Criminal Personality

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Criminal Personality

Stanton Samehow and Samuel Yochelson did a study on the personality of criminals and called it the Criminal Personality study. Yochelson had four objectives for this study “they were to(1) understand the personality makeup of the criminal, (2) to establish technique that could be used to alter the personality disorders that produce crime, (3) to encourage an understanding of legal responsibility and (4) to establish techniques that can be effective in preventing criminal behavior.” (Samenow). The study had two hundred and fifty- five participants and their backgrounds varied as well as their race, culture, and class status. The study had participants that were confined to the hospital that were found to be insane, as well as criminals that were not confined to a hospital. “they began their work believing that crooks were the maladjusted products of bad environments. But after probing the psyches of hundreds of inmates, they decided that the criminals weren't sick, they were just very good at manipulating psychologists. Convinced that classic psychiatry was wasted on these men, they devised a therapeutic technique designed to force criminals to confront their behavior realistically” (Biema, 1984). The participants were offered therapy as a possibility to be relived from their punishments. Samenow and Yochelson both trained in the Freudian school of psychoanalysis. “The first four years of the criminal personality project involved rigorous psychodynamic therapeutic practices with the offender subjects.” (Samenow).

The goal of the study was to locate the roots of the criminal behavior, also part of the goal was to provide the criminal information on how he could change their ways. “Psychoanalytic protocol mandates, family conflicts, Oedipal complexes, and childhood traumas were all evaluated so as to gain insight to the etiology of the criminal’s making” (Samenow).the study also considered sociologic influences. “Most of the...
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