Psychological Explanations of Crime. Personality Theories and Disorders. Psychoanalytic Perspective. Sigmund Freud Human Nature: Role of basic instincts in the development of personality Eros Thanatos. Psychoanalytic Perspective. Structure of Personality The id Pleasure Principle
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Personality Theories and Disorders
Role of basic instincts in the development of personality
Structure of Personality
Id and superego both press the ego to satisfy their demands.
These conflicting demands produce anxiety.
Humans are naturally “id” driven and antisocial, “criminal”.
Natural tendency toward crime is controlled by society as represented in the “superego”.
Overdeveloped “superego” may contribute to criminal activity (i.e., may commit crimes because of unconscious desire to be punished).
Repressed instincts can “break through” resulting in crime.
Crime is a product of an “imbalanced conflict” between
The Criminal Personality (Yochelson & Samenow, 1976, 1977).
Criminality is a attribute of a person’s personality.
Study of 255 Offenders: 52 “errors of criminal thinking” that form the criminal personality
No Control Group (are they really different from normal people?)
Questionable validity of method to identify personality traits
Criminal thinking patterns
Recognition of the possibility for change “our work has shown that it is possible to reach the criminal and change him” (1976:484).
52 thinking styles “ It is the direction of this pattern toward specific ends and in combination with other thought patterns that constitutes the very essence of the criminal mind (1976:252).
The violator does not consider his belief system flawed and in dire need of revision.
Something distinctive about their thinking patterns which causes them to suspend the social controls most people have to limit their behaviour.
These ideas continued with Albert Ellis and Rational Thinking Approaches
Concrete thinking: Closed thinking not receptive to feedback from others, not self critical;
Failure to empathize with others
Lack of perspective of time – does not learn from the past, inability to delay gratification;
Does not consider consequences – positive filters
Focusing on the negative – negative filters
Lack of interest in responsible performance – responds only if there is an immediate payoff;
Victim stance views self as a victim and blames others;
Views self as a good person fails to acknowledge own destructive behavior, builds self up at others' expense;
Lack of effort unwilling to do anything perceived as boring, has an "I can't" attitude;
The fear of fear denies fear in self and attacks fear in others;
The power thrust: uses intimidation to control others;
Uniqueness: different from and better than others, rules do not apply to them; and
Ownership: perceiving all things and people as objects to possess.
This concept continues today as a main part of how treatment functions for offenders
Thinking errors, stinking thinking, drunk thinking….
What is a personality disorder?
An enduring pattern of inner experience and behaviour that deviates markedly from normal expectations.
Pervasive and inflexible.
Onset in adolescence or early adulthood.
Stable over time.
Leads to distress or impairment.
What happens when you interact with someone
who has a personality disorder?
Difference between someone that is great at their job
and just good… ability to detect personality disorders
Your strategy NEEDS to change
You must interact differently or you lose them
You must interact differently or YOU get REALLY annoyed
You want to change the way you approach them,
(e.g. expectations for change)
Cluster A Personality Disorder
Paranoid Personality Disorder
Pattern of distrust & suspiciousness
View self as blameless
Hypervigilant to perceived attacks by others
“King of the Hill” neighbour
Not clearly psychotic
Antisocial Personality Disorder
A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
Relationship with criminal behaviour
A study of 451 randomly selected federal inmates of federal inmates in Quebec.
Inmates diagnosed with APD were more likely to:
Hodgins and Cote (1993)
Cluster C Personality Disorder
Dependent Personality Disorder
Pervasive and excessive need to be taken care.
Submissive and clinging behaviour.
Fears of separation.