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Crime on the Rise: Can Psychology Help?

Episode #2

Solving crimes implies more than just capturing criminals, putting them in prison, take firearms away from them. As outstanding as these moves can be, they are not sufficient to eradicate or reduce crimes. Solving crimes can be a long process that can be achieved gradually, depending on the demographics and cultural condition of a community. One of the best ways to curb crimes is the knowledge of the stimulants that turn people into crimes. Indeed, psychology can help.

What stimulates people to crimes

No doubt anyone in the criminology arena will lie out several factors that influence people to commit crimes, such as Biological Risk, which is we can't choose the chemical makeup of our brain. Adverse Childhood Experiences, Negative Social Environment, Substance Abuse, etc. above all, there is a close relationship between drug abuse and crime.

Drug abusers commit crimes to pay for their substances and it is a social group that resorts to gun violence to resolve conflicts. The Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, the Hon. C. Washington Missick acknowledged that during his press conference on violent crimes.

But the question to ask is, are these instincts innate or learned and gained during the lifespan? Is it the nature/nurture phenomenon in actions? Three major psychological theories speak to this phenomenon. Psychodynamic, behavioral, and cognitive theory.

Psychodynamic Theory 

This theory is often depicted as a devil and angel on someone’s shoulder, suggesting three elements in actions. A bad side and a good side, with the person in the middle to manage both. This body of knowledge was theorized largely from the mind of a famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud.

He argued everyone has instinctual drives called the “id” that demand gratification. The id is not in touch with reality or logic, it simply compels a person to do what he or she wants, regardless of consequences or repercussions. So, the id represents the devil because of its reckless and disregarding nature.

Then, the “superego” which is the moral and ethical code that regulates the drives the id exhibits. The superego is the inherent good in a person whom emblematic characters, such as parents, teachers, religious leaders, and society, have instilled or molded.

The superego is responsible for compelling people to make the morally right decision based on society’s expectations. In this scheme, it is the angel, because of the “ideal self” that it promotes. And adults later develop a rational personality called the “ego” that mediates between the id and superego.

It is the person on whose shoulders the angel and devil are standing. Based on this finding, it is safe to argue that criminal behavior is seen primarily as a failure of the superego. Thus, synonymous with the failure of moral values, and reasoning, of society.

Behavioral Theory

This theory supposes that through the lifespan, human behaviors develop through experience. This is the nurturing phenomenon. Behavior is contagious. People develop their behavior based on the reaction of other behaviors.

This conditioning is where behavior is learned and reinforced by rewards or punishment. This depicts the idea that if a person is in the company of those who condone and even reward criminal behavior – especially a figure of authority—then criminals will continue to engage in that behavior.

Albert Bandura, a social learning theorist, maintains that “individuals are not born with an innate ability to act violently. He instead suggests people learn violent behavior through observing others. Typically, this comes from three sources: family, environmental experiences, and the mass media.”

Cognitive Theory 

Cognitive theory focuses on how people’s worldviews govern their actions, thoughts, and emotions. This is what most cognitive theorists called “moral development.” They alienated this process into three levels.

Pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional levels focus on the perception of children, teens, young adults, and those over the age of 20.

 In conclusion, when crimes are in full swing in a community, as disastrous as they can be, there is a positive component to draw from it. It is a wake-up call to the entire society to revisit the construct of the community, including the school system, families, religious settings, social groups, and especially the laws of the land.

Society must consider the rise of violent crime as a sign of moral decay and authorities must mobilize every necessary resource to reshape it. Taking guns away from criminals is one thing, but reprogramming their mindset is essential.

Alces Dor


Contact the author@ 1-64924-4551



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