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Compare and contrast theories of crime

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OCN CRIMINOLOGY UNIT 2 ASSIGNMENT 2 WRITTEN REPORT "Compare and Contrast Theories of Personality And Evaluate their usefulness At explaining Criminal behaviour" "Compare and contrast theories of personality and evaluate their usefulness at explaining criminal behaviour" Introduction During this report I will be looking at cases of true crime whereby the criminals are considered to be showing different types of personality which where considered reasons for criminality. I will be demonstrating how some trait theories may understand the reasons for the individuals committing such crimes and contrasting theories and evaluating their usefulness in their explanation of criminal behaviour. What is criminal personality? When using the term personality we are using it to define and describe an individual's temperamental and emotional attributes, (S. Jones 2006) these are the ones that are deemed consistent as these will influence behaviour so that a person is compelled to behave in this way almost daily. Therefore is would be fair to say the term criminal personality means a person who is of the nature to commit crime due to their temperament, characteristics pattern of thinking, feeling and acting. During this report there will be examples of types of criminal personality. Two Theories of Criminal Personality The theories being reviewed will be Freud's Psychodynamic theory which is made up of 3 components: the I.D, Ego and Superego.


Neurotic/Stable Individuals considered stable tend to respond to emotional situations slowly and not being exuberant. These individuals tend to return to normality quickly and are usually calm, even tempered and controlled and tend to live an unworried life. Introvert A typically introverted person would tend to be very low key and would prefer not to engage in social situations. They are more likely to be found on their own, reading a book, writing, inventing. There preference being alone. Introverts are likely so have few friends and prefer one to one, if any social interaction. The outlook of these individuals would be to plan head and not to act on impulse or excitement but with control and precise motion and action. Introverts are likely to be serious and well ordered in all aspects of life. Extrovert The typical extrovert is gregarious, highly sociable, enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, loves to party and have lots of friends, they like people around them, crave excitement, take risks and chances and will think nothing of doing something outrageous on the spur of the moment, impulse would equal excitement. Extroverts are not likely to enjoy reading and studying as this would require solitude which would be painful. They may have a tendency to be quick tempered and aggressive unable to keep feelings under control.


This theory helps us to understand the probable roots leading to criminality. Eysenck and Cattell depicted personality and character to show traits demonstrating criminality, this helps to build a picture of individuals that would carry out certain types of crime and would help profile criminals. Eysenck believed this could also be used for learning and control realising certain personalities are more susceptible to conditioning. Conclusion Theories of criminal personality help us to understand the possible reasons for individuals becoming criminal. In the psychoanalysis view everything stemming from childhood and the unconscious. Combining trait theories gives more clues as to the source of crime building a greater picture of the individual's development to be criminal, detailing the types of personality and the variations of introversion to extroversion, stability and how susceptible certain types are to learning. Criminal theory is devised to try and single out a particular trait that all criminals have in common, but what Eysenck found was that the traits varied dependant on the crime. While criminal personality and what leads us to commit crime is still a phenomenon and all theories seem to have valid comprehensive views of criminality it appears that integration of the best elements of each would bring us closer to the answers we are looking for.

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