The Causes and Cures of Criminality - Deepstash
The Causes and Cures of Criminality

The Causes and Cures of Criminality

Hans J. Eysenck, Gisli H. Gudjonsson


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Psychological Factors In Criminality

Psychological factors in criminality relate to genetic and constitutional causes and to personality and other sources of individual differences . Such factors have often been misunderstood, and even more frequently misinterpreted, in the context of crime and crime prevention.

To say, as we shall do as a result of a very extensive body of evidence, that genetic factors are powerfully involved in criminal activity, is not the equivalent of saying that "crime is destiny" and that for a given person such behavior may be predestined and inevitable.


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Many Other Factors

It is not crime itself or criminality that is innate; it is certain peculiarities of the central or the autonomic nervous system that react with the environment, with upbringing, and many other environmental factors to increase the probability that a given person would act in a certain antisocial manner. No social determinism is involved in such estimates of probability, and the evidence is now conclusive that some such interactionist view is more in line with the evidence than a purely environmentalistic (or a purely genetic) one.


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Traits Of Personality

Similarly, to find that certain traits of personality-such as impulsivity, anxiety, sociability, or whatever-are correlated with antisocial behavior is not to say that they inevitably produce such behavior. As we shall note, they might also produce success in certain types of sport or praiseworthy behavior on the battlefield.


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Complexity Of Human Behavior

The infinite complexity of human behavior in modern society allows only probabilistic estimates, but these can be powerful instruments in understanding behavior and providing us with a better theoretical insight into criminality than other relevant factors. Indeed, it is only by acquiring such an understanding that we shall be able to undertake the task of reforming the criminal and altering the criminal's patterns of behavior for the better.


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