Psychology • Psychology is defined as the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. • Subset of psychology is criminal psychology: the study of wills, thoughts, intentions and reactions of criminals • A subset of criminal psychology is forensic psychology: the intersection between psychology and the justice system
Risk Factors • A risk factor for criminality is anything in a persons psychology, developmental or family history that may increase the likelihood that they will become involved in some point in criminal activities. Risk factors include: • lower class origin, family of origin, poor personal temperament, lower aptitude, early behavioral histories, poor parenting, school based factors, poor educational/vocational/socioeconomic achievement, poor interpersonal relationships, antisocial associates which support crime, antisocial attitudes/values/beliefs and feelings and psychopathology
Risk Factors • can be divided into childhood time periods that may increase later criminal activity. • Risk factors in early childhood include poor parental discipline and monitoring, poor family environment, coercive parent-child relationships, instability in the family and early childhood conduct problems. • Middle childhood risk factors include rejection by normal or conventional peers, and academic failure and underachievement. • Late childhood and early adolescence risk factors include a commitment to a deviant peer group. • The "cycle of violence hypothesis" predicts that abused children will become abusers and victims of violence will become violent offenders. Abused and neglected children are more likely to exhibit delinquent characteristics as well as criminal and violent behavior as adults.
Criminal Profiling • is a behavioral and investigative tool that is intended to help investigators to profile unknown criminal subjects or offenders. Offender profiling is also known as criminal profiling, criminal personality profiling, criminological profiling, behavioral profiling or criminal investigative analysis • 3 main goals of criminal profiling: • to provide law enforcement with a social and psychological assessment of the offender • to provide law enforcement with a “psychological evaluation of belongings found in the possession of the offender” • to give suggestions and strategies for the interviewing process
Brain Structure • Brain scans have showed that on average there is an 18 percent reduction in the volume of the brain's middle frontal gyrus, and a 9 percent reduction in the volume of the orbital frontal gyrus — two sections in the brain's frontal lobe • Another study has showed that criminals suffer abnormalities or deformations in their amygdala
DSM-IV • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision, also known as DSM-IV-TR, is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that includes all currently recognized mental health disorders. The coding system utilized by the DSM-IV is designed to correspond with codes from the International Classification of Diseases, commonly referred to as the ICD.
Antisocial Personality Disorder • One of the most diagnosed condition among the personality disorders. There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of three or more of the following: • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest • Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure • Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead • Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by physical fights or assaults • Reckless disregard for safety of self or others • Consistent irresponsibility as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work or behavior or honor financial obligations • Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
Causes • Inherited tendencies, or genes. These are aspects of a person's personality passed on by parents, such as shyness or having a happy outlook. This is sometimes called temperament. It's the "nature" part of the nature vs. nurture debate. • Environment, or life situations. This is the surroundings a person grows up in, events that occurred, and relationships with family members and others. It includes such things as the type of parenting a person experienced, whether loving or abusive. This is the "nurture" part of the nature vs. nurture debate. • Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of these genetic and environmental influences. Some people may have a genetic vulnerability to developing antisocial personality disorder — and life situations may trigger its actual development.
Treatment • Antisocial personality disorder is notoriously difficult to treat. People with this disorder may not even want treatment or think they need treatment. But because antisocial personality disorder is essentially a way of being, rather than a curable condition, affected people are likely to need close, long-term care and follow-up.
Psychopathy • Is a subset of antisocial-personality disorder • Psychopathy is not mentioned as its own disorder in the DSM-IV • Is more specific than antisocial personality disorder, and a psychopath is not the same as an antisocial personality. Antisocial personalities may or may not be psychopathic • The antisocial personality is primarily a problem involving a failure to respect the right of individuals, the law and rules of society. Psychopathy involves poor emotional intelligence, the lack of conscience, and an inability to feel attached to people except in terms of their value as a source of stimulation or new possessions
Ted Bundy Serial Killer Rapist