Wk 2 notes | PSY-693

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Study of Behavioral Aspects of Criminals

College of Forensic Psychology, Grand Canyon University

PSY-693-O500: Professional Capstone

Professor Mandernach


Part 1


This research examines the multifaceted behavioral aspects of individuals involved in unlawful activities. The study will investigate psychological, social, and conservational factors leading to criminal behavior, shedding light on its fundamental causes and possible preventive procedures. This research is essential for the field of psychology as it provides insights into comprehending, evaluating, and addressing criminal behavior, eventually helping in the expansion of more operative rehabilitation and interference strategies (Hofhansel et al., 2020). In the investigation process, the philosophies of respect for people, generosity, and justice will be sustained through demanding informed consensus procedures, guaranteeing the conscientious treatment of contributors and the answerable behavior of research.

Literature Review

The literature on criminal behavior extends to various disciplines, including psychology, criminology, and sociology ( Maalem et al., 2020). Scholars have explored the psychological reinforcements of criminal behavior, highlighting the role of aspects such as character traits, early-life experiences, and mental health matters (Finlay et al., 2019). Social and environmental effects, including family crescendos, peer connotations, and socioeconomic conditions, have also been comprehensively studied. Criminological philosophies, including strain theory, social erudition theory, and repetitive activities theory, contribute to comprehending criminal inspirations and opportunities (Fedorenko et al., 2020). Furthermore, forensic psychology scrutinizes the behavioral features of criminals, giving insights into summarizing and risk valuation (Kalemi et al., 2019). This cooperative body of literature donates to an all-inclusive understanding of illegal behavior and informs policies for deterrence and mediation (Dunlea and Heiphetz, 2020).

Research Questions/Hypotheses

What are the psychological influences that drive criminal behavior, and how significantly do they contribute? How do social and ecological elements surrounding familial undercurrents, peer associations, and socioeconomic conditions impact criminal propensity? In addition, can explicit behavioral and psychological patterns be identified among illegal offenders, aiding in profiling and forecasting criminal actions? The hypotheses forestall that dissimilar personality traits and early-life involvements significantly inspire criminal participation (Walters, 2023). Additionally, they theorize that adverse family environments, association with criminal peers, and socioeconomic differences will be thoroughly associated with criminal behavior. Lastly, it is anticipated that through forensic psychology, decipherable behavioral patterns in criminal offenders will arise, leading to improved criminal profiling and risk valuation.

Part 2: Methods and Data Collection

Data collection approaches for criminal behavior usually include surveys, interviews, observations, and archival data analysis. Surveys encompass well-structured questionnaires and self-report scales administered to persons to collect information on their capabilities, attitudes, and behaviors correlated to criminal undertakings. Interviews permit researchers to carry out comprehensive discussions with personalities, including lawbreakers, to gain qualitative intuitions about their inspirations and experiences (Backes et al., 2020). Observations encompass witnessing and recording felonious activities or behaviors, habitually conducted by criminologists and law execution. Archival data analysis involves the inspection of obtainable records, such as crime statistics, court booklets, and police reports, to expose patterns and inclinations in criminal conduct over time. The approaches offer an all-inclusive understanding of criminal conduct, its origins, and consequences.

Hypothetical Findings

Hypothetical discoveries from the research disclose persuasive insights into criminal behavior. Survey data display a strong association between certain temperament traits and engagement in unlawful activities, principally impulsivity and low empathy. Interviews with criminals stress the significance of childhood involvement in criminal participation, with dysfunctional family crescendos and connotations with criminal peer groups being recurrent themes. Observations offer real-time corroboration of illegal behavior patterns, strengthening the hypotheses. Archival data examination demonstrates a chronological shift in illegal activities conforming to socioeconomic variations. The findings support the research hypotheses and discard the zero hypothesis, emphasizing the crucial roles of mental, social, and conservational factors in driving illegal demeanor.

Suggestions for Future Research

Building on the theoretical discoveries, future research should investigate the interplay between dissimilar behavior traits and their explicit influence on illegal behavior. Discovering the nuanced influence of early-life involvements and their communication with personality factors may lead to deeper insights. Longitudinal studies trailing persons from childhood to maturity may help institute causal associations and better envisage criminal participation. Furthermore, examining the efficiency of interference and restoration programs, considering the recognized influences, is vital for plummeting re-offense. Cross-cultural studies may provide a broader viewpoint on the universality or cultural specificity of conclusions. Lastly, progressing neuro-criminology investigation to comprehend the neurological foundations of illegal behavior is an optimistic possibility for future investigation.


Backes, B. L., Fedina, L., & Holmes, J. L. (2020). The criminal justice system response to intimate partner stalking: A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative research. Journal of Family Violence, 35(7), 665-678.

Dunlea, J. P., & Heiphetz, L. (2020). Children’s and adults’ understanding of punishment and the criminal justice system. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 87, 103913.

Fedorenko, O., Dotsenko, V., Okhrimenko, I., Radchenko, K., & Gorbenko, D. (2020). Coping behavior of criminal police officers at different stages of professional activity. BRAIN. Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, 11(2), 124-146.

Finlay, A. K., Owens, M. D., Taylor, E., Nash, A., Capdarest-Arest, N., Rosenthal, J., … & Timko, C. (2019). A scoping review of military veterans involved in the criminal justice system and their health and healthcare. Health & Justice, 7(1), 1-18.

Hofhansel, L., Weidler, C., Votinov, M., Clemens, B., Raine, A., & Habel, U. (2020). Morphology of the criminal brain: gray matter reductions are linked to antisocial behavior in offenders. Brain structure and function, 225, 2017-2028.

Kalemi, G., Michopoulos, I., Efstathiou, V., Tzeferakos, G., Gkioka, S., Gournellis, R., & Douzenis, A. (2019). Self-esteem and aggression in women: differences between female prisoners and women without criminal records. Women & Health, 59(10), 1199-1211.

Maalem Lahcen, R. A., Caulkins, B., Mohapatra, R., & Kumar, M. (2020). Review and insight on the behavioral aspects of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity, 3(1), 1-18.

Walters, G. D. (2023). Criminal thinking. In The History and Future of Correctional Psychology (pp. 123-135). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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