You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Forensic Psychology – Biological Explanations for Offending

3. Raine et al. (1997)

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about the Raine et al. (1997) study, focusing in particular on: (i) the specific brain areas which have been previously linked to violence; (ii) the quasi-experimental design of this study, due to the lack of independent variable manipulation, that being whether the participant was or was not a murderer; (iii) the findings that the left hemisphere areas previously linked to violence were less active in murderers, but also that right hemisphere brain areas not previously linked to violence showed increased activity; (iv) limitations of the results, crucially that violence in individuals cannot be predicted by these results.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores biological explanations for offending. In the first lecture, we think about the concept of ‘making a criminal’ and the transition from philosophical to scientific methodologies. In the second lecture, we think about biological strategies for preventing criminal behaviour, including nutritional interventions and facial surgery for criminals. In the third lecture, we think about the Raine et al. (1997) study, which identified brain areas linked to violence and aggression. Next, we think about the Haney et al. (1973) study, also known as the Stanford Prison Experiment, run by Philip Zimbardo. In the fifth lecture, we think about how brain injury can influence violence and aggression, as well as the ability for brain injury research to inform our understanding of this field. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about XYY syndrome and the mixed results research on it have found regarding its impact on violence, aggression and criminal behaviour.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, April 01). Forensic Psychology – Biological Explanations for Offending - Raine et al. (1997) [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Forensic Psychology – Biological Explanations for Offending – Raine et al. (1997)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 01 Apr 2022,

Image Credits

Get instant access to over 6,800 lectures