Personality and Trait Theories of Crime

John Paul Wright and Kristan Moore

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online June 2012 | | DOI:
Personality and Trait Theories of Crime

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Personality reflects the totality of a human being’s beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and ways of interacting with the social world (see Walsh and Ellis 2007 under Introductory Works). Personality is the sum total of all human characteristics that make the individual unique among individuals. Human personality is composed of an array of traits, or discrete human characteristics. These traits can vary across human beings and will coalesce within some humans to form recognizable behavioral and cognitive orientations or patterns. These orientations, what we call “personality,” can be highly stable over time. Owing to the overlap between traits and the broader constellation of personality, it is sometimes difficult to clearly identify a criminological theory as either a trait or personality theory. Because of this, trait and personality perspectives have been brought under an even larger theoretical umbrella of individual differences. Human beings vary on almost every measureable characteristic. Some individuals seek out and engage in risky behaviors, while others are shy and withdrawn; some are caring and nurturing, while others are hostile and aggressive.

Article.  8103 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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