Associate Professor of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Forensic Psychology
Dr. Robert Schug is a neurocriminologist and clinical psychologist specializing in the biology and psychology of the criminal mind. A true “criminal mind scientist,” his research focuses on understanding the relationship between extreme forms of psychopathology and antisocial, criminal, and violent behavior from a biopsychosocial perspective—with the application of advanced neuroscience techniques from areas such as neuropsychology, psychophysiology, and brain imaging. He is particularly interested in the etiological mechanisms, risk factors, and developmental progression of antisocial behavior within major mental illnesses such as psychopathy, schizophrenia, and neurodevelopmental disorders; as well as the ability to predict antisocial behavioral outcomes within mentally ill individuals. It is his hope that a better understanding of the relationship between these disorders and antisociality will have important implications in research, treatment, and forensic arenas; and will help to reduce the negative stigma often associated with mentally ill individuals who are not criminal or violent, while contributing to more effective treatment and management strategies for those who are.
He received his original Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical Neurosciences), along with a doctoral respecialization in Clinical Psychology and extensive clinical training as a Forensic Psychologist working with jail inmates, outpatient sex offenders on parole/Federal probation, as well as State hospital forensic psychiatric inpatients who have been found Incompetent to Stand Trial or Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. A seasoned writer, Dr. Schug has published numerous empirical articles related to psychopathy, schizophrenia, and homicide offenders in prominent psychiatric, psychological, criminal justice, and neuroscience journals; and has both authored and co-authored edited book chapters for several successful texts in forensic psychology, criminology, and the neurosciences. He recently (2015) published a leading textbook on mental illness and crime. He currently co-runs the CSULB Neuroscience Laboratory and conducts research projects related to traumatic brain injury, mental illness, and criminal behavior. He has also pioneered an innovative biopsychosocial developmental timeline approach to the study of etiological factors and brain functioning in multiple homicide offenders, which has become the basis for a one-of-a-kind CSULB research study involving interviews and neurocognitive assessment of incarcerated serial killers.
Dr. Schug has extensive media experience and is often sought out by media outlets to provide expert commentary and insight in news stories involving cases of extreme violence. He has appeared on numerous episodes of true-crime television programs for major cable networks, and in interviews and documentary films which have aired worldwide.
Dr. Schug is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and is on the Los Angeles Superior Court Approved Panel of Psychiatrists and Psychologists. He maintains a private practice that focuses on forensic assessment.
- Mental illness and crime, violence, and antisocial behavior
- Homicide, including serial killing and other forms of multiple murder
- Sexual offending
- Integrative biological, psychological, and psychosocial approaches to understanding criminal and violent behavior
- Forensic psychology, particularly neuroscience applications to the forensic arena (dangerousness/risk assessment)
- Competency to Stand Trial and restoration to competency
- NGRI defense
- Correctional psychology (assessment and treatment of mentally ill offenders)