit crime and/or to become criminal.

    Fully updated to include the latest theories and research, this new edition provides comprehensive coverage of psychological theories of crime and criminality. It arranges theories in temporal sequence, from distal to proximal causes of crime, and is organised under three key headings:

    • theories that focus on factors present at birth (human nature, heredity);
    • theories that focus on factors that influence the offender over the lifespan (learning and development);
    • theories that focus on factors present at the crime scene.

    The book emphasises the connections among the different approaches, and demonstrates how, taken together rather than as rival explanations, they provide a more complete picture of crime and criminality.

    Psychological Criminology highlights the contributions that psychological theory can make to the broader field of criminology. It is essential reading for students, academics, researchers, and practitioners in both criminology and forensic psychology.

    1 Introduction

    2 Human nature

    3 Heredity

    4 The brain

    5 Personality

    6 Development

    7 Learning

    8 Cognition

    9 Situations

    10 Conclusion


    Richard Wortley began his career as a prison psychologist and has subsequently taught the psychology of crime and criminality for many years in criminology schools. He is currently Professor at the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London and at the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science at the University of Waikato.

    "This book is high in scholarship, low in dogmatism, respectful of the reader’s intelligence and wise in its suggested implications for practice."

    Ken Pease OBE, University College London

    "Criminology should be the science that uses knowledge from whatever source to understand crime as well as the persons who commit the crimes. It is fantastic that there is a book that starts with human nature, evolutionary psychology and heredity and also explains the impact of situational factors. The book is a must for criminology students."

    Marianne Junger, University of Twente, the Netherlands

    "Psychological Criminology should be essential reading for psychologists, criminologists, social scientists and all others who are interested in understanding the causes of offending, including scholars and practitioners. It is a very impressive, comprehensive, well-researched and empirically-based review of biological, individual, developmental, situational and other major explanations of crime."

    David P. Farrington, Emeritus Professor of Psychological Criminology, University of Cambridge

    "Professor Wortley’s book reminds us of how much psychology has to offer to the study of criminality and criminal behavior. It comprehensively integrates eight distinct fields of psychological theory and research, making it an ideal text for higher level undergraduates, and one that will also be valued by those from other crime-related fields and disciplines seeking to add psychological perspectives to their existing knowledge."

    Devon Polaschek, Professor, Institute for Security and Crime Science, University of Waikato