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Forensic Psychology




Mr.C was a person with a known mental disorder. He is accused ofshooting dead two people. This makes him a mentally disorderedoffender. His mental state seems to be strong contributing factor forhis actions. The cognitive development theory explains his behavior.Mr. C viewed police as being a threat to him yet they were not. Thecognitive development theory suggests that people process informationdifferently. Usually, those with mental illnesses may process asituation as being more threatening that the reality. This is thecase of Mr. C who viewed police officers as being a threat to him(Heilbrun,Marczyk &amp DeMatteo, 2002).As he grew up, he was taken to various schools for the mentallychallenged. Here, he may have interacted with people who alwaysseemed like a threat and thus, he learned to protect himself fromperceived aggressors.

Mr.W was charged with forging the attorney general’s signature. He wasa white- collar criminal. Mr. W had an insatiable appetite for moneyand he often committed financial crimes so as to satisfy his wife’sappetite for spending. He is claimed not to have had many friends inhis life. His crime can be explained using the behavioral traittheory. According to the theory, Mr. W committed the crime becausethis would be socially rewarded. He would be happy for satisfying hiswife’s demands and thus, this boosted his self- esteem (Heilbrun,Marczyk &amp DeMatteo, 2002).All the above cases are criminal cases, but they are influenced bymental states or social problems.

Mr.J was a pedophile. He enjoyed sexually exploiting young girls and heoften got sexually attracted to young girls. He also had a gamblingproblem. Mr. J got his first sexual encounter in his teen year and hehad numerous sexual encounters in his lifetime. Mr. J’s criminalbehavior can be explained using the psychodynamic perspective.According to the theory, some people suffer from a mental statecalled latent delinquency (Heilbrun,Marczyk &amp DeMatteo, 2002).These are people who did not get sufficient childhood socializationand they always have the need for immediate gratification of theirneeds.


Heilbrun,K., Marczyk, G. R., &amp DeMatteo, D. (2002). Forensicmental health assessment: A casebook.New York: Oxford Press.