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Learn Criminal Psychology Fundamentals

  • Introduction to the Psychology of Crime
  • Free tutorial
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 (1,760 ratings)
  • 26,620 students
  • 54min of on-demand video
  • Created by Margit Averdijk, Ph.D.


What you’ll learn

  • Speak about the psychology of crime like an expert even if you’ve never followed a criminology course in college.
  • Transform the way in which you understand why people commit crime.
  • Educate the people around you about the psychological backgrounds of criminal behavior.
  • Apply your newly gained knowledge by critically assessing daily news items about real crimes.
  • Improve your performance in psychology and criminology classes


  • An interest in the psychology of explaining crime as well as in example studies and cases.
  • A willingness to learn about the fundamentals of psychology and criminology.
  • The course is designed for all study levels.
  • No prior psychological or criminological education is necessary. A list of articles and books for further reading will be provided.


Have you ever wondered what some of the psychological causes of crime are? Do you want to understand better why some people commit crime whereas others don’t?

This free course serves as a brief introduction to the psychology of crime. More specifically, we’ll look into the question of which psychological factors can explain why some people commit crime. We’ll look at several main areas:

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–          Personality β€“ How does personality play a role in criminal behavior?

–          Mental Disorders β€“ How can mental disorders contribute to crime?

–          Psychopathy β€“ What is psychopathy and how is it related to crime?

–          Developmental Psychology β€“ How do aggression and youth violence develop across the life course?

–          Thoughts and Feelings about Aggression and Crime β€“ What is the role of thinking and moral emotions in aggression and crime?

Each of these aspects will be covered using comprehensive videos and slide presentations. To make things as engaging as possible, I will also provide examples of major studies, experiments, and a case study. In addition, you can test your newly gained knowledge with quiz questions at the end of each module.

This course is taught by a trained criminologist with over a decade of experience and is based on a university curriculum. But instead of having to show up in a lecture room, reading a full textbook, and paying college tuition, you can enroll in this course in your own time and at your own convenience.

I’m looking forward to seeing you inside!

***About half of this free course is part of my full introduction to explaining crime on Udemy; the other half is unique content especially added for this course. If you’re looking to get your feet wet and get a quick intro to the psychology of crime, this is a great place to start.***

Who this course is for:

  • Criminology and psychology students who want to improve their understanding of crime and their grades.
  • Policy professionals and social workers who want to gain a better understanding of criminal behavior.
  • Journalists and bloggers who cover real crime topics.
  • People who are interested in the psychological backgrounds of why people commit crime.
  • This course is Not for anyone seeking a full treatment of criminological theory. If that is what you are looking for, please check out my full course on explaining crime.
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Course content

7 sections β€’ 21 lectures β€’ 55m total lengthCollapse all sections

Introduction to the Psychology of Crime3 lectures β€’ 6min

  • VIDEO: Introduction02:40
  • VIDEO: About Me01:25
  • Course Program01:46

Personality and Crime3 lectures β€’ 9min

  • Personality, plus EXERCISE05:31
  • VIDEO: “Types of People” and Crime03:10
  • Summing Up00:41
  • Quiz1 question

Mental Disorders, Psychopathy, and Crime3 lectures β€’ 12min

  • Mental Disorders and Crime04:00
  • VIDEO: Case Study of Psychopathy and Aileen Wuornos07:01
  • Summing Up00:36
  • Quiz1 question

Developmental Psychology, Aggression, and Delinquency3 lectures β€’ 8min

  • Aggression across the Life-Course02:43
  • VIDEO: Life-Course Persistent vs. Adolescence-Limited Offenders03:44
  • Summing Up01:06
  • Quiz1 question

Thoughts and Feelings About Aggression and Crime6 lectures β€’ 19min

  • Social Cognitions: Imitating Others02:51
  • VIDEO: Example: The Bobo Doll Experiment04:28
  • Social Cognitions: Processing Information04:17
  • VIDEO: Understanding Right and Wrong: Moral Development03:01
  • Example: Morality, Feelings, and Delinquency03:21
  • Summing Up00:40
  • Quiz1 question

Conclusion1 lecture β€’ 1min

  • Conclusion01:22

Bonus Lecture2 lectures β€’ 1min

  • Bonus Lecture: FREE Psychology of Crime Chart00:30
  • Bonus Lecture: Course COUPON00:25

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