Forensic Psychology Forensic Psychology

Mr. C was a person with a known mental disorder. He is accused of
shooting dead two people. This makes him a mentally disordered offender.
His mental state seems to be strong contributing factor for his actions.
The cognitive development theory explains his behavior. Mr. C viewed
police as being a threat to him yet they were not. The cognitive
development theory suggests that people process information differently.
Usually, those with mental illnesses may process a situation as being
more threatening that the reality. This is the case of Mr. C who viewed
police officers as being a threat to him (Heilbrun, Marczyk & DeMatteo,
2002). As he grew up, he was taken to various schools for the mentally
challenged. Here, he may have interacted with people who always seemed
like a threat and thus, he learned to protect himself from perceived
Mr. W was charged with forging the attorney general’s signature. He
was a white- collar criminal. Mr. W had an insatiable appetite for money
and he often committed financial crimes so as to satisfy his wife’s
appetite for spending. He is claimed not to have had many friends in his
life. His crime can be explained using the behavioral trait theory.
According to the theory, Mr. W committed the crime because this would be
socially rewarded. He would be happy for satisfying his wife’s demands
and thus, this boosted his self- esteem (Heilbrun, Marczyk & DeMatteo,
2002). All the above cases are criminal cases, but they are influenced
by mental states or social problems.
Mr. J was a pedophile. He enjoyed sexually exploiting young girls and
he often got sexually attracted to young girls. He also had a gambling
problem. Mr. J got his first sexual encounter in his teen year and he
had numerous sexual encounters in his lifetime. Mr. J’s criminal
behavior can be explained using the psychodynamic perspective. According
to the theory, some people suffer from a mental state called latent
delinquency (Heilbrun, Marczyk & DeMatteo, 2002). These are people who
did not get sufficient childhood socialization and they always have the
need for immediate gratification of their needs.
Heilbrun, K., Marczyk, G. R., & DeMatteo, D. (2002). Forensic mental
health assessment: A casebook. New York: Oxford Press.