Criminal Mind Fact or Fiction Term Paper

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When examining both sides of the spectrum, the evidence for the "criminal mind" existing vs. The "criminal mind" not existing, it seems that the evidence supporting the concept of a criminal mind may hold more ground. Individuals come to their state of being in so many different ways that it the idea that their mind is influenced by those different characteristics does not seem that far off from center. Following individuals from a young age and evaluating their temperament and finding that those different factors are the same ones that death row inmates have in common is significant evidence in and of itself. The influence of the environment has on an individual is significant as seen in it makes people happier, more susceptible to be depressed, motivated, among other traits (Fulker, & Cherny, 1995). To this end, the social influences that are had on someone can absolutely make a criminal come to be. The way that an individual react to different situations and to different people is something that the mind enables them to do; the mind is a powerful thing and the way it is molded can bring about spectacular things, both good and bad. Criminal activity is fueled by a criminal mind, one is may be more short when presented by someone antagonizing them at a bar, or likely to make poor judgments about drinking and driving, or even becoming involved in a gang of some sort. These decisions, although sometimes made in a split second, come to be because these criminals have been thinking differently from a so-called "normal" person over a period of time. The genetic disposition that someone may have to crime may be present, and then further compounded by social influences that make them the way that they are.

Furthermore, the three ways of learning, can also be seen as a type of social influence on criminals. Thought it is entirely possible to learn to be a criminal, it is possible that this type of learning can also be seen as a social influence. For example, if someone is involved in a gang and they are responsible for murdering people that oppose the gang, the reward of this type of behavior can be protection in comfort amongst other members while knowing that if he or she turns against the gang, then they might be murdered. That type of learned behavior can also be seen as a social influence depending on where the individual has grown up. After the exploration into the evidence on both sides of the spectrum, it seems that there are bits of pieces of each side that may be able to fully comprise the concept of the "criminal mind" more accurately than one or the other.

The concept of a criminal mind is something that will be debated for years to come- there are some many intricacies, discoveries to be made, and theories to be discredited before the scientific community and the population at large is able to move towards a more unified stance on the matter. It is the job of the scholarly community and the human race to try to find out as much as possible in an attempt to create a more comprehensive framework of thoughts on this matter, which will ultimately help shape the well-being of society. With the more knowledge on this matter, the more people will be able to make informed decisions about the future of criminals.


Bartol, Curt R., & Bartol, Anne M. . (Ed.). Criminal behavior: custom edition for UMUC.

Fulker, David W., & Cherny, Stacey S. (1995). Genetic and environmental influences on cognition during childhood. Population Research and Policy Review, 14(3), Retrieved from

Goodenough, O.R. (2004). Responsibility and punishment: whose mind? A response. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, 359(1451), Retrieved from

Moskowitz, Clara. (2011, March 04). Brain scans reveal the criminal mind. Retrieved from

Samenow, Stanton E. (2004). Inside the criminal mind. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.

Tolmie, Julia. (2001). Alcoholism and criminal liability. The Modern Law Review, 64(5), Retrieved from[continue]

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