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Criminology (6th edn)

Stephen Jones
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date: 20 August 2022

p. 31615. Personality theorieslocked

p. 31615. Personality theorieslocked

  • Stephen JonesStephen JonesHonorary Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Bristol


This chapter discusses the term ‘personality’, which is used to describe an individual’s temperamental and emotional attributes that are relatively consistent and that will influence behaviour, and considers the extent to which the leading psychological explanations of personality development can be related to criminal behaviour. Psychologists use different classifications—some might include considerations of biological factors or aspects of mental disorder such as psychopathy within the category of personality—and refer to a persistent or stable personality characteristic as a trait. For many years they have devised tests aimed at measuring personality traits in an attempt to test the hypothesis that people who are prone to act in an antisocial way are distinguishable from ‘normal’ people.

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