chapter  4
20 Pages

Psychologically oriented explanations of criminal behaviour

The previous chapter examined criminality from a biological perspective. By contrast, this chapter looks at a range of theories of criminality originating in psychological perspectives. A huge variety of factors have been related to criminal behaviour. A small number of these are discussed here including unconscious motivations (the psychoanalytical approach), learning experiences (e.g. social learning theory), cognitive processes (e.g. moral reasoning) and social factors (e.g. selffulfilling prophecies). The range of theories included here is by no means exhaustive but gives some indication of the variety of possible ways of understanding crime from a psychological point of view.