Which Trait Theory Most Explains Criminal Behavior

1338 words - 5 pages

Essay Topic:
Which Trait Theory Most explains criminal behavior?
Essay Question:
In terms of Trait theories, which theory do you think most explains criminal behavior?
Thesis Statement:
Criminal behavior can mostly be explained by the Biosocial Branch of Trait Theory. Individual traits by themselves cannot determine criminality. Outside factors such as the environment along with certain personality traits is what causes criminal behavior.
Table of content:
 Introduction
 Biosocial Trait Theories
 Implications
 Conclusion

1. Introduction
Trait theory views criminality as a product of abnormal biological or psychological traits. It is based on a mix between biological factors and environmental factors. Certain traits alone cannot determine criminality. We are born with certain traits and these traits along with certain environmental factors can cause criminality (Siegel, 2013). According to (Siegel, 2013), the study of sociobiology sparked interest in biological or genetic makeup as an explanation for crime and delinquency. The thought is that biological or genetic makeup controls human behavior, and if this is true, then it should also be responsible for determining whether a person chooses crime or conventional behavior. This theory is referred to as trait theory (Siegel, 2013). According to Siegel (2013), due to the fact that offenders are different, one cannot pinpoint causality to crime to just a single biological or psychological attribute. Trait theorist looks at personal traits like intelligence, personality, and chemical and genetic makeup; and environmental factors, such as family life, educational attainment, economic factors, and neighborhood conditions (Siegel, 2013). There are the Biosocial Trait theories and the Psychological trait theories. I will look at the Biosocial Trait Theory to explain crime.
2. Biosocial Trait Theories
Biosocial approaches to the study of crime are founded on the idea that the environment and biological makeup interact in significant ways to influence behavior. In the theory there are multiple factors to consider when explaining criminal behavior. Biological factors increase the likelihood that an individual will engage in criminal behavior when these factors interact with psychological or social factors (Bernard, Snipes, and Gerould, 2010).
According to Bernard Snipes, and Gould (2010) early criminology associated criminal behavior with physical appearance. Physiognomy studied the face and phrenology studied the external shape of the skull. Cesare Lombroso extended the tradition of physiognomy and phrenology by studying all anatomical features of the human body. Lombroso used Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to argue that criminals were biological throwbacks. He referred to these individuals as atavistic people who were more primitive and less highly evolved than their non-criminal counterparts. In Lombroso’s later studies he broke down criminals into three classes; born criminals...

Find Another Essay On Which Trait Theory Most Explains Criminal Behavior

How have dualist tried to explain the apparent two-way causal interaction between mind and body? Which version of dualism is the most plausible theory of mind?

1144 words - 5 pages How have dualist tried to explain the apparent two-way causal interaction between mind and body? Which version of dualism is the most plausible theory of mind?The theory of dualism is based on the separation of the mind and body into two types of stuff - spiritual and physical. Dualists believe that the mind consists of spiritual stuff absent in the material world, while "the body is composed of ordinary matter" . Cartesian, or interactionalist

Do all dualists believe that there is two-way causal interaction between mind and body? Which version of dualism – Cartesian dualism, parallelism, or epiphenomenalism – is the most plausible theory of...

1103 words - 4 pages Jake Radowski Do all dualists believe that there is two-way causal interaction between mind and body? Which version of dualism - Cartesian dualism, parallelism, or epiphenomenalism - is the most plausible theory of mind?The theory of dualism is based on the separating of the body and the mind into two types of substances-material and immaterial or material and mental. Substance dualists hold the belief the mind consists of spiritual stuff not

Compare and contrast Parmenides' and Plato's different views of reality. Which theory do you find the most convincing?

733 words - 3 pages believed to be true (i.e. change, motion and growth etc) and what the reason illuminates as real. In Parmenides' own words:'But the decision about these matters lies in this: it is or it is not.'What 'is not' cannot be for "is not" is simply a privation of "is"; it is not a piece of Being with matter and form. That which "is" is necessarily corporeal, as J Burnet explains: 'There is no real doubt that this is what we call a body. It is certainly

Discussion of Ciminological Theories: Trait Theory & Developmental Theory

2242 words - 9 pages most likely predisposed to certain types of behavior, including criminality and antisocial behavior, due to certain biological and psychological traits is the criminological Trait Theory (Siegel, 2010). This theory generally means that people who live a criminal lifestyle are physically, chemically or biologically different from the rest of the population, or that they lack the self- and impulse- controlling behaviors that others with the same

Richard Speck and Comparison of Theories

2481 words - 10 pages theory works on the principle that social and economic forces are at their worst in lower income communities and the key determinants in criminal behavior patterns. Social structure theory challenges the theories of rational choice and trait, by reminding us “that people living in equivalent social environments tend to behave in a similar, predictable fashion.” “That if the environment did not influence human behavior, then crime rates would

The Rational Choice and Biological Trait Theories

2003 words - 8 pages not affect the behavior of an individual under the biological theory. Some criminologists that study the biological trait theory believe that some men are just born criminals and this is called atavism. Today, biological trait theorists are trying to establish a connection between different criminal mind frames (Siegel, 2011) Biological theorists also think about determinism which is a view of a criminal’s life style and how it became a

The Rational Choice Theory versus The Trait Theory on the Issue of the Reduction or Control of Crime

819 words - 3 pages Theoretical schools have long been used in the study of criminal behavior and as guidelines for determining ways to effectively reduce crimes. Two popular theories used in today's society are the Rational Choice Theory and the Trait Theory. Some argue that the Choice Theory is a more effective way of reducing and controlling crime while others argue in favor of the Trait Theory. After researching both theories, I have come to the conclusion that

The Deferential Association Theory of Crime

1746 words - 7 pages from an individual’s perspective to what societal factors cause this individual to commit crime. In the beginning, according to Cullen and Agnew (2011) Sutherland’s central thesis to the differential association theory explains why any individual gravitates toward criminal behavior, and that criminal behavior is learned through interaction with other people. Furthermore, Cullen and Agnew (2011) stated that that a person becomes delinquent

Criminalogical theories: An exploration of social disorganization, differential association, anomie and rational theory

1147 words - 5 pages ). On a scale of 1-5, this theory is a 4. This theory explains criminal behavior for a portion of society; however, it makes no policy recommendation as to the law. This theory does, however, give possible ways to reduce crime (i.e. having people do things that make them less vulnerable to becoming victims.)The third theory to look at is anomie theory. This theory concludes that most of society submits to a common system of values. This system

What causes criminal behavior

1197 words - 5 pages Criminologists studied criminal behavior for many years. In fact, criminologists have come up with many different answers and theories as to why individual actually commits crimes. Even though there are many differences each answer and theory helps assists the legal system with deterring such criminal activity. One of the most costly forms of crime; white collar, shows many distinct characteristics that can be placed in a criminal

Laub and Sampson’s Age-Graded Theory of Informal Social Control

813 words - 4 pages that act as informal social controls and become stronger than their anti-social behavior (Sampson and Laub 1993). Adolescent Limited offenders are antisocial only during adolescent. This theory explains who individuals stop offending. Life-Course Persistent offends are antisocial at an early age and continue to be antisocial through adulthood. The continuation of antisocial behavior will indicate who will be a life-course persistent offender. This theory explains why individuals continue to offend based on biological differences they have during adolescence as well as why these individuals commit most of the offenses in adulthood.

Similar Essays

Theory Of Criminal Behavior Essay

949 words - 4 pages (Cassel & Bernstein, 2007). With this background this paper will objectively discuss the theory of criminal behavior, why it should be studied and the roles the theory plays in the criminal justice system. 2.0 Theory of criminal behavior Criminal behavior theory is a set of principles and statements which attempt to explain how one or more factors lead to criminal acts. In addition, the theory explains the response to a particular behavior and not

Applying Albert Banduras Bobo Doll Theory To Any Criminal Behavior

2035 words - 8 pages In this essay I will demonstrate how Albert Banduras Bobo doll theory can be applied to criminal behaviour in today’s society and how his method has some flaws to the structure when applying it in to today’s societal issues which will be going under critique. The criminological theory that this applies to is the social learning theory implying that people will imitate or copy what other people do this especially applies to children as they seek

Which Of Nietzsche's Ideas Are The Most Useful For Feminist Theory And Practice?

3205 words - 13 pages This paper will examine which of Nietzsche's ideas are the most useful for feminist theory and practice. I intend to discuss the exclusion of women throughout the history of philosophy, demonstrating how this can be useful for feminist theory. I will talk about Nietzsche's use of dualisms and how his anti-essentialist ideas can be useful with also taking a look at Jacques Derrida's ideas. Lastly I will discuss Nietzsche's ideas about language

Policing Styles: Which Do You Think This Is Most Effective? Thomas Edison State University Intro To Criminal Justice

571 words - 3 pages officers. Journal of criminal justice, 14(4), 329-348. Glauser, M. J., & Tullar, W. L. (1985). Communicator style of police officers and public satisfaction with officer/citizen telephone conversations. Journal of Police Science & Administration. Klinger, D. A. (1997). Negotiating peace in patrol work: An ecological theory of police response to deviance. Criminology, 35(2), 277-306. Marx, G. T. (1974). Thoughts on a neglected category of social movement participant: The agent provocateur and the informant. American Journal of Sociology, 80(2), 402-442.