Criminal Biopsychology

Robert Posey muddy at
Fri Mar 20 04:33:35 EST 1998

Alexander Kulla wrote:
> Fernando Barbosa wrote:
> >
> > Dear newsgroup friends,
> >So, they do not resist to an opportunity of
> > a criminal action and, as matter of fact, they create their own
> > opportunities. From a neuropsychological and psychofisiological point of
> > view, they have a reduction in their freedom of choice and behaviour.
> > I would appreciate contributions about how to assess this reduction in the
> > degrees of freedom within the neuropsychological and psychofisiological
> > research paradigms and tools.

I see 4 possibilities for criminals behavior.

1.  They have limited attachment to society, and thus are unaffected by social
norms.  The classic heartless person who doesn't give a damn(and can't) about
and is unable to form normal emotional bonds, and thus whether to commit a crime
is simply a risk/reward choice.  In many cases they don't even love themselves,
thus there is no effective risk since they don't care what happens to

2. Poor impulse control:  Everyone, or at least most people consider criminal
but then consider the downside.  If your impulse control is bad enough, you will
simply act at the first temptation, in many case repeatedly.  If your impulse
is bad enough, it is not really a matter of choice and thus punishment has no

3. Some criminals are perfectly normal, well adjusted members of sub society
that has
totally different ethics.  An examples would be a "Traveler" whose society
fraud, and thief the normal and preferred method producing wealth.  A person
exhibited "Normal" ethics in that society would be considered defective. 

4. A relatively normal person from a defective part of normal society who was
not properly
taught ethics and/or proper measurement of risk and reward.  They simply make
bad choices
because they are morally weak, and don't think things through properly.

Only options 1 and 2 imply any form of defect in biology.  It should be noted
that a large
percentage of criminals have ADD.  Having ADD would limit their impulse control,
make them
harder to train in proper behavior, and limit their economic success.  A good
Alife model of
criminal behavior would have to include all 4(and there maybe more) problems to
have much
validity.  Behavior is not that simple.

Robert Posey

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