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NCJ Number: 67993 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME AND PERSONALITY
Journal: MEDICO-LEGAL JOURNAL  Volume:4  Dated:PART 1 (1979)  Pages:18-32
Author(s): H J EYSENCK
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE IMPORTANCE OF GENETIC FACTORS AS DETERMINANTS OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, AND THE SOCIOLOGICAL FALLACY OF OVERINTERPRETING CORRELATIONS IN CAUSAL TERMS ARE EXPLORED FROM A BRITISH PSYCHOLOGIST'S PERSPECTIVE.
Abstract: IN THIS PAPER THE AUTHOR OF THE FUNCTION TYPE PERSONALITY THEORY AND THE THREE DIMENSIONS OF POTENTIAL CRIMINALITY (I.E., EXTROVERSION, NEUROSIS OR EMOTIONALITY, AND TOUGH-MINDEDNESS) DEALS WITH THE CAUSES OF CRIME, PATTERNS OF CRIMINAL CONDUCT, AND VARIOUS EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES FOR BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION OF ANTI-SOCIAL AND DEVIANT INDIVIDUALS. CRITICIZING THE ENVIRONMENTAL THEORY OF CRIMINALITY AS HAVING BEEN DISPROVED IN MANY COUNTRIES THROUGH SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS PERFORMED ON ITS BASIS, AND NOTING THAT THE GENETIC HYPOTHESIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED THROUGH WORLDWIDE GENETIC STUDIES OF TWINS, ADOPTED CHILDREN, AND FAMILIAL INTERCORRELATIONS, THIS STUDY DISCUSSES IN DETAIL THE THREE HEREDITARY DIMENSIONS OF PERSONALITY THAT ARE CONDUCIVE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CRIMINALITY. THE RADICAL CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORY THAT CRIME IS SUBJECTIVE AND A PRODUCT OF THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM IS EXPLODED BY THE UNIVERSALITY OF CRIMINAL CONDUCT UNDER ALL TYPES OF POLITICAL REGIMES. IMPRISONMENT TOO HAS NOT BEEN PROVED TO BREED MORE CRIME. THE INTERACTION OF GENETIC FACTORS AND THE ENVIRONMENT MAY BE THE TRUE CAUSAL FACTOR OF CRIME. THE LOW AROUSAL CAPABILITY AND LOW BOREDOM THRESHOLD OF THE EXTROVERTED PERSONALITY, WHICH PRODUCE A NEED FOR EXCITEMENT, ARE PART OF THE GENESIS OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. LAW-ABIDING PEOPLE ARE DETERRED FROM COMMITTING CRIMES THROUGH THE PROCESS OF CHILDHOOD CONDITIONING BY PARENTS AND SCHOOLS. THE CURRENT DRAMATIC INCREASE IN CRIMINALITY, ESPECIALLY JUVENILE CRIMINALITY, IS CAUSED BY THE LACK OF CONDITIONING IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS, SINCE THEIR PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND EVEN THE COURTS, HAVE ABROGATED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY IN TODAY'S ATMOSPHERE OF PERMISSIVENESS. AMONG THE MANY TOPICS RELATED TO NONBEHAVIORAL FACTORS IN THE CRIMINAL PERSONALITY ARE THE AGGRESSION-EMOTIONALITY CORRELATION, AND SUCCESSFUL EXPERIMENTS IN PRISONER REHABILITATION THROUGH BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES. THE UNITED STATES IS DEEMED MORE ADVENTUROUS THAN GREAT BRITAIN IN EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW IDEAS BECAUSE OF STATE AUTONOMY. THIS IS EVIDENCED BY THE SUCCESSFUL USE OF TOKEN ECONOMIES IN UNITED STATES CORRECTIONS, ESPECIALLY WITH YOUTHFUL INMATES. ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL EXPERIMENT WAS CONDUCTED IN A MAXIMUM SECURITY AMERICAN PRISON, IN WHICH CONVICTED OFFENDERS SERVING LIFE SENTENCES INVITED CHILDREN FROM CRIMINOGENIC NEIGHBORHOODS INTO THE PRISON, TOLD THEM LIFE HISTORIES, AND SHOWED THEM THE HORRORS OF PRISON LIFE. A TRANSCRIPT OF THE DISCUSSION FOLLOWING THIS LECTURE IS APPENDED.
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Biological influences; Crime Causes; Criminality prediction; England; Forensic medicine; Forensic psychiatry; Genetic influences on behavior; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Personality assessment; Token economies; Twins as research subjects; United States of America
Note: MEETING OF THE MEDICO-LEGAL SOCIETY HELD AT THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE ON NOVEMBER 9, 1978.
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67993

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