Sociology vs. Psychology

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Throughout history people have held a morbid interest in serial killers. The thing people were most interested in, the psychology of a serial killer. How could a person kill so many others? This article informs readers of several claims about serial killers made by Kevin Haggerty, a sociologist and criminologist.
The first red flag that went up while reading this article was, who is this Kevin Haggerty? What are his credentials, what kind of research has he done to make these claims, or is it simply a theory that is untested?
My next thought, he claims that Psychology cannot answer the age old question of, what causes a person to become a serial killer? However, though sociology/ criminology and psychology are different fields, sociology and criminology use Psychology to explain many phenomenons that occur also. These fields are intertwined. The claim that Psychology cannot explain what creates a serial killer is founded, but the claim that sociology and crimonology can is unfounded. Psychology uses sociology in its research models. Society/ environmental/ nurture plays a huge role in Psychology.
While reading this article I also questioned the mentioned study. The journalist mentions that he published his study in Crime, Media, Culture. What kind of publication is this? Did this journal check his research tactics?
My next question, is Kevin Haggerty's claims falsifiable? How can one falsify the theory: Psychology cannot answer the quesiton: How do people become serial killers?... But Sociology and Crimonology can? Isn't Psychology the study of the human mind and Sociology the study of how society works, and criminology a branch of Psychology that studies the way that criminals think and act? In what way can Sociology and Criminology better answer the question than Psychology? Unlike Sociology, Pyschology takes into account the effects of society on an individual. Sociology doesn't study how the human mind actually works. It studies how society works. Perhaps, Society can answer how society may help to create serial killers, but they cannot make any theories that tell us how serial killers think, that lies completely in the realm of Psychology.
Without a proper study with supported research this claim is unfounded. This article, however, was well written. The journalist did a good job of remaining outside the argument. Setting up the claims of Kevin Haggerty, but then mentioning a rival opinion within the same field by Erik Hickey.
My analysis of this article finds the journalist reporting truthfully quesitons being raised. The journalist makes no claims of truth and tries to reveal the whole argument. My qualms and questions lie in Kevin Haggerty's claims and his research methods, that weren't delved into.

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This page contains a single entry by mihmx017 published on October 10, 2011 1:56 PM.

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