5 Great Books For Forensic Psychologists

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Forensic psychologists have important jobs that can affect the outcome of legal cases. From examining thought processes of alleged murderers to interviewing children in foster care, their tasks vary. These are some helpful books for forensic psychologists and aspiring forensic psychologists to read.

1. Psychological Evaluations For The Courts: A Handbook For Mental Health Professionals And Lawyers

This second-edition book is cited as a definitive resource for forensic psychology. It provides a comprehensive look at clinical issues, research methods and legal issues faced by lawyers and mental health professionals. The book covers topics such as personal injury claims, insanity, child abuse, sentencing and much more. Applied subjects such as workers’ compensation and federal anti-discrimination are covered. It also includes opinions from professionals in the field.

2. The Anatomy Of A Motive

This book was written by a famous FBI profiler. It provides insight on the most important element of a crime. According to the author, every crime is a mystery with a motive lying beneath it. With his past work in an elite FBI unit, John Douglas provides a look at how different motives are connected to different characteristics of a crime. He also sheds light on violent behaviors of sociopaths. Through vivid descriptions and with impressive detail, he takes readers directly into the minds of bombers, serial killers, mass murderers, arsonists, hijackers and other criminals. He also explores the minds of people who seem normal but suddenly commit heinous crimes.

3. Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work

This book covers a subject that is rarely discussed, which is the high number of psychopaths filling corporate positions. Most corporations want candidates who are charismatic, sharp, fearless and innovative. These qualities make a strong corporate leader but are also definitive characteristics of psychopaths. Since most psychopaths desire fame, money or power, they gravitate toward the corporate world. Psychopaths are often involved in work-related crimes or white-collar crimes. It is important for forensic psychologists to understand the connection between psychopaths in such positions and their criminal tendencies.

4. Dark Dreams: Sexual Violence, Homicide And The Criminal Mind

Roy Hazelwood is the author of this book and is also a leading global expert on one of the most dangerous types of offenders, which are those whose crimes involve a sexual nature. Hazelwood writes about the perverse thought patterns and obscure motives behind some of the most bizarre and violent sexual crimes. To help readers better understand these criminals, he also details the techniques used by behavioral analysts to profile sexual criminals. Since Hazelwood has helped take down some of the most violent criminals in history, he also writes about his personal experiences and shares his perspectives.

5. Investigative Psychology: Offender Profiling And The Analysis Of Criminal Action

This is one of the first books to offer an in-depth look at investigative psychology. It includes documentation of early studies and recent work. It is especially beneficial for students with its framework for exploration of the subject. The book offers a comprehensive look at investigating different types of criminals and people of all ages in various legal situations from burglary to terrorism. As a good scholastic reference, it also provides empirical research and investigative reports.

Related Resource: 49 Most Affordable Small Colleges for a Master’s Degree in Psychology 2016

From 2014 to 2024, the number of psychologists is expected to grow by 19 percent. This was an estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With crime being an ever-present issue, there will always be a need for forensic psychologists. The first step toward a successful career is finding the right degree program.