chapter  6
22 Pages

Personality and Criminality: A Dispositional Analysis

WithHans J. Eysenck

This chapter reviews some of the literature that suggests that the rejection of psychological causes in criminality may have been premature. Concurrent with the apparent failure of sociological theories has been an increase in research into personality correlates of criminality, suggesting that genetic factors, personality features, and temperament variables do play a very important part in the genesis of antisocial conduct. T. Berman and T. Paisey investigated the relationship between antisocial behavior and personality in thirty juvenile males convicted of offenses of assault or confrontations with a victim, and thirty juvenile males convicted of offenses involving property without confrontation with the victim. Personality traits characteristic of antisocial and criminal behavior are also found correlated with behavior that is not criminal, but is regarded as antisocial, such as smoking. The results are incompatible with a purely situational analysis of criminal behavior, and suggest an important contribution by dispositional factors.