Danubius International Conferences, 7th International Conference on European Integration - Realities and Perspectives

The criminality and its psychological features.

George Dorel Popa
Last modified: 2012-04-01


Preventing and fighting crime preoccupied and concerned humanity along its history. This concern is fully justified because the crime is serious harm of the human interests, endangering fundamental values ​​and it is affecting the proper functioning of the social system. But what constitutes criminal behavior and how the individual gets the specialized skills in the area of criminality? What is its specificity? Any society appreciates the behavior of its members in terms of their compliance to the moral and legal rules. Failure to follow these rules will lead to coercive or punitive measures. Because of this, crime gets social characteristics of special importance for the whole society, because the consequences might be crucial for the working way of the system. The specialists involved in studying the phenomenon of crime are primarily interested in causal explanation of it, but also in the psychological aspects of criminality and criminal.

The collective programming of the mind distinguishing the members of one group or category of people from another, gives pattern for the individual behavior and about how the individual reacts. The reaction is observable in the diversity of cultural patterns of individuals forming a society. A study recently elaborated by the Journal of the Association for Psychological Science measured the brain waves of Caucasian and Asian people and claims that people belonging to the different cultures perceive the aspects of reality in a different way. The researchers found differences in how different cultures think about other cultures. Therewith, cultural differences are obviously very deep in our thinking way, challenging the commonsense. In this context, the main question is whether the way people react is predetermined (found in ontogenesis of individual group membership) or receive fingerprint of the society where the person has been born and educated? The theory of social action of Talcott Parsons shows that human actions are determined by the interaction of different systems: the "behavioral system" of biological needs, the "personality system" of individual's characteristics affecting their functioning in the social world and the "social system” of patterns. At the intersection point of these influences we find the member of society, respecting rules in order to be integrated. But what happens to those who deviate from the rules imposed by society? What is an acceptable behavior and what should be punished?