Turning to Crime> Cognition> Criminal Thinking Patterns, Yochelson & Samenow

A mind map on Yochelson & Samenow's study 1976 study.

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  • Turning to Crime> Cognition> Criminal Thinking Patterns, Yochelson & Samenow
    • Aim- To understand the make-up of criminal personality.
    • Sample- 255 m offenders, some confined to a mental hospital due to pleading insanity.
    • Method- Longitudinal study (14yrs) involving clinical interviews based on Freudian psychoanalytic principles.
      • Most ppts dropped out of the study leaving only 30 members who finished the series of clinical interviews.
    • Findings
      • 9/255 showed improvement on pre-set criteria (lacks support for psychoanalytical treatment).
      • Ppts had manipulated the study to improve their situation and were still exhibiting negative behaviour outside of the sessions.
        • This changed the focus of the study (shift from psycho to cog).
      • Key finding- 52 thinking patterns or errors in thinking. e.g. Criminal thinking patterns, automatic thinking errors and crime-related thinking errors.
        • Criminal thinking patterns are characterised by fear, fragmentation in thinking as well as a need for power perfection and control.
      • Criminals want a life of excitement at any cost, lack empathy/ obligation, are poor at decision making and see requests for teachers/parents as impositions.


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