Criminal Behavior As It Relates To Size
Psychology of Criminal Behavior
Professor Ali Choudhry
December 6, 2009
Does size really matter? Well if you are attempting to study criminal behavior in relation to appearance. Cesare Lombroso (November 6, 1835 – October 19, 1909) was the founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. Lombroso believed that a people could see in inferiority of genetic abnormalities of others and determine if that person was a criminal or criminally inclined, all this from an exterior examination. He believed that a criminal was born with physical defects that were noticeable. He was not alone in his thinking. Lombroso studied cadavers of criminals and of non criminals and noticed a difference in the general make up of the two, he claimed that anatomical investigations of the post mortem bodies of criminals revealed that they were physically different from normal people. He claimed that criminals have stigmata (signs) that include abnormal dimensions of the skull and jaw. He wrote six editions of a series called Criminal Man.
Lombroso claimed that such signs were noticeable in ‘Born Criminals’ Below are the signs he claimed made up a criminal: • large jaws, forward projection of jaw,
• low sloping forehead,
• high cheekbones,
• flattened or upturned nose,
• handle-shaped ears,
• hawk-like noses or fleshy lips,
• hard shifty eyes,
• scanty beard or baldness,
• insensitivity to pain,
• long arms relative to lower limbs.
Lombroso was not the only scientist who believed this method and was soon followed by Frank Gall, who believed that each section of the brain was responsible for a different aspect of human functioning. Gall was an anatomist. This was later shown to be inaccurate. John Lavater who published his 4 volume Physiognomical Fragments in 1775, He claimed that unusual...