A person’s personality is defined as a group of psychological traits that are relatively enduring, distinctive, and integrated, and that arise from the interaction of their temperaments with their cultural and developmental experiences. There are numerous diverse personality qualities, as defined by psychologists, some of which are related to the possibility of exhibiting antisocial conduct.
According to Sigmund Freud, the id, ego, and superego are the three interrelated parts of the basic human psyche, each of which serves a specific purpose. The biological foundation of our temperament and personality, the id represents our instincts and wants for obtaining life’s necessities and pleasures.
Like a spoilt child, the id seeks instant fulfilment of its needs and is unconcerned with whether how it is met is acceptable or detrimental to oneself or others. The id adheres to the pleasure principle, but because it is incapable of engaging in hedonistic calculus, it frequently puts itself in danger. The sole component of our personality that we are born with is the selfish, immoral, uncaring, antisocial id (Walsh and Ellis).
The normal personality is one in which the ego succeeds in reaching logical agreements with its rational partners. When the id or superego overwhelms the ego, psychic energy is taken from the weaker components to enhance the stronger component, resulting in an aberrant personality. When the id takes control of the personality, the consequence is a conscienceless, impulsive person who strives to satisfy personal desires at the expense of others.
Personality Traits Associated with Criminal Behaviour
Some personality characteristics have a long history of being linked to criminal conduct. All of these characteristics are the consequence of various temperaments colliding with various developmental experiences, and they are ongoing rather than dichotomous. That is, persons differ solely in the intensity of these qualities; they are not features that some people have and others have not.
It refers to people’s varying tendencies to act on matters without giving much thought to the consequences. Depending on the circumstances, impulsiveness varies from person to person, and one can be impulsive without ever crossing the non-crime/crime threshold.
It is a primary trait composed of several secondary traits such as well-organized, disciplined, scrupulous, responsible, and reliable at one pole and disorganized, careless, unreliable, irresponsible, and unscrupulous at the other.
It’s simple to understand how conscientiousness may be linked to crime based on this list, however, it could be more beneficial to tie it to the Anomie theory.
According to the Anomie theory, we all want to maximize our pleasures and achieve success, but some of us are denied lawful access to do so. It’s also conceivable that people who don’t follow their dreams legitimately are unable to do so because they lack the necessary characteristics for professional achievement.
Conscientiousness is strongly linked to upward social mobility, and businesses prefer individuals with high levels of conscientiousness. Conscientiousness predicted professional success better than any other predictor in research that followed participants from early childhood through retirement.
In other words, it’s possible that people of particular temperaments don’t acquire the personal traits required to dedicate themselves to the lengthy and difficult work of obtaining financial success lawfully, and as a result, they try to do so illegally.
The capacity to understand and feel another’s feelings and suffering as though it were your own is known as empathy. There are two parts to empathy: emotional and cognitive. The cognitive component enables you to understand other person’s anguish, while the emotional component enables you to “experience” the other person’s suffering. People differ in their capacity for empathy, with those on the extremes of the spectrum carrying the weight of the world.
It can be viewed as the action part of empathy. If you feel empathy for someone, you will likely feel inspired to do something to lessen their suffering, if you are able. Altruism can therefore be described as a proactive concern for the welfare of others, and the terms altruism and pro-social behaviour are frequently used interchangeably.
We now have a new continuum with extreme altruists on one end and extreme egoists on the other. Lack of empathy and compassion is one of the psychopaths’ most defining characteristics.
5. Moral reasoning
It is another personal characteristic that psychologists find to be linked with antisocial behavior. Studies have frequently demonstrated a substantial link between moral reasoning and the capacity and/or propensity to sympathize with and help others.
Of course, not all immoral activity is criminal, but they all share some characteristics. Both types of action are in violation of societal norms and disregard our responsibilities to one another. To assess moral reasoning, participants are given a series of moral dilemma scenarios to which they must reply verbally.
The ability to imagine oneself in another’s shoes (empathy) and create courses of action to assist that person is required in the majority of these problems.