Dr. Lisa M. Thompson
Dr. Lisa M. Thompson is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Department
of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University. She received her Bachelor
of Science in Psychology at Brigham Young University–Hawaii and Master of Arts in
Psychology at Brandeis University. She later graduated with a PhD in Criminology and
Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. From 2020 to 2022, she
also participated in the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice
Research Assistantship Program.
Dr. Thompson’s primary area of focus delves into the decision-making processes that
lead to deviant behavior, with particular emphasis on how a person’s moral endorsements
and conflicts impact the experience of making the decision to offend. She is currently
in the process of disseminating work from her doctoral dissertation, “Exploring Offending
and Decision-making through the Lens of Moral Foundations Theory,” and her book entitled,
“Deathly Decisions: How Criminals Choose to Harm and Hurt” is under contract with
Oxford University Press. She is also currently a consultant for the National Institute
of Justice’s Violence Against Women and Violence Against American Indian and Alaska
Native Women portfolios. Additional research interests include theories of criminal
decision-making, violent extremism, gender-based violence, and sexually deviant behavior.
Her work on these topics have been published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals
including Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Sexual Abuse, and Frontiers in Psychology.
She has also presented the results of her research at various regional and national
conferences, including those sponsored by the American Society of Criminology, the
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the jointly hosted MASOC/MATSA conference
Additionally, Dr. Thompson is dedicated to promoting an engaging and empowering learning
environment, where her students are able to take ownership of their educational journey.
She focuses on shaping students’ abilities to be good global citizens and better critical
thinkers through a combination of substantive lectures, transparent assignments, and
thought-provoking discussions that help students feel connected to the material and
to their communities. This teaching philosophy is adopted in all of her courses, including
Foundations of Criminal Justice, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, and Race, Crime,