Foundations Of Criminal Behavior

CPSS/240: Foundations Of Criminal Behavior Wk 2 Discussion

Are criminal rational decision makers or are they motivated by uncontrollable psychological and emotional drives? Explain your response.

There are different types of criminals and each have unique traits that trigger them to commit the different crimes. The behavior of a criminal is motivated by psychological, emotional or cognitive factors such that in their conscious mind, the criminal may process or even react to a situation based on the experience they have had before which may become a habit or even an automatic response when triggered. For instance, when someone is hungry and the only way they can access food is by stealing it still makes a criminal but there are psychological factors that led to the theft. When the criminal has the vices that eventually are formed as in the long term they may develop into a personality of a criminal or even a habit which may be difficult to stop.

In the case where the criminal was punished and they have a hard time adapting to the normal life in the society, then they may commit a crime and it may become a habit. If the criminal has a personality disorder or an addiction that involves criminal activities, then it could lead to a habit of the similar crimes. When there is a positive stimulus for the crime that give the criminal hope or excitement then it motivates the criminal to commit the crime, if there is a negative stimulus that causes fear it may also trigger criminal behavior for instance if they are afraid of being attacked then they could attack others.


Bartol, A. M. (2014). Criminal behaviour: A psychology approach. Boston: Pearson.

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