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Psychology   >   Forensic Psychology – Behavioural Explanations for Offending


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Forensic Psychology – Behavioural Explanations for Offending

In this course, Honorary Professor Dr Geraldine Akerman (Cardiff Metropolitan University) explores behavioural explanations for offending, contextualised in the experiences of a forensic psychologist working with people in prison and secure hospital environments. In the first lecture, we think about the concept of labelling and discuss the impacts it can have on an individuals’ self-perceptions and the way others perceive them. In the second lecture, we discuss interventions that are in place at these institutions to help ensure those in custody can lead better lives upon their release. In the third lecture, we attempt to answer the question ‘who commits which offences?’, as well as highlighting the issues with profiling in this way. Next, we delve into the role of attachment in offending behaviour. In the fifth lecture, we return to this in the context of case formulation, by using the psychodynamic model as a method of comprehensively understanding an individual’s criminal actions. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about research methods, specifically the person-centric considerations of performing research in the field of forensic psychology.


In this lecture, we think about the impacts of labelling, specifically on the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, focusing in particular on: (i) the fact that labelling places individuals in groups based on that one characteristic or event, which can negatively impact someone’s motivations to improve, as well as society’s view on them even after that improvement; (ii) the self-fulfilling prophecy in the context of non-criminal labels that are given to all people throughout their lives and how they can impact life decisions and development; (iii) the importance of considering all aspects of a person when they come into custody, in order that their strengths can be focussed on in their improvement plan.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Akerman, G. (2022, January 26). Forensic Psychology – Behavioural Explanations for Offending - Labelling [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Akerman, G. "Forensic Psychology – Behavioural Explanations for Offending – Labelling." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Jan 2022,

Image Credits


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Dr Geraldine Akerman

Cardiff Met University