Psychology of Criminal Behavior – PSYC 475

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

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


PSYC 341 and (PSYC 101 or PSYC 210) and PSYC 255


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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (6)

There will be 6 Discussion Board Forums throughout the course. Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the purpose of Discussion Board Forums 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 forum, using proper and current APA format.

Research Project

The student will complete and submit the following items in stages:

Research Topic

The student will identify a topic related to the course content to research.

Annotated Bibliography

The student will write an annotated bibliography using 3 journal articles related to the research project topic using proper and current APA format. The Annotated Bibliography must be 2–3 pages with 200–300 words per review of each of the 3 articles selected.

Reference Page

The student must use at least 10 scholarly sources and organize the references using proper and current APA format. The Reference Page will also be included with the entire Research Paper.

Reference Paper

The student will write a research paper in proper and current APA format about a specific type of crime, criminal, mental disorder, or any topic related to the field of psychology and criminal behavior. The paper must be 8-10 pages of text and also include a title page, abstract and the Reference Page. The student must use at least 10 scholarly articles.

Exams (3)

The student will complete 3 exams. Each exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and is open-book/open-notes. The student will have 1 hour to complete each exam.