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Critically Discuss the Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives on the Aetiology of Criminal Behaviour with Specific Reference to Psychopathy.”

By | April 2013
Page 1 of 9
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION3.
2. A DEFINITION OF TERMS: PSYCHOPATHY 4.
3. BIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES5.
3.1 FAMILY STUDIES; TWIN AND ADOPTION STUDIES 5.
3.2 PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORIES 6-7.
3.3. EYSENCK’S THEORY7.
4. PSYCHOSOCIAL PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOPATHY8.
4.1 BEHAVIOURAL THEORIES8.
4.2 SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY8.
4.3 MODELLING9.
5. CONCLUSION .. 10-11.
6. REFERENCES 12-13.

1.INTRODUCTION
“The biological and psychosocial perspectives on the aetiology of criminal behaviour with specific reference to psychopathy” is an age-old debate between nature versus nurture. Extensive research has been conducted in order to determine whether the genetic make-up of an individual or the environment in which they are raised is accountable for creating criminals. The result of which, is the conclusion that both genes and the environment play a role in the criminality of an individual (Bartol, 2002). Various twin, family, and adoption studies in addition to laboratory experiments have generated supporting evidence that it is mostly an interaction between biological and psychosocial perspectives that predicts criminal behaviour with regards to psychopathy. However, having a genetic predisposition to psychopathy does not determine the actions of an individual unless they are exposed to the right environment resulting in a greater chance of that individual engaging in criminal or psychopathic behaviour. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to critically discuss the biological and psychosocial perspectives on the aetiology of criminal behaviour with specific reference to psychopathy.  

2.PSYCHOPATHY DEFINED
In recent times, Psychopaths are more commonly referred to as people with antisocial personality disorder and are characteristically among the most interpersonally disparaging and emotionally harmful individuals (Passer & Smith, 2009)....
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