Archive for the ‘Motives and Opportunity’ Category

Police Psychology | “Inside the Mind” of Donald Trump

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP


Let me start by saying that this profile article is my professional opinion based off behavior.  I have not met the President yet, and I do not have anything other than his public behavior to base this profile on.

Many have villainized President Donald Trump and it seems they have clearly a dictator mindset.  Many people want to believe that he is like Hitler or Mussolini and wants the end of all but  straight, white males in this world, and wants women to fit in rolls like in the centuries long past or perhaps in harems.  This is not true regardless of what the spin on the evidence is. These people want to believe he is a megalomaniac that sits poised over the nuclear codes and the buttons that will bring forth Armageddon.   On the opposite end of the spectrum are those that believe Trump is some anti-political superhero destroying the all-reaching giant aliens bent on extinguishing the earth’s population by digesting their essence while flying into the major cities of the world at warps speeds, shooting anything that moves and setting all property on fire.  Is he a political dragon slayer or a dictator?  Maybe we need to get “Inside the Mind of Donald Trump.” (more…)

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Police Psychology:  Are You Biased, Of Course…

By Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP


Just when you thought all the stupidity in the world was surrounding the election this year, I thought I would tell you some more bad news. Judicial Watch just released an article that states that police departments can no longer stop a person from becoming a police officer because they have a criminal background or drug abuse.   Apparently it is discriminatory (see the article here).*  Am I missing something, isn’t the purpose of the selection process to discriminate good and bad employees, people who earn a job versus people whose record indicates they could be involved in corruption, breaking the law or a become a problem later.  Isn’t past behavior the best predictor of future behavior?    The inmates would literally be running the asylum.  Now is that a bad idea?

In 1966, Phillippe de Broca released a French film call King of Hearts which explored the topics of the inmates running an asylum, in fact it was a town being run by an asylum.  In World War I, a town had a bomb planted by the departing Germans that threatened to blow up the whole town.  The townspeople evacuated and they sent in a Scottish soldier to defuse the bomb.  The town had a large mental asylum on the outskirts and the someone left the asylum doors open and the inmates inhabited the town and took on the roles of the town folks.  What transpired was an absolutely hilarious situation comedy as the inmates would do things that were completely against convention and lived life to have fun, not accomplish things like when the town was inhabited by the regular residents.  They held parades, had ill-conceived romances, wore outlandish clothing, all in an attempt to make life fun.  Could we exist this way?  Could our lives use  reduction of convention?  Can we learn to laugh at ourselves again? (more…)

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Police Psychology | Suicide by Criminal

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP


We have all heard of suicide by cop when a person takes a gun and points it toward a police officer hoping the officer shoots him.  Very clearly diagnosed in most situations and multiple cases seem to occur each year.  The suicidal person generally doesn’t have the ability to pull the trigger himself, but can put themselves in a position to die.   So, he brings a police officer into the situation as a method of suicide.

Well last week, I became aware of a new method of suicide that I had never seen before, and I am afraid of it for police officers.  You see there was this story about a female cop that told of an officer’s attempt to save her family by allowing herself to be killed, if necessary.  In psychologist circles, that is called an altruistic suicide, because they are killing themselves to let others live better.  But in this case, I call it “Suicide- By-Criminal.” (more…)

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Police Psychology | Inertia:  Video Post

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

A principle of motion in Physics that can be applied to police work in a psychological way


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Police Psychology | Managing Your Inner Zombie

by Doug Gentz, Ph.D.

All of us have a complex, pervasive, extensive network of habits that we might as well think of as our “Inner Zombie.” It’s responsible for most of our behavior. That turns out to be a good thing because most zombiethings we do are best done “mindlessly” and automatically. Imagine how little we could get done if we had to deliberately figure out or remember how to walk, talk, or drive our cars. In general, learning is just acquiring new and useful habits. We like to get them out of the initially awkward and conscious stage and turn them over to our “inner zombie” for execution as soon as possible. When your Inner Zombie took over the job of lining up your thumbs below the slide of your Glock, your range scores probably improved.

At a neurological level habits are just synaptic connections between nerves. The more a habitual behavior is performed, the stronger the synaptic connection (and the more likely it is to be performed again). This is the physiological fact that leads to the first axiom of learning theory: All habits are permanent. (more…)

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