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A Biological Theory of Criminality

  • Hans J. Eysenck
  • Gisli H. Gudjonsson
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)

Abstract

We have seen in previous chapters that genetic factors play an important part in the causation of criminal behavior, that constitutional factors are strongly implicated, and that personality features are vitally important for the commission of antisocial or altruistic acts. Is it possible to put forward a biological theory of criminality that would bring together all these different aspects and explain more in detail why certain individuals are more predisposed than others to commit antisocial acts? Such a question is not intended to suggest that human behavior is completely and inevitably conditioned by biological factors; we have already insisted on the biosocial nature of human beings, that is, the combination of biological and social factors in determining behavior. Thus whatever the biological predisposition of a person, it can become activated only in interaction with certain environmental variables. Nevertheless, it is surely important to ask just what the nature of these biological variables might be and to advance theories that might throw light on this biological side of the equation.

Keywords

Antisocial Behavior Criminal Behavior Pavlovian Conditioning Sensation Seek Biological Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans J. Eysenck
    • 1
  • Gisli H. Gudjonsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychiatryUniversity of LondonLondonEngland

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