This essay examines the current status of sensational interests and their relationship with offending in adolescence. The essay describes sensational interests, their measurement, and how they came to be associated with criminal behavior. New research, which addresses the complexity of the relationship, is discussed and recommendations are made for further developments in the field.
Defining Sensational Interests
Sensational interests denote an interest in dramatic and bizarre constructs observed in the histories of serious offenders, but which are often raised transiently in adolescents and young adults (Weiss et al. 2004). These topics are associated with personality, in particular low agreeableness and greater sensation-seeking (Charles and Egan 2009; Egan et al. 2001, 2003). This overlapping of population interests necessitates cautious and systematic work on such interests, as it is not possible to extrapolate from a single individual’s recreational, musical, or filmic...
KeywordsSexual Fantasy Serial Killer Intrasexual Competition Violent Computer Game Dark Triad
- Amazon (2017a). Satan. Retrieved 7 Mar 2017, https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_n_0?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3ASatan&keywords=Satan&ie=UTF8&qid=1488888599&rnid=1642204031.
- Amazon (2017b). The Satanic Bible. Retrieved 7 Mar 2017, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Satanic-Bible-Peter-H-Gilmore/dp/0380015390/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275167830&%20sr=1-2.
- BBC. (2006). Website gave clues to killer’s intentions. Retrieved 29 May 2010, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5346110.stm.
- Brown, J. (2010). Sentenced to life, the crossbow killer who ate his victims Retrieved 7 Mar 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/sentenced-to-life-the-crossbow-killer-who-ate-his-victims-2166537.html.
- Davies, C. (2016). Serial killer Stephen Port receives whole-life prison sentence. Retrieved 7 Mar 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/25/serial-killer-stephen-port-jailed-for-life.
- Drash, W. (2009). ‘Horrorcore’ singer suspected in Virginia killings. Retrieved 31 May 2010, http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/06/virginia.horrorcore.killings/index.html.
- Egan, V. (2004). The status of sensational interests as possible indicators of risk. In J. R. Adler (Ed.), Forensic psychology concepts, debate and practice (pp. 115–139). Devon: Willian.Google Scholar
- Evans, G. W., Li, D., & Whipple, S. (2013). Cumulative risk and child development. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 1342–96.Google Scholar
- Gee, D., & Belafastov, A. (2007). Profiling sexual fantasy. In R. Kocsis (Ed.), Criminal profiling: International theory, research, and practice. New Jersey: Humana.Google Scholar
- Gray, R. (2010). Human remains discovered in Bradford. Retrieved 29 May 2010, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7782805/Human-remains-discovered-in-Bradford.html.
- Maniglio, R. (2010). The role of deviant sexual fantasy in the etiopathogenesis of sexual homicide: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2010.02.001.Google Scholar
- Robbers, M. (2007). Crime shows and sensational interests: An exploratory examination of students in criminal justice related majors. Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 14, 344–361.Google Scholar
- Sweetingham, L. (2006). Teen to serve life without parole for killing lawyer’s wife Retrieved 29 May 2010, http://edition.cnn.com/2006/LAW/09/27/dyleski.sentenced/index.html.