Category Archives: Psychology homework help

Sleep and Dreams -PSY 140


Sleep and Dreams (please note this assignment has 2 parts)

  1. One of the most interesting portions of Chapter 5 deals with Freud and his interpretation of dreams. Here is your chance to be Freud.  Briefly describe one of your dreams and then do a Freudian interpretation of your dream.  Be sure to include the following aspects:
  • Brief Description of the Dream
  • Manifest Content of the Dream
  • Latent Content of the Dream
  1. For the second part of this assignment, conduct a brief Internet search for information on dream interpretation. According to your research, what are some alternative interpretations for your dream?  For example, were there any themes or symbols that could be significant?  Finally, explain how this interpretation differs from your Freudian analysis, and which one you believe is most valid.


Sleep and Dreams

I was resting on one of the benches at the garden in the back of the house together with my elder brother. We were having an amicable chat in the early hours of the night when all of a sudden, we heard loud thumps coming in our direction, and moving from south-north direction. My brother quickly dashed in the house leaving me on the garden, barely unable to run. My whole body felt weak and I trembled with fear. The footsteps became louder, and with time a gigantic creature, one which looked more like a giant dinosaur, came running past the house. The creature paused for a while after it came near the house, and in the nick of time continued its journey northwards. The footsteps became faint as the gigantic creature moved further and further away.

The manifest content of a dream can be described as all the literal content and all other aspects of a dream that a person recalls on waking up (Nagera, 2014). The manifest content may be stored in the memory in form of incongruous events, contradictory emotions and pictures. Thus anything that an individual can remember about the dream on waking up forms the manifest content of that dream. The manifest content of a dream is based on experiences and also fantasies. The manifest content of the dream is thus the house, the dinosaur, the garden, benches, and my brother. According to Freudian theory, the latent content of a dream is the hidden meaning of the dream (Nagera, 2014). The latent content of a dream is shadowed by the manifest content of the dream. According to Sigmund Freud theory, the latent meaning of the dream could be that I fear venturing outside at night, due to fear wild animals.

Related: RA 2: Personality Characteristics and Criminal Behavior

An internet search gives alternative interpretations to the dream, different from Freud’s assertions. Dream experts hold the opinion that dreams do have a valid purpose. According to Domhoff (2003), the meaning of dreams is related to the systematic associations and coherence of the dream. Thus, dreams portray what is on people’s minds. According to Domhoff (2003), dreams can act as a psychological portrait of various individuals by showing what has mostly been on the persons’ mind or in other words the persistent thoughts, feelings or fantasies. Dreams can give an accurate picture of what was on an individual’s mind while he/she dreamt. According to Freud, the content of the dream is related to the wishes a person aims to fulfill. In addition, the latent content, which represents unconscious wishes of an individual, is always disguised by the manifest content. This represents the difference between Domhoff’s and Freud’s understanding of dreams.

According to Jung & Hull (1980), dreams are expressions of an individual’s repressed wishes. This is similar to Freud’s interpretation of dreams but different in that Jung believed dreams expressed only the repressed wishes. Freud believed that certain symbols could be attached to unconscious thoughts, while Jung believed that symbols such as shadows and other symbolic objects represent attitudes which are inhibited by the conscious mind. The most valid interpretation is the one by Domhoff, that dreams are only a reflection of what is on an individual’s mind. The dream I had about the dinosaur was most likely the result of watching the 1993 film Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg, which features a park full of dinosaurs.


Domhoff, G. W. (2003). The scientific study of dreams: Neural networks, cognitive development,            and content analysis. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Jung, C. G., & Hull, R. F. C. (1980). The archetypes and the collective unconscious. Princeton,    N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Nagera, H. (2014). Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts on the Theory of Dreams. Routledge, Taylor   and Francis Group.


Biological Foundations of Behavior-PSY 140

Biological Foundations of Behavior-PSY 140

Biological Foundations of Behavior

Imagine that you are taking a huge bite of your favorite kind of pizza!  Describe, in detail, the role that each part of the brain plays in this simple act.  Be sure to specifically name each part of the brain and its function, in relation to eating the slice of pizza.


Biological Foundations of Behavior

Different parts of the brain play different roles while chewing food. Unlike in traditional period where eating was just a physiological necessity, eating is currently associated with various pleasures such as taste of the food, touch, smell and aroma. Food is also linked to particular emotions and behaviors in the modern society. Complex brain functions are associated with eating as explained below.

The amygdala region of the brain is one of the parts involved while taking a bite of pizza. The amygdala region is part of the limbic system. The limbic system is involved in the control of emotions and basic physiological motives such as food and sex (Chen & Engelen, 2012). While taking a pizza, the amygdala detects the intensity of flavor of the pizza and stimulates the desire to have more bites of pizza. The limbic system also comprises of hypothalamus gland that regulates basic functions such as hunger, thirst, body temperature, and other bodily functions. Feelings of hunger drives an individual to seek food.

The cerebral cortex is another important part of the brain that is involved while taking a bite of pizza. The cerebral cortex is primarily involved in learning and thinking. The cerebral cortex is comprised of different regions which control various functions while eating (Feher, 2012). The orbitofrontal cortex identifies how pleasant the pizza is and hence creates an urge to continue taking bites. The frontal lobe of the cortex is also involved in muscle movements, speaking, and other functions. The frontal lobe is responsible for the movement of body parts or muscles. In other words, it controls the voluntary body movements. This is important especially in chewing the pizza where the jaw muscles move voluntarily to enable breakdown the food into smaller pieces that can easily be digested.

Related: Analysis of a Profiling Case

The brainstems is another critical part of the brain that is involved while an individual is taking food.  It is centrally located. The brainstem is responsible for controlling involuntary body responses such as reflexes such as muscle movements, breathing, movement of eyelids, cardiac function, and others. In particular, the brainstem is responsible for the involuntary movement of the pharyngeal and esophageal during swallowing of food. Swallowing of food comprise of both voluntary and involuntary muscle movements. The voluntary component of swallowing occurs during the preparation to swallow. The medulla of the brainstem controls salivation. When one takes food in the mouth, the salivary glands are stimulated to produce more saliva (Feher, 2012).

The endocrine system is composed of various glands which secrete hormones that regulate various processes in the food digestion process. The endocrine system is responsible for the production and release of hormones that alter the digestive process. For instance, the hormones may start, slow, stop, or quicken the process of digestion.

Another important part which comes into play when taking pizza is the cerebellum. Cerebellum is part of the brainstem. Cerebellum is responsible for the control of voluntary movement and also enhancing movement. During chewing of the pizza, cerebellum plays a crucial role by coordinating the movement of various parts such as the tongue and jaws. This helps to avoid biting one’s tongue. This is achieved through the interaction of cerebellum and nerve endings known as proprioceptors. The proprioceptors enables an individual to know the tongue’s position while chewing. It also helps the tongue to move food in different parts of the mouth (Chen & Engelen, 2012). This greatly helps in chewing of the food.


Chen, J., & Engelen, L. (2012). Food oral processing: Fundamentals of eating and sensory          perception. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell.

Feher, J. J. (2012). Quantitative human physiology: An introduction. Amsterdam :             Elsevier/Academic Press

Personality Characteristics and Criminal Behavior


Assignment 2: RA 2: Personality Characteristics and Criminal Behavior

A particular set of personality characteristics does not turn a person into a criminal. However, criminals may have the same set of characteristics. This concept may not be easy to understand. Here is another example: all college graduates have attended college, but not everyone who attended college is a college graduate. The mistake that “if A then B” is the same as “if B then A” is a common one in research, criminal investigation, and profiling.

Criminal profiling is a difficult task. Complete the following three parts and present them in your report.

Part I

Identify at least five offense characteristics of each of the following crimes: sex offense, murder, acquisitive crime, organized crime, and terrorism.

Part II

Choose two offenses for those listed in Part I. Using the selected characteristics, complete the following for each of the two offenses you selected:

Analyze the selected characteristics to develop a forensic profile for that particular type of offense. For example, how would you use the two offense characteristics you have selected for murder to develop inferences regarding the personality of a murderer?

Explain how an offender’s level of cognitive and emotional functioning, as well as social and environmental factors, could contribute to his or her maladaptive behavior in each of the above offenses.

Identify and justify the types of tests and/or personality measures that might be used to gather additional information for each of the two offenses.

Identify and justify the type of collateral information you would need to learn about the offender in the case of each of the two crimes.

Part III

Identify the differences between ethical standards in a criminal investigation and ethical standards in a psychological interview.

Offer your recommendations for future research needed to advance the science and research of psychological profiling techniques.

Discuss the different ethical considerations one must follow as an investigator and as a psychologist.


 Personality Characteristics and Criminal Behavior

Despite the increase of awareness in the police force and other security agencies on the techniques that are commonly utilized by criminals, they always find a way round the traps and rules to carry out their activities.  Criminologists spend long hours trying to study the nature, extent, management, causes, control, consequences, and prevention of criminal behavior both on the individual and social levels. With the advancement and improvement in technology, criminals have devised new ways to get to their victims and carry out their animosity (Turvey, 2011). Psychologists believe that social and physical environment can influence a criminal behavior in a person.  Besides, statistic shows that just a little percentage of the criminals worldwide are influenced by genes from their relatives who were renowned criminals. This essay will attempt to examine how criminal profiling aid investigators in tracking, predicting criminal behavior as well as arresting criminal suspects.

Part 1

There are different types and categories of criminal activities that attract different fines and verdicts from the judges or juries. One of the most common offenses in the world today is sex offenses which can be described as knowingly engaging another individual in unwanted sex by the act of force or threat. Notably, there are seven major types of sex-related crimes that include:

  1. Indecency with a child
  2. Rape
  • Statutory rape
  1. Sexual assault of a child
  2. Possession of a child pornography
  3. Sex offender registration violations
  • The Internet sex crimes

Often, sex offenders take advantage of their victim’s ignorance to hurt them, but if people are keen they can help reduce if not eliminate sex offenses in the society. Some of the common characteristics of sex offenses include:

  1. Have many victims – sex offenders have more than one victim. Recent statistics show that sex offenders who sexually victimize their victims have more than 20 different victims
  2. Offenders can be the most unsuspected people in the society – Interestingly, most individuals still think they can identify sex offenders just by their appearance.
  3. Only a small percentage of sex offenses are carried out by strangers – most of the sex offenders are trusted individuals in the society(Chiesa, 2008).
  4. Offenders often seek to create an atmosphere of trust before pouncing on vulnerable people
  5. Sexual offenders try to minimize their criminal activities


Most people around the globe have a feeling that murder is the worst and greatest crime that an individual can commit. Murder is usually defined as the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. Murder is usually divided into three broad categories that include:

  1. Justifiable homicide
  2. Manslaughter
  • First and second-degree murders

Below are five main offense characteristics of murder:

  1. a) The highest percentages of murders around the world are committed by men
  2. b) Jealousy and range are key contributors to murder
  3. c) Most of the murderers are manipulators and manipulate their victims not to draw suspicions.
  4. d) Most of the murders are committed by young people between the age of 20 and 30.
  5. e) Most of those who commit murders, especially serial killers come from dysfunctional families.

Acquisitive crime

Some of the criminal activities undertaken by individuals are meant for material gain for the offender both monetary and non-monetary gains (Kocsis, 2007). Acquisitive crime is an example of a crime where the offender derives material gain from the crime. Some of the common examples of acquisitive crime include:

  1. Theft
  2. Burglary
  • Robbery

However, Acquisitive crime has characteristics such as:

A criminal act usually occurs when there is a motive, a means, and opportunity. Some of the common characteristics of acquisitive crime include:

  1. Acquisitive criminals have anti-social values that include criminal rationalization.
  2. Acquisitive crime acts are peer influenced, and these criminals have other criminal friends who are associated with crime.
  3. Acquisitive crime offenders often practice substance abuse
  4. Acquisitive criminals have low self-control
  5. Acquisitive offenders often display anti- social personalities that include atypical behavior(Meyer, 2008).

Organized crime

Organized crime dates back in the 1920s that ranged from a bank robbery, kidnapping, auto theft, gambling and drug trafficking.  Organized crime is a serious crime planned, coordinated and conducted by individuals working together on a continuous basis. Some of the most common characteristics of organized crime include:

  1. a) Organized crime exhibits great teamwork among the members of a criminal group
  2. b) All organized crime acts have to uphold strict hierarchical structure that governs a particular group
  3. c) Involves high levels of planning
  4. d) There is only one single and centralized authority of the group
  5. e) There is high division of labor in the criminal group


Terrorist activities have been on the rise in recent years, and it is widely associated with the Muslim community who are known to have stance stand against the American government. Terrorism comprises the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce individuals primarily for political gains. There are different types of terrorism that include: state-sponsored terrorism, dissent terrorism and terrorists and the Left and Right (Bartol, 2014). Common characteristics of terrorism include:

  1. a) Dedication to succeed – most of the terrorism activities require fedayeen and people who are prepared to sacrifice anything for the greater and higher call.
  2. b) Terrorism activities require personal bravery to carry out all the tasks assigned to them
  3. c) All terrorists should not exhibit any human emotions of pity and remorse to be in a position to carry out these deadly attacks.
  4. d) Terrorism is characterized by high standards of intelligence before carrying out any attack.
  5. e) Terrorist acts share a fairly high degree of sophistication for the terrorist to blend with their victims.

Part 11

Question 1

For the purpose of completion of this assignment, I selected terrorism and organized crime to complete this part.

The main characteristics of terrorism to be used are:

  1. a) Terrorism activities require personal bravery to carry out all the tasks assigned to them. A terrorist must consider the possibility of death, lifelong injury, imprisonment and at worst cases torture if they happen to be captured. Thus, any individual ready to sacrifice their lives and they have for the course have to show high levels of bravery depending on the position they hold in a terrorist organization.
  2. b) All terrorists should not exhibit any human emotions of pity and remorse to be in a position to carry out these deadly attacks. Considering that terrorism does not consider who their victims are, they should reduce if not eliminate human emotions considering that some of their victims may be innocent men, women, and children. A successful and effective terrorist must create and develop a killer instinct to enable him or her kill individual in cold blood(Raine, 2013).

Organized crime

  1. a) Involves high levels of planning – organized crimes are only successful if it is well organized and planned. As a result, any member of the organization must show high levels of organization and intelligence to understand and internalize any plans made by the organization. The leader of any group should have planning skills and knowledge to create and develop achievable plans.
  2. b) There is a high division of labor in the criminal group – any individual belonging to a certain criminal organization must display high levels of knowledge and skills in a particular area of expertise. Due to the complexity of their activities, these organizations usually go for experts in various fields for efficiency and effectiveness of their business. Labor is usually divided by knowledge and expertise.

Question 2

Cognitive and emotional functions help an individual; to create and develop mechanisms and techniques of acquiring knowledge.  Cognitive functions widely revolve around reasoning, memory, attention and language that lead to the attainment of information, knowledge, and skills of performing particular tasks. Psychologists have identified operant and condition as the two widely used methods to develop criminal behavior. In operant condition, individuals can associate their activities with their consequences and thus, if a wrong method used to access information or knowledge is not punished, then an individual may develop criminal behavior (Clinard, 2014). The operant conditioning is appropriate for terrorism activities where members of a terror group have no alternative but obey what is required of them, or they suffer severe consequences. On the other hand, classical conditioning comprises of a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are paired together. In the case of the organized crime, classical conditioning can excel considering that personal gain and satisfaction can be used as the external stimuli to he3lp an individual develop criminal instincts. Besides, observation can also be used to learn all the processes that are associated with a particular crime as well as the techniques and methods used to gather information and execution of the plan.

Question 3

Considering that terrorism is usually carried out by individuals rather than a group, personality tests can be conducted to provide more information about terrorists. Personality tests are meant to reveal aspects of an individual’s character or psychological makeup. Thus, conducting a personality test on a single psychologist can provide information on how terrorist thinks and how they plan to carry out their plans which can be of great assist to investigators.

On the other hand, often, organized crime is carried out by a group of people with similar characters, behaviors, desires as well as ambitions. As a result, conducting a behavioral assessment on a single member of a crime group can provide more insight and information about that particular criminal group (Short, 2008). This assessment reveals the purpose o a certain behavior in the group making it easy to predict their next move and course of action.

Question 4

  1. The level of knowledge and skills of terrorists – terrorists carries out one of the complex crimes in the globe as it involves extensive research and intelligence about their targets. As a result, terrorists may take years to study their target to get accurate information to guarantee a successful attack. Thus, there is the need to know their intelligence level before settling for a counterattack action.
  2. Protective measures – criminal organizations are one of the secretive organizations in the universe, and this makes it hard to gather any information regarding various crime organizations. As a result, it is important to understand protective measures of any organization to understand offenders of that particular group.

Part 111

Question 1

There is a slight difference between the ethical standards of an investigator and those of a psychologist. A professional investigator must ensure their actions are legal as well as justifying their actions regarding necessity and costs. On the other hand, a psychologist is required to uphold competence and integrity in his interview (Chiesa, 2008). Any psychologists should identify and uphold the boundaries of their work as well as ensuring that their activities are fair and honest.

Question 2

Psychological profiling is a technique that helps criminal investigators to develop profiles of murders, sex offenders and other violent criminals who have not been arrested by law enforcers. For any investigator to obtain and provide relevant and necessary information about a criminal he or she needs to:

  1. Observe body language cues – body cues carry more weight than the language and the voice used by individuals and thus there is the need for the investigator to be keen on the cues used by a suspect.
  2. Paying attention to appearances – the first impression is always necessary and important and thus, the investigator should be keen on the appearance of the suspect as their appearance gives more information about them.

Question 3

As an investigator, there is the need to be sure about the client and the purpose of a certain case and a particular client. The investigator should not jeopardize any party in an investigation be it the victim, the suspect or a witness. Thus, it is the duty of the investigator to observe privacy of all parties involved (Clinard, 2014). On the other hand, a psychologist should respect other people’s right as well as show concern for their welfare. Confidentiality is important in any psychological work as well as the mental and physical well-being of a client.


Bartol, A. M. (2014). Criminal behavior: A psychological approach. Boston:: Pearson, c2014.                 xxiii, 644 pages: illustrations; 24 cm.

Chiesa, R. D. (2008). Profiling hackers: the science of criminal profiling as applied to the world              of hacking (Vol. 49). CRC Press.

Clinard, M. R. (2014). criminal behavior systems: A typology. . Routledge.

Kocsis, R. N. (2007). Criminal profiling: International theory, research, and practice. Springer               Science & Business Media.

Meyer, C. B. (2008). Criminal Profiling as Expert Evidence? In Criminal Profiling ,                                 (pp. 207-247). Humana Press.

Raine, A. (2013). The psychopathology of crime: Criminal behavior as a clinical disorder.                       Elsevier.

Short, M. B. (2008). A statistical model of criminal behavior. . Mathematical Models and                         Methods in Applied Sciences, 18(supp01), , 1249-1267.

Turvey, B. E. (2011). Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioral evidence analysis. .                     Academic press.

John Doe Case Analysis

Learning Activity 2—Analysis of a Profiling Case


Over the years, many famous cases have demonstrated how criminal profiling can be used to assist with an investigation. For this assignment, complete the following:

Choose any one case such as the following well-known criminal cases:

The case of David Berkowitz (Son of Sam)

The case of Ted Bundy

Using the module readings, Argosy University online library resources, and Internet resources, research the chosen case. Respond to the following questions:

Describe the information that was gathered about the perpetrator or offender. This could include the profiler’s conclusions regarding the offender’s mental, emotional, and personality characteristics as well as age, gender, ethnicity, and geographic location.

Describe what sources the investigator used, what patterns of behavior were identified, and what information was given to law enforcement. State if the information that law enforcement received is correct.

Analyze if the profile was accurate and if it did assist or hinder in the investigation.

Explain what factors led to the accuracy or inaccuracy of the profile.


Analysis of a Profiling Case

In law, criminal profiling is used to determine and identify likely suspects and analyze their patterns to predict future offenses or victims. Profiling is one of the important tools used by the government to help in curbing the spread of criminal activities in a region. One of the most popular cases in the history that used this tool is the David Richard (son of Sam) case. David Richard is an American serial killer convicted of a series of shooting attacks in New York. Son of Sam as he is popularly known killed six victims and wounded seven others in the summer of 1977. This essay will attempt to provide the information that was used to profile his case.

David Richard was originally born as Richard David Falco to a businessman by the name Joseph Kleinman and a waitress by the name of Betty Broder. However, David did not get the chance to grow up in the presence of his biological parents as he was given up for adoption shortly after birth. He was adopted by Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz, and that was the moment that he was renamed to David Richard Berkowitz (Brody, 2013). According to his father, David is a Caucasian male who was well groomed, muscular and who stood 5’8’’ tall. David spent most of his childhood in Soundview, and the area consisted of Jewish and Italian families.

The largest percentage of the information provided in this case was provided by the survivors.  David was nicknamed .44 caliber killer due to the fact that he carried most of his killings using a .44 Charter Arms Bulldog revolver. Moreover, according to the survivors, David was mostly interested in single women who were alone at the time of the attack, and mostly they would have shoulder –length dark hair and tended to be of college age. Moreover, David also portrayed a behavioral pattern of surprising his victims as he shot them with his gun. Although he loathed the way the media and the police portrayed him, he secretly liked his popularity as he terrorized New York and the surrounding cities. The information sent to the police is correct and can be relied on to help predict his next victim and criminal activity.

The profile was accurate considering that all the information came from reliable sources mostly the survivors. Despite the fact that the information provided by the survivors was accurate, not all information that came to the police was correct, and the police spent months following false leads (Sarteschi, 2016). However, after months of collection and analysis of data, the police eventually were able to come up with a profile which eventually led to his arrest and prosecution.

During all this time, the accuracy of the data provided was enhanced by the letters he used to send to the police to taunt and goad them as well as distracting the media outfit. However, there was a close correlation between the information provided by each survivor as their descriptions of the attacker were almost the same. Moreover, through these descriptions, the police force was able to have a clear picture of the attacker and hence narrow their search which in turn helped in his arrest. Interestingly, on his arrest, David asked the law enforcers why it took them so long to get to him. A car parking ticket was the last piece of evidence that was needed to put David behind bars.


Brody, P. (2013). Son of Sam: A Biography of David Berkowitz. BookCaps Study Guides.

Sarteschi, C. M. (2016). Public Interest in Mass and Serial Murder. In Mass and Serial Murder                in America , (pp. 5-15). Springer International Publishing.


John Doe Case Analysis

John Doe Case Analysis

John Doe Case Analysis

Initial Mental Health Post-arrest Assessment

A mental health assessment provides a comprehensive analysis of the emotional state of an individual. A mental health assessment looks at the cognitive functioning (thinking, memory, and reasoning) of an individual. Mental health assessment is more comprehensive and comprises of an individualized examination that seeks to establish the psychological problems and needs affecting an individual (Ashcroft, Daniels, & Flores, 2004). Particular psychiatric disorders are more common or frequent among young offenders. These include anxiety disorders, conduct disorders, attention deficit disorders, developmental issues, affective disorders, and substance abuse disorders. Particular problem behaviors and symptoms could be a precursor for some of the aforementioned disorders, for instance, anger & aggressive behavior, suicidal tendencies, depression, anxiety, drug use problems, and bizarre thoughts.

In order to determine the personality type and suicide risk of Doe, there is need to develop an assessment questionnaire. It is possible to determine the personality type by asking the following simple questions.

  • What do you do during your free time, any hobbies?
  • Do you have any interest in sports?
  • What type of job would you like to do, any that interests you?
  • What are your ambitions in life?
  • What do you think about the running of the country?
  • Do you go to church? If so, how often?
  • How do you get along with your family?

The objective responses that Doe gives can help determine his personality type and suicide risk. The responses can give a true picture of the emotional state of Doe at the time of questioning. The manner in which Doe answers the question can help gauge his responsiveness as well as the emotional tone. The emotional tone may be categorized as either neutral, despondent, cynical or euphoric. This can help determine his emotional status. The rating scale should depend on the number of words used to answer the questions and the tone Doe employs in answering the questions.

Initial Investigative Post-arrest Assessment

Once a crime is reported, police officers must conduct an initial investigation to establish the nature of the crime and other crucial details such as the motivation behind the offender. The initial investigation involves a physical examination of the available evidence, which may be from the scene of crime, interviewing witnesses, from CCTVs, and other reliable sources (Lanning, 2010). After this, there is need to establish the major motivation behind a crime. This seeks to examine the factors that drove the offender into committing the enlisted criminal acts. While conducting the background investigation, it is important to focus beyond the routine examination involving date of birth or criminal background. The investigator must examine other crucial details such as early childhood experiences of the offender and his schooling life. Doe’s behavior may be characterized as either preferential or as a true pedophile depending on certain characteristics. Doe’s behavior points to a preferential sex offender.

A preferential sex offender such as Doe exhibits fantasy-driven behavior and specific sexual interests focusing on children. According to Lanning 2010, sexual abuse in the earlier years could be one of the motivators that drive offenders such as Doe. Limited social contact during teenage life could be another possible reason for the behavior. Teenage socialization involves dating-like relationships. At age 14, Doe was already using drugs and exhibited antisocial behaviors that landed him in special education classes. It is possible that Doe had a few friends at this age. Doe could be engaging in child pornography collection as a way of satisfying compulsive sexual fantasies that he harbors (Lanning, 2010). Another possible motivation is validation, which entails the need to justify one’s behaviors. This drives offenders such as Doe to keep large collections of child pornography in their computers and other safe places. Another possible motivation is the financial gain since some individuals consider child pornography as an avenue for commercial exploitation.

Difference between law enforcement personnel and forensic mental health professional in conducting assessment.

Law enforcement personnel and forensic mental health professionals conduct assessments and criminal investigations using different methods. The law enforcement personnel focus more on establishing whether the offender committed the crime. As such, the initial investigation in the case of Doe would involve reviewing the scene of crime and any witnesses. Taking his computer was one way of finding evidence against Doe since it contains images depicting child pornography. Recording of the crime in the police criminal records follows the initial investigation. A crime reference number is then issued to Doe within a period of less than 2 days. Law enforcement personnel then assess the seriousness of the crime and the possibility of solving the crime using available evidence. If there is need for further investigations, an investigating officer records statement from witnesses or any victims involved. Law enforcement officers are also interested in sexual history of the offender.

Forensic mental health personnel may take a different dimension while conducting assessments and criminal investigative procedures on Doe. The assessment stage for forensic mental health professionals involves gathering information from a range of sources such as interviews, tests and documents (Russell & Darjee, 2013). Interviews can enable the forensic mental health professional to identify the attitude of the offender as well as personality disposition. A forensic professional is interested in understanding the emotional, sexual and interpersonal functioning of the offender. A forensic professional may administer psychological tests to determine the mental state of the offender. The forensic professional is determined to establish the underlying psychological factors that compel the victim towards the behavior (Russell & Darjee, 2013). He/she is likely to examine the treatment needs that can help the offender quit the negative behavior.

Personality characteristics and motivational dynamics

Child sex offenders may exhibit particular characteristics distinct from other kind of offenders. One of the main characteristic/motivational dynamic is fantasy-driven behavior (Lanning, 2010). Most of these offenders often collect and store a large collection of child pornographic content. The individuals records the fantasies as they see them occurring in movies and film collection they have. With time, the individuals may act to turn the repetitive sexual fantasies depicted in the movies into reality. As such, a first time offender such as Doe might have ended up engaging in the actual sexual abuse depicted just to fulfill his fantasies. A characteristic of individuals likely to commit or support sexual acts with minors is deviant sexual behavior or interests. Deviant sexual behavior is a compulsive attraction to commit illegal sexual acts, which are unusual. For example, such individuals exhibit a desire for sex with minors or even rape.

Individuals capable of child sexual abuse such as Doe harbor an antisocial orientation. According to Hanson & Morton-Bourgon (2005), antisocial orientation refers to a range of antisocial behaviors depicted by certain individuals. These behaviors include unemployment, impulsivity, and rule violation, history of drug & substance abuse. The research suggests that there exists a strong correlation between rule violation and reckless or impulsive behaviors such as fights, alcohol abuse, sexual crimes, and others. An antisocial orientation means that an individual is compulsively willing to harm others and still justify their actions. According to Hanson & Morton-Bourgon (2005), one of the major factors that contribute to the development of sexually offensive behavior among individuals is an adverse family background. Doe clearly exhibits characteristics of an antisocial orientation. At the age of fourteen, he was already using Marijuana and alcohol. In second grade, he had to join special education classes. Another important pointer is that he had a relatively difficult childhood, following molestation experiences at the age of nine.

Appropriate Post-conviction Treatment

Incarceration may not be effective in preventing recidivism among child sexual offenders. Effective treatment approaches should seek at behavior modification to minimize the incidences of recidivism among inmates released back into the community. Cognitive behavioral interventions are some of the most effective treatment approaches among child sexual offenders. Cognitive behavioral interventions should focus on empathy training, victim awareness, sexual abuse cycle, cognitive restructuring, and relapse prevention (Moster, Wnuk, & Jeglie, 2008). Cognitive-behavioral interventions may also help offenders develop proper social and interpersonal skills and to change their sexual arousal patterns. The basic premise of cognitive behavioral therapy is that dysfunctional thinking is the source of most behavioral problems including child sexual abuses. The dysfunctional thoughts are a responsible for altering one’s behaviors and moods. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims at changing the though and belief pattern of individuals who commit various crimes.

Apart from preventing recidivism among post-convicts, the cognitive behavioral therapy also aims at instilling a sense of self-worth among offenders who go back to the community (Moster, Wnuk, & Jeglie, 2008). The specific treatment approach first aims at informing convicts of the role deviant thoughts play in developing inappropriate actions. The second step is to explore the various ways in which offenders can correct deviant thoughts. The last step is to help offenders to challenge the deviant thoughts (Moster, Wnuk, Jeglie, 2008). This article recommends a group approach to application of the cognitive behavioral treatment approach. A group approach can enable offenders share their experiences and help one another to adopt appropriate behaviors. Progress assessment entails analyzing psychological outcome profiles of the offenders.

Psychological tests useful in psychological profiling

Psychological tests enable psychologists to unearth critical information that the patient may be unwilling to share. One of the psychological tests is Abel Assessment. Abel Assessment is comprehensive evaluation strategy that is empirically validated and enables psychologists identify individuals with deviant sexual behaviors (Millon & Bloom, 2008). Abel Assessment involves viewing pictures on a computer and answering some questions. Depending on how one answers the questions, a percentage rates one’s sexual interest to children. Another important psychological test that can be used in criminal investigations is the Millon Behavioral Medical Diagnostic, which measures health habits such as alcohol abuse, psychiatric indications, coping styles, and stress moderators (Millon & Bloom, 2008). This psychological test is important since it can help determine the mental health status of an individual convicted of a crime.


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