Dopamine Plushy AKA The Awesome Wife PT2

Did you catch my previous post about the chalk outline plushy’s my wife made me? Really you didn’t? Well then you should probably go and check out the awesomeness here. How awesome are they? To make it even better she only went and made me a Dopamine molecule teddy too 🙂

Check this bad boy out:

Dopamine Plushy Teddy


If you would like one let me know and I’m sure i could convince here to make some for a small fee 😉

Review: Children Who Kill by Carol Anne Davis

Children Who Kill by Carol Anne Davis
Children Who Kill by Carol Anne Davis

“Children Who Kill,” by Carol Anne Davis, is a relatively long (396 pages) book which looks at the always emotive subject of juvenile homicide. The author sets out to explore this subject using in-depth case studies of children aged between 10 and 17. The book, as it was published in 2003, is relatively out of date and it does show when it comes to certain cases.

This could have been a very good book, it is relatively easy, if repetitive, to read. But then it is hard to write a boring book about such an emotive topic. Although this book is described as individual profiles, they are more like average essays including the obligatory lack of supporting evidence for what she puts forward as facts. Which unfortunately leads to Carol coming across as a bit of a ‘know it all’. It also leads to some wild claims which don’t sit as true to me, including a claim that all people who have attempted suicide has at one stage wanted to kill someone else. If I any Psychologists out there can confirm, or deny, this I would be grateful. She also makes the outrageous, and possibly libelous claim that Pathologists lie to spare the feelings of family members.

My main concern with this book, and thus the author, is that she seems to have a very simplistic view of what causes children to kill. Claiming that the only thing that can cause a child to kill is an abusive childhood, she seems to choose to ignore the influence of genetics as well as possible neurobiological influences.

Overall I was glad when it was over and that I don’t have to read it again.

I gave it 2 out of 5


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Referencing – For Open University Students


Referencing is the bane of most student’s life… It is probably up there with applying for student finance for fun level. Every university, even different departments, have a slightly different way of doing it. The Open University has an excellent guide on their site, which goes into great detail on how to reference correctly.


There are many different reasons why you need to reference your work, mainly these are:

  •          to demonstrate that you have undertaken research for your academic work
  •          to avoid accusations of plagiarism
  •          to acknowledge the work of other authors, which can be found in books, journal articles, websites etc.

All ideas taken from the work of another author (whether directly quoted or put into your own words) need to be identified within your academic work. The idea being is that it shows the reader exactly where you got the information.

In-text citations

In-text citations enable you to indicate in your work where you have used ideas or material from other sources. Here are some examples using the OU Harvard style. If, for example, your source were a book written by Hollway and published in 1999, your in-text references would follow one of these three formats:

•          Further work (Hollway, 2009) supports this claim.

•          Further work by Hollway (2009) supports this claim.

•          ‘This theory is supported by recent work’ (Hollway, 2009, p. 25).

If the reference covers more than one page, it would be: (Hollway, 2009, pp.34-47).

Listing full references at the end of your work

Everything that you have cited within your work should be listed alphabetically at the end of your essay on a separate page. You need to identify the source type (e.g. book, journal article) and use the correct referencing format.

A book reference has several different parts all intended to give the reader as much information as possible:

AUTHOR: By surname followed by the initial of the first letter. Quite often, this will be The Open University.

YEAR: The year that this edition of the book published, not when it was written. It is bracketed.

TITLE: This will either be the title of the book itself or the chapter; it may also be the module title. Titles of books should be italicised and chapters should be in inverted commas.



Example 1. A standard reference might be

Bromley, S., Clarke, J., Hinchliffe, S. and Taylor, S. (eds) Exploring Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Alternatively, if you are referencing a chapter it will look like this:

Hollway, W. (2009) ‘Identity Change and Identification’, in Bromley, S., Clarke, J., Hinchliffe, S. and Taylor, S. (eds) Exploring Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

It is important to remember that you only ever reference what you have read, so if you use information from Freud that you read in the course book, then you reference the course book. This is known as ‘secondary referencing’ and should make it clear in your work that you have not read the original and are referencing the secondary source, for example:

In-text citation: Freud, cited in Hollway (2009), loves his mum.

Meanwhile in the reference list, you would provide details for the source you read it in like a normal reference.


Referencing Apps and Programs

While I do not generally use them myself, although I am about to try a new app called ReferenceMe, which also has a web site, I appreciate some people may find them useful.


Here is a list of some of the most popular web based programs:

Neil’s Toolbox

Cite This For Me

Harvard Generator

Cite 2 Write


Referencing in word

Click here and download the “” file.

Copy the contents of the zip file into your Microsoft Word bibliography style directory. This directory can be found in different places depending on your machine and the software it is running. Two typical places for Windows are:

%programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office14\Bibliography\Style

<user directory>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Bibliography\Style

Microsoft Reference function is accessible from the reference tab.


Word comes with a list of default referencing style. Choose the referencing style that you want to use, in our case it will be the Harvard referencing system.


Click on the ‘Insert Citation’ button to open the add citation window.


Word 2010 & 2013 allow us to add different source type such as ‘Journal Article’ for our essay.


Click on the insert citation button to view a list of your citation and click any of them to create an inline citation in your essay.


You can create a bibliography page by clicking on the ‘Bibliography’ button.


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Merry Christmas To All & New Books

Hey you awesome bunch of people who frequent my blog! I hope you are all having an amazing Christmas and, for those who are a part of the OU, i hope your enjoying your two weeks off. If your doing DD101 have you started TMA 03 yet? I would love to hear how you are getting on. I thought i would pop on today to ask you all if you got any awesome psych or criminology related gifts? I got an awesome haul of book this year 🙂 you can never go wrong with books!!

Books Galore!!
Books Galore!!

Granted Two of them arn’t really related to this subject but i had already took the picture lol.

The first book is “The Big Question: Mind” by Richard M Restak

‘The Big Questions’ series is designed to let renowned experts confront the 20 most fundamental and frequently asked questions of a major branch of science or philosophy.

In ‘The Big Questions: Mind’ the explanations behind the ‘mysteries’ of our unique minds – including how they differ from our brains and how they create our awareness – are explored.

Among the questions discussed are: How do brains come to exist? Is the mind more than the brain? What does it mean to be conscious? What is knowledge? Does the mind play tricks? What is the ‘I’ in our brain?

Amazon rated the book as: Well they havn’t but the rest in the series got a good review.

Next we have “Forensic Psychology for Dummies” by David Canter

“A fascinating guide on the psychology of crime Thinking of a career that indulges your CSI fantasies? Want to understand the psychology of crime? Whether studying it for the first time or an interested spectator, Forensic Psychology For Dummies gives you all the essentials for understanding this exciting field, complemented with fascinating case examples from around the world. Inside you′ll find out why people commit crime, how psychology helps in the investigative process, the ways psychologists work with criminals behind bars – and how you too can become a forensic psychologist. You′ll discover what a typical day is like for a forensic psychologist, how they work with the police to build offender profiles, interview suspects or witnesses, and detect lies! Covers the important role psychology plays in assessing offenders Explains how psychology is applied in the courtroom Explains complicated psychology concepts in easy–to–understand terms If you′re a student considering taking forensic psychology or just love to learn about the science behind crime, Forensic Psychology For Dummies is everything you need to get up–to–speed on this fascinating subject.”

Amazon has rated this as 4.7 out of 5

The next book is “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker.

“What makes a serial killer?

Only one man really knows. FBI Special Agent and expert in criminal profiling and behavioural science, John Douglas. A man who has looked evil in the eye and made a vocation of understanding it. Now retired, Douglas can let us inside the FBI elite serial crime unit and into the disturbed minds of some of the most savage serial killers in the world.

The man who was the inspiration for Special Agent Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs and who lent the film’s makers his expertise explains how he invented and established the practice of criminal profiling; what it was like to submerge himself mentally in the world of serial killers to the point of ‘becoming’ both perpetrator and victim; and individual case histories including those of Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and the Atlanta child murders.

With the fierce page-turning power of a bestselling novel, yet terrifyingly true, Mindhunter is a true crime classic.”

With a rating of 4.2 out of 5 it looks like a good read.

“Cocky: The Rise and Fall of Curtis Warren, Britain’s Biggest Drugs Baron” by Tony Barnes, Richard Elias, Peter Walsh is next, descibed as:

Shortlisted for the Macallan Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

Curtis Warren is an underworld legend, the Liverpool scally who took the methods of the street-corner drug pusher and elevated them to an art form. He forged direct links with the cocaine cartels of Colombia, the heroin godfathers of Turkey, the cannabis cultivators of Morocco and the Ecstasy manufacturers of Holland and Eastern Europe. His drugs went around the world, from the clubs of Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin to the golden beaches of Sydney.

His underlings called him the Cocky Watchman. His pursuers called him Target One.

This best-selling biography uncovers his meteoric rise from Toxteth mugger to `the richest and most successful British criminal who has ever been caught.’ It relates how the Liverpool mafia became the UK’s foremost drug importers; tells how Warren survived gang warfare and how he corrupted top-level police officers; unveils the inside story of the biggest UK law enforcement operation ever undertaken; and reveals the explosive contents of the covert wiretaps that brought his global empire crashing down.

Thoroughly revised and updated, Cocky is a shocking insight into organised crime and an important investigation into the workings of the international drugs trade.”

Rated 4.1 out of 5

Having read the book “The Jigsaw Man” by Paul Briton i thought it only right i follow that up with his other title. “Picking Up The Pieces” is descibed as:

“Forensic psychologist Paul Britton can ‘walk through the minds’ of those who murder, rape, torture, extort and kidnap. He can see the world through their eyes and know what they’re thinking. That is why the police have called on him to help with many high-profile criminal investigations and catch those responsible.

How does he do it? Paul Britton’s newest book, Picking Up the Pieces, reveals the psychological and forensic foundations upon which he has based his expertise. It is a remarkable journey into the darkest recesses of the human mind. From top security prisons and mental hospitals to ordinary outpatients’ clinics, Britton introduces us to his clinical and forensic work. A man turns into a werewolf at four o’clock every afternoon. Another has built an electric chair in his basement to kill his father. A woman accepts the blame for abusing her child when she had nothing to do with it. How can they be helped? When Britton so accurately profiled the child killers of Jamie Bulger in Liverpool, or told police the true nature of Frederick and Rosemary West, he could do so because he had treated disturbed children and confronted sadistic sexual murderers in his consulting room.

For twenty-five years Britton has interviewed, assessed and treated people with damaged or broken minds. Some were responsible for terrible crimes, others were stopped before it was too late. The answers aren’t hidden at bloody crime scenes or in the post-mortem photographs. Instead, the truth is often locked away within someone’s mind or deep in their past.

Picking Up the Pieces is not a sequel to Britton’s award-winning autobiography The Jigsaw Man, but a companion volume that shows the heart of his work and the knowledge that underpins his conclusions.

It is a unique and revealing book that will fascinate and provoke discussion.”

With a rating of 4.3 out of 5 i hope this one is a bit better then the last.

Next is a book on a subject i know very little about. “Beyond Evil” by Nathan Yates is descirbed as follows:

“The horrific murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman shocked and sickened the nation. The man found guilty of their murders is now one of the most reviled men in the country. As if his crime was not dreadful enough, he has recently admitted that he lied under oath about the circumstances of one of the murders. This in-depth book is written by investigative journalist Nathan Yates, who witnessed the murder hunt first-hand and even interviewed Huntley and former girlfriend Maxine Carr. Yates also has an exclusive source for contact with Ian Huntley and will have further revelations about how far Huntley has lied about what happened that tragic day.”

Amazon has a rating of 4.3 out of 5. Im starting to notice a trend with these ratings lol.

Last but not least is “Jack the Ripper: CSI: Whitechapel” by Paul Begg.

“Over 100 years have elapsed since what is believed to have been Jack the Ripper’s final murder, yet he still has a powerful hold over the public’s imagination, which is manifested in the hundreds of books, television programs, and films that are produced every year on the subject. “Jack the Ripper: Crime Scene Investigation” is the first and only book to enable the reader to travel back into the London of 1888 by reconstructing key scenes from Jack the Ripper’s murders in pin-point accuracy. Through detailed and atmospheric crime scene recreations, plus thoroughly researched text written by experts in the field of Jack the Ripper, this book explores the movements of each victim, the position of witnesses. and the location of various buildings and streets to give the reader the most complete view to date of the gruesome crimes that shook Victorian society.”

Rated as 4.7 out of 5 this will be my first reading on Jack.

Books Mofo!
Books Mofo!

Well i hope you have enjoyed this summery and i will have detailed reviews as i read them. Would love to hear from you if you have read any of these.

Happy Christmas!!!!

A Review – The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson


I must admit I had never heard of either the book or the author before I seen Jon’s TED talk (by the way if you haven’t heard of TED before where have you been living). But after watching his talk and a recommendation by a twitter follower, I decided to give it ago. After all at £3.86 from amazon what did I have to lose?

‘People who are psychopathic prey ruthlessly on others using charm, deceit, violence or other methods that allow them to get what they want. The symptoms of psychopathy include: lack of a conscience or sense of guilt, lack of empathy, egocentricity, pathological lying, repeated violations of social norms, disregard for the law, shallow emotions, and a history of victimizing others.’

– Robert Hare, Ph.D

This is a great read, funny and full of amusing situations. I managed to finish it in a relatively short time. It is not however an academic book in any sense of the word, mainly focusing on the journey he takes before, during and after learning how to spot a psychopath in 3 days… yes 3 days. After apparently managing to get himself a discount on Canadian Psychologist Robert D. Hare’s PCL-R residential course. He discusses the power he feels at being able to apply a label to someone that may stick with them for the rest of their lives with just three days of training (why am I bothering 7 years of study).


But Ronson also talks about the frequent misdiagnosis of psychopathy. And the misdiagnosis of many other “mental illnesses” that may in fact just be trying to label and profit off of various human eccentricities. I especially enjoyed the discussion on childhood bi-polar disorder and how this is viewed by many as a pharmacological cash cow. Many psychologists believing it’s impossible to suffer from a condition which develops in adolescence when you’re a child. He showed an example of what seemed a very emotive and aggressive mother of two bi-polar children to prove this point.

Tony seems to be the star of the show after scamming his way into Broadmoor hoping for nicer amenities and found himself unable to convince the doctors of his sanity for another 20 years, ironically13 years after his prison sentence, for serious assault, was originally intended to be over. The inclusion of Scientologists in this situation was just an added touch of pantomime in my opinion.

Overall I really enjoyed this engrossing book and it left me with a hunger to read more serious works on Psychopaths and Sociopaths. It did leave a bitter taste in my mouth about Robert Hare who seems to just be touring the world selling this “ability” to anyone who can afford to spend the hundreds of pounds he demands. I would love to hear from you if you have read it, also if you have any recommendations for what I should read next, I would love to hear them.

Psychology Needs Someone Sexy…

Psychology needs someone sexy… there I said it… we need someone sexy.

I have been thinking recently that the sciences have been going through a bit of a revival. Science, especially Physics, are seen as “cool” or “sexy” thanks to the likes of Professor Brian Cox. This has resulted in a mass of students running to take up the traditional sciences as a career path. No one could deny that the former D:Ream keyboardist has a way with words, his passion and energy for science are addictive and you can’t help but be drawn in. We need someone like this in Psychology.

There are currently no “big name” psychologists, no household stars teaching the country about consciousness or defence mechanisms. Currently no big budget shows on BBC2 recreating famous experiments. Why?

Cox is bringing a passion to the general public for learning about the universe. Who could fail to be excited by black holes and string theory, but we have a whole universe worth of knowledge in side of our head. From the fact that not even quantum computers are yet to have matched the processing power of the brain, to consciousness, the spark that makes us who we are but yet is of unknown origin.

Psychology can be fun and exciting and should be held in a similar regard as physics as we are both explorers of a relatively unknown area with lots still to discover. I for one would love to see TV shows dedicated to psychology and the theories it includes.

New Books!!!

My latest book haul!!!
My latest book haul!!!

So i managed to score an awesome haul of books for me to read till after Christmas. Now having time to read these may prove to be a bit more of an issue, with DD101 taking up a lot of my time.

The first book is “Mapping Murder: The Secrets to Geographical Profiling” by David Canter. The Amazon blurb states:

“‘Criminals reveal who they are and where they live not just from how they commit their crimes, but also from the locations they choose.’

So claims renowned criminal psychologist and profiler David Canter. Fully revised and updated, Canter’s ground breaking book leads the reader through the labyrinth psyches of serial killers, rapists and other violent criminals and takes us on the murderer’s journey, in both the psychological and geographical sense.

From contentious cases such as Jack the Ripper and Jill Dando, to the murders of Fred West, Canter lifts the lid on geographical profiling and how this new approach to solving crime is changing the way police work and our understanding of the criminal mind.”

Amazon also gave it a 4 out of 5 star review.

The next book is “The Sleep of Reason: The James Bulger Case” by David James Smith. Amazon says:

“Friday, February 12 1993. Two outwardly unremarkable ten-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, began their day playing truant and ended it running an errand for a local video shop. In between they abducted and killed the toddler James Bulger. The Sleep of Reason is the harrowing, sensitive, definitive account of this terrible crime and its consequences.

In a new Preface (which considers the re-arrest of Jon Venables in February 2010) David James Smith writes: ‘It is as true now as it was then that the murder has never really been explained and the motive for the crime remains a mystery. This book, the result of considerable research and a painstaking, sometimes distressing assembly of the facts, was my attempt to offer some insight and understanding.'”

With a review of 4.5 stars out of 5.

The third book is “When Kids Kill: Unthinkable Crimes of Lost Innocence” by Jonathan Paul. Here is what the great tax avoider says:

“Jonathan Paul goes behind the sensationalist headlines of ‘child killers’ to investigate why these crimes happen. He examines child homicide in today’s violent, confusing world and contextualises it against the cruel unforgiving retribution of yesterday.

Children are increasingly experimenting with drugs and committing offences, but there are those who commit the worst possible crimes: to end another person’s life before their own could properly have begun. The cases are shocking but sometimes the path towards them is even more so. This is a fascinating exploration of disturbing events aimed at discovering what happens when childhood is trodden underfoot, and when and why kids kill.”

With a review of 4 out of 5.

The last book is “Children Who Kill: Profiles of Pre-teen and Teenage Killers” by Carol Anne Davis. The blurb states:

“Why would two young boys abduct, torture and kill a toddler? What makes a teenage girl plot with her classmates to kill her own father? Traditionally, society is used to regarding children as harmless — but for some the age of innocence is short-lived, messy and ultimately murderous.Children Who Kill is a comprehensive new study of juvenile homicide. Carol Anne Davis sets out to explore this disturbing subject using in-depth case studies of thirteen killers aged between ten and seventeen. Exclusive interviews with experts offer an invaluable insight into the psychology behind these atrocities and a hard-hitting look at the role of society in an area too shocking to ignore”

With a 4 out of 5 stars, we shall see how good it is.

My lovley new books
My lovley new books!

I have not been able to start yet, but expect some reviews when i do 🙂