Turning to Crime - Cognition - Yochelson and Samenow

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Turning to Crime - Cognition - Yochelson and Samen

Yohcelson and Samenow

Aim: The authors wanted to understand the make-up of the criminal personality and change their criminal behaviour

Method and Procedure: Longitudinal study over 14 years where interviews on 255 participants were conducted in a psychiatric hospital in USA to gain an insight into their thinking patterns.

Results: Criminals have a different thinking pattern to non-criminals. They shared a specific pattern of thinking know as 'thinking errors'. 52 thinking errors were present such as lying;need for power and control;fantasising about crim activity and no care for any consequences.

Conclusion: 52 thinking errors fell into 3 distinct categories:

  • Criminal thinking patterns - Need for power and control and lying
  • Automatic thinking errors - No empathy/trust
  • Crime related thinking errors - Fantasising about criminal activity. According to this study criminals think differently to non-criminals.
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