Psychological Causes Of Criminal Behavior

718 Words 3 Pages
The topic that most interested me in this unit was criminology and within that bracket my focus ended up on two subtopics, the psychological and the biological causes of criminal behavior. Given the length of the paper I further narrowed my focus to a concise look at some of the most relevant psychological risk determinants. There are, of course, a great many factors that go into driving and motivating criminal behaviors and subsequent crime. But, the most interesting for me is the psychological drive to commit crimes or engage in criminal behavior. According to the article Linking Psychological Traits with Criminal Behavior: A Review, “the role of criminal psychological traits of an individual has been receiving growing recognition as one …show more content…
Low scores in agreeableness and conscientiousness as well as moderate to high scores in neuroticism in children and young adults have all been linked to adult criminal behavior. Interestingly enough there is a theory that directly links three specific personality traits called the PEN model. This model links psychoticism, extroversion, and neuroticism and has directly linked its traits to delinquent behavior. But high scores on neuroticism and psychoticism tend to be found most often amongst adult offenders and high scores in psychoticism tends to be a common trait in repeat offenders as well as those that engage in more serious offenses. Next up is Self-control, which was another found important trait found in those that engaged in violent crime, and it is also being shown to be a very consistent marker for criminal behavior with some studies putting this trait as the main one. Mixed right in with self-control however, is aggression which has been strongly linked to antisocial behavior. This link may be what brings people with this trait to participate in violent activities. Finally this article brings up cognitive distortion which acts as a justification mechanism for criminal behavior. This distortion may be created by antisocial behavior or difficulty interpreting social signals and it allows for inaccurate recollections or biased readings of situations. This would, and does, in theory allow moral decisions to be preempted justifying the responsibility avoidance for their actions and attitudinal

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