Police Psychology:  Can We Sense Danger?

Gary S. Aumiller Ph.D.  ABPP


I was working with my daughter on a science fair project for fourth grade.  She laid out five different colored pieces of paper and put a treat on each, then separately let go of our cat and dog and recorded which color they went to eat.

Human vs. Dog sight

She did that five times to see if our pets had a color preference.  In doing the research for the project, we came across pictures of what a dog sees and what a cat sees.  The dog, of course could only see the color green and some shades of blue, and the cat saw at night, but  the pictures were very blurry.  My 10-year old daughter said “wow my Fluffy and Pinwheel really can’t see me, I wonder what we can’t see.” Read the rest of this entry »

Police Psychology:  Wish List

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

When I finished my doctoral dissertation, I had mesmerized my committee with a great presentation and knew just about everything ever published on my topic: “training parents to make kids behave.”  I literally knew more then anyone in the room on the topic and when I left the room, everyone was supposedly impressed as hell.  Then I came back in the room, and was told that they felt I was too obsessed with the topic and I needed to learn how to live instead of just the science.  See my mom had died in my first year of graduate school, and I had finished a five-year program in 3 ½ years, and my dissertation was three times the size of most of the dissertations they had seen. The committee gave me an exercise in the book The Magic of Thinking Big and said I wasn’t finished my school until I did the exercise.  I was in shock, but I went home and absorbed the book before I went to sleep (I guess I did tend to obsess) and the exercise was to make a “wish list” of the things I wanted to do in my life.  My list should be 100 items long and I was to think big.

I started writing and came up with 111 things including build a career, go to Paris and Italy, begin to learn to speak Italian.  Then I started thinking big and came up with sing on a gondola in Venice, cook in a French restaurant in France, travel to the furtherest point in the earth, see a national championship football game again, save a life, be in a movie, etc., etc.  I wanted some things that were a little out there, but surprisingly it made me feel better to dream and to take the time to think of myself and what I wanted to do.  I didn’t realize the power of the “wish list” until a few years later. When I had become a police psychologist. Read the rest of this entry »

Police Psychology:  Does Torture Work?

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

If you go on the internet there are hundreds of articles that give you a resounding “No” to this question.  They repeat the same material, the same studies and give the same reasons to say torture doesn’t even begin to work and shouldn’t be used.  In fact, you are hard pressed to even begin to find one article that says it worked once in the history of man.  That bothers me.  Why is it even considered if it hasn’t worked once in the entire history of the world?  Can’t anyone except Donald Trump say something positive about torture?

Then, you notice every article appears on sites like the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, etc.  Now, I am not the one to complain about “fake news,” but there does seem to be some bias in the newspapers these days, and these papers are always saying “black” when our president says “white.”  So, let’s let Inside Police Psychology take a little more of a research look at answering the question “Does Torture Work?” Read the rest of this entry »

Police Psychology:  MidLife Crisis
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP

It brings up images of the salt-and-pepper-haired man riding on a Harley with a yoga instructor half his age on the back nuzzling too close to him so that it is difficult for him to drive.  Or perhaps a middle-aged woman dressed in clothes she “shouldn’t be wearing” playing kissy-face in the corner of a bar with a young muscle-bound Adonis, not much older than the son she could have popped out at 22.  If I could circulate a sign-up sheet for these two scenarios, it wouldn’t make it past half the room.  There is something sort of fun about the midlife crisis.  Why is the midlife crisis so all encompassing, and why is it so predictable? Read the rest of this entry »

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.” Read the rest of this entry »