Psychology of Criminal Behavior – PSYC 475

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/11/2022

Course Description

An examination of the factors that contribute to criminal behavior, including various psychopathological and sociological aspects.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course will assist the student in understanding the thought processes of individuals who break society’s laws. Biological, psychological, educational and situational factors are examined as well as types of crimes committed. Those considering careers in psychology, counseling, law enforcement or related fields, as well as individuals who simply desire a greater understanding of the criminal mind will benefit from the knowledge provided.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in the major concepts of psychology of criminal behavior and tenets of crime theory.
  2. Use critical thinking to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.
  3. Weigh evidence while tolerating ambiguity, acting ethically, and reflecting values in his or her personal and professional behavior that are the underpinnings of the multiple perspectives of psychology as a discipline and Christian faith and praxis.
  4. Communicate effectively in written, oral, and technological formats.
  5. Recognize and respect the complexity of socio-cultural and international diversity.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

There will be 2 Discussions throughout the course. Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the purpose of Discussions is to generate interaction among students in regard to relevant course topics. The student is required to submit 1 thread of at least 300 words in response to the provided prompt. In addition to the thread, the student is required to submit substantive replies of at least 150 words each to at least 2 classmates’ threads. The student will cite the textbook and the Bible at least 1 time in each discussion, using proper and current APA standards.

Reflection Assignment

In this Reflection Assignment, you will provide a thoughtful discussion on the relationship between psychology and criminal behavior as you currently perceive it.

Reaction Paper Assignments (2)

The Reaction Paper Assignment is designed to help the student think critically and effectively on current criminal justice topics in our society and beyond.

Comparative Essay Assignment

The Comparative Essay Assignment is designed to help the student compare and contrast criminal justice systems of punishment and rehabilitation between international and domestic cultures and societies.

Video Critique: The Released Assignment

For this critique, the student will need to apply his or her knowledge and understanding of the R-N-R model as discussed in the Bonta text to the video entitled The Released.

Quizzes (8)

The student will complete 8 quizzes. Each quiz consists of 20 multiple-choice questions and 2 brief essay questions. Each quiz is open-book/open-notes. The student will have 90 minutes to complete each quiz.

  • Quiz 4 includes a cumulative portion with questions included from Module 1: Week 1 through Module 4: Week 4.
  • Quiz 8 includes a cumulative portion with questions included from Module 5: Week 5 through Module 8: Week 8.