This post is primarily for my students, but others might be interested, too.
Sage Publishers have just put a couple of widely-read articles online on (probably temporary) free access.
These might be of interest to you: one is about student drinking (have you had your liver function tested lately?):
Jennifer E. Cross, Don Zimmerman and Megan A. O’Grady (2009) Residence Hall Room Type and Alcohol Use Among College Students Living on Campus Environment and Behavior 41: 583
The other is about the social construction of the idea of ‘serial killer’. It seemed from the ‘important questions in psychology’ exercise that we did, that quite a few people thought that understanding serial killers is an important question (not sure I agree), so you might find this interesting. It’s not about ‘why do serial killers do it?’, though, but about ‘what are our ideas of what serial killers are, and how are they used in court?’ It’s a discourse analysis study: a method in psychology which you may not be familiar with, but which you’ll come across later in the course, which is very different from an experimental approach.
From the abstract: “A courtroom transcript concerning the confession to 10 murders by the serial killer, Dennis Rader, was analysed. The transcript was read and reread in order to examine how the killer drew upon popular understandings of serial killing, until eventually three main discourses were identified: perpetrator as ‘sympathetic’, ‘serial killer’ and ‘driven by sexual fantasy’. The analysis demonstrated that these discourses all served to reinforce the widely shared construction of the serial killer, i.e. being sexually motivated. Furthermore, the findings show how this construction served the functions of mitigating responsibility, justifying certain actions and obscuring violence.”
I only read a bit before deciding it was too upsetting – but I remember I was less sensitive about these things when I was younger, so others may find it OK.
Ross Bartels and Ceri Parsons (2009) The Social Construction of a Serial Killer Feminism & Psychology 19: 267
The starting page for both of these is http://www.sagepub.com/newsletters/journals/psychology_A.html#articles
where there are links to other popular papers in Sage journals, including one in the Journal of Black Psychology.
We do have Feminism & Psychology, both on paper (2000-2006 in Boots; the full collection at Clifton) and online. I regret to say we no longer take Environment & Bahaviour (a good journal, full of interesting studies). I am ashamed to say that we no longer take the Journal of Black Psychology, though we have paper copies from 2000-2006, and I think there is electronic access to the same range of dates.