April 4, 2011
Dr. Melda Jones
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Case Study in Abnormal Behavior
Psychological is very important in making criminal decisions. Criminal responsibility depends on the related disciplines that are found in the field of psychology. Abnormality differs depending upon what is considered to be typical within a culture. What is typical lies on the surface of cultural morality. Culture is considered to be group – specific behavior obtained from social influences (Hansell & Damour, 2008). To have a better understanding, and come to some conclusiveness of why certain things happen, you must first have an understanding of an individual’s personality. Personality is considered to be the different mask that people wear. These masks are projected and displayed within an individual’s response. Personality is impacted in emotions, and shown through behavior. Cognition is linked to an individual’s learning that is displayed through abilities, processes, and changes that an individual endures. The biological development of an individual involves genetic make –up, that also influences some instances in behavior. There are psychological practices that are used in determining the outcome of some legal issues. Selected Case Study / “Jeffrey Dahmer” When deciding upon the criminal responsibility of an individual, there must be a determination on whether or not the individual is Malingering or actually possess a factitious disorder. Malingering is the act of appearing mentally ill so that the responsibility or compensation is exempt of that individual that is to be held responsible (Hansell & Damour, 2008). A factitious disorder is when an individual shows psychological symptoms of being mentally ill, that will exempt them from legal responsibility of normality, and the individual receives medical attention. In order to determine criminal responsibility an individual must show that they understand what they did, and they must also know that what they did is wrong. If the individual is delusive and/or does not understand what they did, or that (the wrong doing) was wrong, the guilty person will be excused of normal proceedings in a criminal case. The case I chose to study is that of Jeffrey Dahmer. Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer, and a sex offender. Dahmer murdered seventeen males between the years of 1978 to 1991. His murders included torture, dismemberment, necrophilia, and even cannibalism (Creekmore, 2007). Torture is to inflict pain for punishment. Dismemberment is cutting off bodily limbs. Necrophilia is receiving sexual arousal from a dead body, and cannibalism is the act of humans eating another human’s flesh. Jeffrey Dahmer was a very disturbed man. His victims were men and boys. He would choose the majority of his victims from gay bars. He would have sex with the victims, and then kill them. Dahmer was a registered/convicted child molester. He would lure children with alcohol, and drugs, then rap them while they are under the influence of a delusive...