Top Traits That May Lead to Criminal Behavior

Criminal behavior is often very difficult to pinpoint. We see otherwise normal-looking people being convicted of murder, despite not appearing the part. At the same time, we may also see big-looking bikers who are concerned that their petunias are not doing so well. With so many types of people out there, it can be very hard to determine which is likely to be an offender and which isn’t.

To get an idea of the risk, you need to look deeper than their looks. You need to look at their personality traits. It has been shown several times that individual personality traits are linked to criminality. Indeed, this is not an absolute law, but people exhibiting the following traits may have a higher risk of pursuing a life of crime.

person looking out through window

  • Anti-Social Values

Someone who has anti-social values is referred to as a person with criminal thinking. Under normal circumstances, when a crime occurs, most people would take the side of the victim. On the other hand, someone with anti-social values will rationalize the criminal’s action, suggesting that they were justified or had a point.

Someone with anti-social values will often blame other people for their own negative behaviors. They may also not show any remorse for their action, despite having caused someone harm.

  • Anti-Social Personality

Anti-social values are not the only thing that may hint at a life of crime in the future – anti-social personalities may suggest the same thing. Also referred to as sociopathy, someone with an antisocial personality may show no consideration for what is right. People exhibiting these traits are most likely to commit crimes later on in life.

Anti-social personality traits often appear at a young age, when the person is still in high school or college. They may involve skipping school, running away, getting into fights, stealing, lying, vandalism, or possessing weapons.

  • Criminal Peers

People who have this trait will often have friends or acquaintances that are connected to criminal activities. Whether the person has committed any crimes themselves or not, their association with known criminals may result in a life of crime later on.

The cause of this is usually peer pressure. To feel like they belong to the group, they will likely be convinced to engage in criminal activities. These individuals will also isolate themselves from pro-social communities, not giving away much information about their activities.

  • Low Self Control

People with low self-control have difficulties controlling their impulsivity or temperament. These people will frequently do things they did not plan for or act before they think. For instance, if someone steps on their toes, they will follow a “punch now, ask questions later” route.

At first, this may appear like innocent rebellion, or simply “living their life.” Such a person has a “here and now” mindset, not giving a second thought to the consequences. This impulsivity may lead to charges such as involuntary manslaughter. For example, in Rhode Island alone, a total of 2,230 violent crimes occurred, many of which were caused by impulsive behavior. Without a good Rhode Island criminal lawyer, this may lead to lengthy jail time.

  • Dysfunctional Family

People raised in a dysfunctional family are more likely to resort to a life of crime. This is especially the case if the family problems start during their teenage years when they are in high school. These traits will appear as a lack of support from their family, be it emotional or otherwise.

As they go through college, these circumstances may cause the child to not be able to solve problems efficiently. They may also not have the ability to effectively communicate with other people. Expressing their emotions may also become difficult, causing them to engage in potentially criminalistic activities. More often than not, these individuals become involved later on in criminal activities.

  • Substance Abuse

Substance abuse impairs a person’s ability to think straight in different social circumstances. For instance, someone who is usually calm while they are sober may possess impulsive traits while they’re under the influence.

Regular use of alcohol and drugs may also prevent an individual from having a productive and successful lifestyle. Moreover, the earlier the consumption starts, the higher the tolerance will become. With excessive alcohol consumption becoming more and more common among students, this can lead to an inability to stop later on in life.

The Bottom Line

While it is not guaranteed that certain traits may lead to criminal activity, the potential may still be higher. If those traits are noticed early on in life, appropriate supervision may be provided to avoid the fall into a life of crime.

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