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NCJ Number: 47488 Find in a Library
Title: COLD NEW LOOK AT THE CRIMINAL MIND
Journal: PSYCHOLOGY TODAY  Volume:11  Issue:9  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1978)  Pages:86,89,90,106
Author(s): M S SERRILL
Corporate Author: Psychology Today
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Psychology Today
Boulder, CO 80323
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE CONTENTION THAT HABITUAL CRIMINALS POSSESS A CRIMINAL PERSONALITY AND ARE NEITHER MENTALLY ILL NOR VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCE IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE DISCUSSION REFERS TO A STUDY CONDUCTED BY SAMUEL YOCHELSON AND STANTON SAMENOW OVER A 16-YEAR PERIOD AT SAINT ELIZABETH'S HOSPITAL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. (SEE NCJ-32996, 41548). DURING THIS PERIOD, 240 MALE OFFENDERS WERE OBSERVED. THE RESEARCHERS IDENTIFIED CERTAIN DEVIANT THINKING PATTERNS IN ALL OF THE OFFENDERS AND CONCLUDED THAT THE HABITUAL CRIMINAL IS A LIAR, HAS LITTLE CAPACITY FOR LOVE OR FRIENDSHIP, CAN COMMIT BRUTAL ACTS WITHOUT A TWINGE OF CONSCIENCE, AND FINDS THE RESTRAINTS OF RESPONSIBLE LIVING UNACCEPTABLE. THE RESEARCHERS ALSO CONCLUDED THAT THE HABITUAL CRIMINAL DISREGARDS OTHER PEOPLE'S RIGHT TO LIVE SAFELY BUT DEMANDS THAT OTHERS SHOW HIM THE UTMOST RESPECT AND CONSIDERATION. FIFTY-TWO PATTERNS OF ERRONEOUS THINKING, FOR THE MOST PART PRESENT FROM A VERY EARLY AGE, WERE IDENTIFIED. THE MORE PROMINENT PATTERNS INCLUDE EXTREME FEARFULNESS, EXTREME AND PERSISTENT ANGER, 'ZERO STATE' (PERIODS DURING WHICH THE CRIMINAL FEELS HOPELESS), CRIMINAL PRIDE, AND SUPEROPTIMISM. THE RESEARCHERS BEGAN THEIR WORK WITH THE CONVENTIONAL VIEW THAT CRIMINALS ARE VICTIMS OF ABUSE AND DEPRIVATION. WHEN THEIR EFFORTS TO PINPOINT THE CAUSES OF CRIMINALITY PROVED NONPRODUCTIVE, THE RESEARCHERS TURNED TO A STUDY OF CRIMINAL THINKING PATTERNS AND WAYS TO CHANGE THEM. A CHANGE PROCESS, WHICH IN SOME WAYS RESEMBLES REALITY THERAPY AND ENCOUNTER THERAPY, EVOLVED. THE PROCESS INVOLVES USING THE CRIMINAL'S 'ZERO-STATE' TO ENHANCE HIS SELF-DISGUST AND THEN TEACHING HIM TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A LAW-ABIDING LIFE. THE RESEARCHERS DID NOT EXPLAIN WHY SOME DEVELOP CRIMINAL THINKING PATTERNS AND OTHERS DO NOT, BUT REJECTED THE IDEA THAT SUCH PATTERNS ARE MORE PREVALENT AMONG CERTAIN ETHNIC OR ECONOMIC GROUPS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Criminology; Evaluative research; Habitual offenders; Personality
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47488

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