Thursday, November 7, 2013

Reading List for Forensic Psychology

A lot of people believe themselves to be "interested" in forensic psychology. Just how interested are you? Interested enough to actually do some serious reading on the subject?

Here's the reading list for my undergraduate Forensic Psychology course. You can buy the books for less than $150, and you can access most of the articles online for free. (Too bad that the Dave Nichols article on Jeffrey Dahmer isn't easily accessible; it might be the best article ever written about a serial murderer.)

“Reading maketh a full man; and writing an exact man. And, therefore, if a man write little, he need have a present wit; and if he read little, he need have much cunning to seem to know which he doth not.”
-- Francis Bacon

Just think about how much more you will know about forensic psychology after you read all this. Exciting, isn't it? Try starting with one article a day for the next 10 days.


Capote, T. (1966/2002). In cold blood. New York: Random House.
Douglas, J. (1999). The anatomy of motive. New York: Scribner.

Ewing, C.P., & McCann, J.T. (2006). Minds on trial: Great cases in law and psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lykken, D.T. (1995). The antisocial personalities. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.



Arrigo, B.A., & Bullock, J.L. (2008). The psychological effects of solitary confinement on prisoners in Supermax units. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 52(6), 622-640.

Beasley, J.O. (2004). Serial murder in America: Case studies of seven offenders. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 22, 395-414.

Beckman, M. (2004). Crime, culpability, and the adolescent brain. Science, 305, 596-599.

Dalrymple, T. (2001). Tough love. In Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that makes the Underclass, pp. 36-47. Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee.

Dobson, V., & Sales, B. (2000). The science of infanticide and mental illness. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 6, 1098-1112.

Fein, R.A., & Vossekuil, B. (1999). Assassination in the United States: An operational studyof recent assassins, attackers, and near-lethal approachers. Journal of Forensic Science, 44(2), 321-333.

Gladwell, M. (2007). Dangerous minds: Criminal profiling made easy. New Yorker, 11/12/07, 36-45.

Knoll, J. (2010). The "pseudocommando" mass murderer: Part I, the psychology of revenge and obliteration. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 38, 87-94. 

Lykken, D.T. (1998). The case for parental licensure. In T.Millon, E. Simonsen, M. Birket-Smith, & R.D. Davis (Eds.), Psychopathy: antisocial, criminal, and violent behavior (pp. 122-143). New York: Guildford Press.

Meloy, J.R. (1997). Predatory violence during mass murder. Journal of Forensic Science, 42, 326-329.

Meloy, J.R. (2003). When stalkers become violent: The threat to public figures and private lives. Psychiatric Annals, 33(10), 658-665.

Meloy, J.R. (2004). Indirect personality assessment of the violent true believer. Journal of Personality Assessment, 82, 138-146.

Menninger, W.W. (2007). Uncontained rage: A psychoanalytic perspective on violence. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 71(2), 115-131.

Morse, S.J. (2003). Bad or mad?: Sex offenders and social control. In Bruce J. Winick and John Q. La Fond (eds.), Protecting Society from Sexually Dangerous Offenders: Law, Justice, and Therapy, pp. 165-182. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Mullen, P.E. (2004). The autogenic (self-generated) massacre. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 22, 787-79311-323.

Napier, M.R., & Adams, S.H. (1998). Magic words to obtain confessions. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October, 11-15.

Nichols, D.S. (2006). Tell me a story: MMPI responses and personal biography in the case of a serial killer. Journal of Personality Assessment, 86(3), 242-262.

No author (nd). Famous American Trials: The John Hinckley Trial (1982). Retrieved from:

O’Shea, B. (2003). Factitious disorders: the Baron’s legacy. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 7, 33-39.

Phillips, R.T.M. (2006). Assessing Presidential stalkers and assassins. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, 34, 154-164.

Pinizotto, A.J., Davis, E.F., & Miller, C.E. (2007 January). The deadly mix: Officers,offenders, and the circumstances that bring them together. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 1-10.

Reid, W.H. (2007, May). The insanity defense: Bad or mad or both? Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 169-172.

Schlesinger, L.B. (2009). Psychological profiling: Investigative implications from crime scene analysis. The Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 37, 73-84.

Shackelford, T.K., Buss, D.M., & Weekes-Shackelford, V.A. (2003). Wife killings committed in the context of a lovers’ triangle. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 25, 137-143.

Silva, J.A., Leong, G.B., & Ferrari, M.M. (2004). A neuropsychiatric developmental modelof serial homicidal behavior. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 22, 787-799.

Slovenko, R. (2003). The insanity defense: Matricide in a French Quarter hotel. The Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 31, 251-284.

Vann, D. (2008). Portrait of the school shooter as a young man. Retrieved from 



Raine, A. (2013). The anatomy of violence: The biological roots of crime. New York: Pantheon.

Satel, S., & Lilienfeld, S.O. (2013). Brainwashed: The seductive appeal of mindless neuroscience. New York: Basic Books.


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