When crime is truly the product of rational choice, the offender commits the act for reasons of personal gain or gratification. His or her behavior is under his or her complete control. How and to what degree, however, might other factors intrude on and compromise his or her ability to exercise free will? The response to this question has come in the form of innumerable theories, each purporting to explain criminal behavior in terms of specific factors. Broadly speaking, criminal behavior theories involve three categories of factors: psychological, biological, and social. Read more about Criminal Behavior.
Criminal Behavior Research Topics
The long tradition of assuming crime to be the product of volition, unencumbered by aberrant psychological or biological processes, is under attack. In the end, we may find it is psychologist Adrian Raine’s bold conceptualization of criminality as a clinical disorder that best fits what we learn. To embrace this position, however, would require us to revisit our notions of crime and punishment—and treatment. If criminal behavior, at least impulsive violent criminal behavior, is inherently pathological, the implications are legion. In their determinations of culpability, the courts are thus wise to proceed with caution. As behavioral science research and technology advance, it is likely that the critical mass of the data will, ultimately, persuade.
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