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Peer Review Article of “Personality Correlates of Criminals"

Article Review

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Peer Review Article

            The level of violence has skyrocketed in the recent past with incidents of rape, murder, bombing, homicide, shootings among others becoming everyday news. This paper seeks to review a psychological article entitled “Personality Correlates of Criminals: A Comparative Study Between Normal Controls and Criminals” by Sudhinta Sinha. The publication was chosen because it sheds light on the factors that influence one to commit a felony and helps to understand how it is possible for a person to kill another one without empathy.

The Perspective of the Article

            Sinha published her work between January and June 2016. Author’s objective was to examine the correlation between personality and criminal behavior. She wanted to understand whether criminal behavior was unavoidable for some people or it was a result of social, situational or environmental circumstances and interactions (Sinha, 2016). Little research has been conducted to investigate the possibility of one being born with such personality traits that make a person more prone to criminal behavior with more scholars focusing on how relationships and the surrounding shapes one’s upbringing and consequently their felonious activities. For instance, Fakhrzadegan, Gholami-Doon, Shamloo, and Shokouhi-Moqhaddam (2017) believe that personality is a psychological variable that determines one's actions and therefore a combination of various environmental and neurological factors can predict potential crimes a person can commit. As an illustration, antisocial people have been known to exhibit little regards to social norms and low tolerance to frustrations, as well as might not feel guilt or be impulsive in their behaviors (Aggarwal, 2013). Following this, they can violate the rights of other people. On the contrary, those who do not have an antisocial disorder usually have more respect for human life and would not easily harm others. Having gathered information from various sources, Sinha sought to find out if the research of other scholars was accurate.

Research Design and Focus

Sinha's primary attention was on whether one's present traits could predict a person’s future criminal behavior. The study involved investigating 64 male participants, 37 from which were from the non-criminal population, and the other 37 were from the district jail of Dhanbad. The latter were convicted criminals who had committed various offenses like kidnapping, robbery, rape, and forgery among others. Sinha assumed that different crimes could have been a result of varying personality stimuli. Furthermore, this group was categorized into three different socio-economic classes: those from the low, middle, and high income-earning families. The researcher was keen to exclude any person who was addicted to any substance and those who had not spent more than two years in prison. Sinha used two tests for her study – personality database to gather sociodemographic parameters and the 16 personality factor questionnaire to collect the information about possible disorders and behavioral problems. Finally, the average age of the subjects was 36.7 (20 – 65 years).

Conclusion of the Research

            Sinha concluded that criminals were different from their non-criminals counterparts due to such factors as antisocial behavior, and this strongly influenced their criminal behaviors. Results from the H factor revealed that a majority of the 37 criminal participants were attracted to women, had a strong desire to try new things, were careless of danger signals, and were sensitive to emotional responses (Sinha, 2016). In summary, the study indicated the outcome that criminals are inclined to recklessness, might be sentimental, demand attention, make decisions on their own, and their intelligence is below that of an average person. This researcher supports the argument that there is a difference in personality traits of non-criminals and criminals.

Analysis and Thoughts

            The author has properly chosen variables and the sample. She divided the participants into experiment and control group and filtered out drug addicts to increase the accuracy of results. Additionally, she selected people who had committed different types of crimes, and this was perfect for her objective of understanding the link between various traits and commiting crimes. The 37 criminals that were chosen could be termed as passive because none of them had spent less than two years in prison; the researcher has also chosen 37 active non-criminals. Her objective for this approach is not highlighted, but it would be prudent to include at least a few people who had recently committed felonies. Moreover, her research was gender insensitive. All the participants chosen for the study were males. For better results, she ought to have also studied females of the same characteristics and compare the findings. This would have given her more diverse information to derive conclusions from. Finally, a sample of 64 people does not seem a lot for such a study.

Application of Information

I have learned that purposive sampling is used when it is necessary to study a very specific populace. When collecting sociodemographic variables, I will always use personal datasheet and the 16 personality questionnaire tool to gather information about people’s traits. To sum up, the article was useful as it has supported research work done by other authors, and this might be helpful in finding solutions on how to handle unlawful activities in society.

References

Sinha, S. (2016). Personality correlates of criminals: A comparative study between normal controls and criminals. Industrial Psychiatry Journal25(1), 41.

Fakhrzadegan, S., Gholami-Doon, H., Shamloo, B., & Shokouhi-Moqhaddam, S. (2017). The relationship between personality disorders and the type of crime committed and substance used among prisoners. Addiction & Health9(2), 64.

Aggarwal, I. (2013). The role of antisocial personality disorder and antisocial behavior in crime. Inquiries Journal5(09).

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