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Criminals as a Social Issue and the Nature of Crimes

Criminals are as old as humankind. Demographers stipulate that criminal activities will continue as long as the human race exists. Therefore, humans should be prepared psychologically for criminal deeds. Criminals engage in illegal activities such as theft, murder, rape, etc. The debate on whether criminals are born or made is ongoing. Psychologists have attempted to explain the causative agents of crime. According to Maddux & Winsted (2015), and Devlin, (2018), cognitive, emotional, and social learning influences human behavior. Criminal deeds are organized and are an example of learned behavior (Devlin, 2018). However, the causative agents of crime can be traced to both genetic traits and the social factors that yield to criminal activities. For example, some criminals such as lone wolfs prepare their violent actions singly without any assistance from external authorities. However, the criminals Amy be lured into the acts by external philosophical ideals of other groups and may act in solidarity with the cause of the other organization (Jones, 2017). On the other hand, a leaderless terrorist organizes criminal activities in small units under the authority of a powerful leader. From the aforementioned examples, it is clear that criminal activities are organized and not inherited from our parents. However, parents and caretakers play a key role in human behavior as they influence the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth and development of young ones. For one to turn to a criminal, an authority must be involved. This paper shows that criminals are made and not born.

Researchers have refuted the interrelationship between crime and genetic characteristics. Mandler, (2013); and Maddux &Winsted (2015) notes that there exists no link between biological traits and crime. The criminals are largely influenced by the perception of concepts, poor language command, and metacognition (Shah, et al., 2017). It is worth noting that genetic characteristics aid in the development of the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial dimensions of humans during the formative years. However, the surroundings facilitate the young humans to refine their mental abilities while acquitting them with good morals and ethical living values such as tolerance, patience, integrity, and diligence (Maddux & Winsted (2015). The youngsters watch occurrences in their immediate environment which boosts the child`s memory and helps the child to meet the essential life skills. Therefore, the environment facilitates the development of the cognitive skills of youngsters, thereby contributing to a poorly mannered or well-behaved child. The past five decades have witnessed the publication of much academic literature such as books and academic journals on the impact of video games on causing crime among the youth. The situation of criminality is forced by various factors like people escaping poverty, people wanting to improve the situation of their families and have better lives, etc. Many people fall into the trap of, for example, human trafficking. Such people are not born criminals but are introduced by external forces. I am of the school of thought that the environment shapes human behavior. Hence, criminal activities are attributed to social circumstances.

Human cognitive abilities have a great impact on our behavior. Matt, et al. (2012); and Wang, (2017 observe that our immediate environment such as watching video games has an impact on our actions. Language competence plays a vital role in aggressive behavior. The words and phrases we use determine our social relationships and environmental interactions. The inter-relations between persons and the surrounding has a great impact on the criminal deeds. Therefore, our activities affect our values either positively or negatively. Shared norms and values highly influence criminal acts. According to Mandler (2013), persons with negative behavior owe the actions to their background particularly parents and caretakers, and not their genetic characteristics. Mandler (2013), Maddux & Winsted, (2015), and Devlin, (2018) note that negative parental behavior can attribute to the formation of negative behavior among children, while positive actions by the parents or guardians contribute to the positive behavior of the offspring. Negative poor upbringing can lead to the formation of aggression hence crime.

Social circumstances greatly influence human actions. Criminal actions owe their roots to social circumstances. In most cases, crime throughout history has been associated with males. The explanation is that males are more aggressive than females Devlin, (2018), On the other hand, positive behavior by the parents or caretakers yields to appropriate actions by the children. The irresponsible actions of the guardians and parents intertwined with a lack of commitment produce recurring evil ideas learned by the young minds. The negative notions stick into the minds of the young ones and are likely to engage in criminal activities in the future.

Genetic characteristics of an individual do not cause crime but delinquency is attributed to the poor upbringing of the children. The upbringing of a child during the formative years determines his/ her future character traits. Persons with negative behavior owe the actions to their background particularly parents and caretakers and not biological traits. Poor parental behavior is a major causative factor for the formation of negative behavior among youngsters (Maddux & Winsted, 2015; and Devlin, (2018). Such young persons may later in life engage in various criminal activities such as murder, robbery with violence, carjacking’s, etc. The memory of humans is developed uniquely. The mind of a human being can recall past negative episodes. However, the mental capacity is formed in a way that it can recall the negative moments more than the positive concepts. According to Matt et al., (2012); and Wang, (2017), any relationship between human genes and crime arises due to other underlying parameters. The impact may be a result of other happenings in the upbringing of the child. The immediate surroundings of a person during the formative years are significant in determining the effect of a person’s behavior. Child caretakers and parents have the responsibility of instilling positive attributes to the children.

According to Mandler (2013), Maddux & Winsted (2015), and Devlin, (2018), a person who is brought up in an environment of warmth and affection cannot be negatively impacted by a violent environment. On the other hand, a person raised in an insecure environment is likely to engage in crime after for example watching violent video games. Take a case where a person is exposed to aggressive behavior such as terrorist attacks. There is a high possibility of the person turning to crime. Mandler (2013) notes that psychodynamics stresses a systematic study of the unconscious factors which lay a vital role in connection to formative years. According to Mandler (2013; and Shah et al. (2017), the formative years facilitate systematic and positive expectations for humans. Good and desirable positive traits of people are attained after their inner struggle. Effective guidance and counseling forums can go a long way in healing negativity in youngsters.

The judicial system is also a major cause of criminal activities. The system is meant for rehabilitating the offenders. However, most culprits turn to hardcore criminals after their jail terms. The issue is evidenced by the operations of the criminal justice system. It is worth noting that the judicial system handles the legal aspects and not the arbitration of scientific points. The criminal justice system is more judicial system is more interested in high degree illegal aggression than low-level criminal aggression. Supreme Court of the United States of America, (2011) observed that “human thoughts are directly connected to the perceived actions, the judicial system cannot arbitrate scientific facts”. The majority of justices in the civil suit about Brown versus Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) agreed that “despite the overwhelming justification that aggressive video games can be attributed to social and cognitive effects, their impact could not be applied in judicial systems”. The judges thought that scientific facts cannot be arbitrated in a court of law. From the ruling of the justices, it is clear that some actions such as watching violent video games contribute to crime, although their degree of crime does not meet the threshold for judicial action.

The cognitive approach deals with laying the background for good behavior, then controlling behavior, and finally strengthening positive actions. Criminal aggression should be transformed into good behavior. The caretakers are called upon to be at the forefront of taking care of the young ones as they are vulnerable. Rules should be pegged on positive expectations and appropriate outcomes. The children should be regularly checked to understand their conditions. Therefore, combining behavioral control with proper care in our societies will yield positive outcomes. Cognitive psychology is a field concerned with matters about problem-solving, language acquisition and development, critical thinking, working memory, and concept perception (Maddux & Winsted 2015).

Although humans have instinctive thoughts that govern their behavior, the actions in our immediate neighborhoods determine our actions. According to Maddux Maddux, and Winsted (2015) and Shah et al. (2017), crime is a matter of personal choice. Good morals and values are a matter of mental action and processes that involve appropriate attention, good memory, perception of concepts, good language command, and metacognition (Shah, et al., 2017). The attention of criminals and those who are not criminals focuses mainly on perpetual aspects. During the attention process, the individual should differentiate between the significant data and the unnecessary details and dispose of them. Therefore, watching video games has no relationship with delinquency. Maddux & Winsted (2015); and Shah, et al., (2017), note that daily watching computer games is likely to change our actions. On the other hand, living with orderly people will also change our actions. Watching violent video games enables the child to develop positivism and believe the fact that violence is the order of the day.

Criminal activities are in most cases organized. Therefore, it is not inborn. It is learned behavior. For example, some criminals such as perform their actions singly which compounds their comprehension by police agents to be difficult. Such criminals target lonely strangers and may end omitting worse crimes such as murder and suicidal acts. The point highlighted here is that the lone wolves are not born criminals. Their social circumstances make them terrorists (Jones, 2017). The criminals are eager to deal with individuals and groups who may have opposing philosophical ideals. They at times use propaganda through printouts and pronouncements. The goal is to propagate fear among members of the public. Their arrest is difficult as they have a lot of police intelligence. Generally, the criminals apply unique strategies in their criminal deeds, an indication that it is an afterthought (Jones, 2017). Orderliness in a person is enhanced through living in peaceful environments. Humans are influenced and facilitated to respond either positively or negatively to the outside forces. In this regard, the surroundings aid in the conceptualization of life objectives and ideals, anticipation, and perception of happenings, and responding following the contemporary needs, wants purposes, and bodily desires. Humans get answers and explanations for any happenings around them. The humans` perceptions and knowledge scope are partially determined by the duration in which they interact with the immediate environment. From the foregoing, it is clear that the immediate environment of an individual contributes to either positive or negative growth and development of humans. Therefore, our genetic characteristics are not the causative agent of crime. If the genetic composition is the causative agent of crime, then all siblings in a particular family would be charged as criminals. However, this is not the case.

The contemporary world is faced with enormous scientific know-how. The great technological innovations have contributed to technology evolution and its link to criminal activities. Some gadgets such as computers can be equated to the human brain in terms of functionality. The use of social media content platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp, U-tube, among other audio and video platforms, periscope, Integra, pin-interest, and snapshot has led to massive criminal activities and family unfaithfulness. The major goal of social media networking is communication but has contributed to widespread crime, distrust, and unfaithfulness in society. The computer can store information like the human brain. Although playing computer games causes addiction, they have no relationship with crime. It is the individual who makes choices of being criminals. If computer games are the causative agent of crime, then all users of the games would-be criminals. Crime is a result of poor upbringing and moral degradation. Computer games are beneficial for the cognitive, emotional, and social growth of a person.


The behavior impact, in this case, criminal deeds, is directly proportional to the statistical details humans acquire through their perceptions, such as the eyes, ears, skin, and personal knowledge that enables them to interpret their surroundings. Humans are social creatures gifted with sophisticated sense organs. The human preceptors aid us in understanding and interpreting the external forces. The perceptions should guide us in our actions. Therefore, crime is a result of moral degradation and not genetic characteristics. All in all, human actions are profoundly impacted by correct and undesired behavior outcomes.


Devlin, A. S. (2018). Psychology and human wellbeing. Connecticut College, New London, CT, USA

Maddux, J. E and Winsted B.A. (2015). Psychology: Foundations for a contemporary understanding (4thed)Routledge

Mandler, G. (2013). The Limit of Mental Structures. Journal of General Psychology, 140:243 250

Matt, D. (2012). Violent video games, delinquency and youth violence: New evidence. Journal of criminal justice, 11(2); 132-1

Devlin, A. S. (2018). Psychology and human wellbeing. Connecticut College, New London, CT, USA

Jones. S, (2017, October 2). Known wolf attackers force intelligence rethink. Financial Times. Retrieved 30th Nov 2021

Shah S.A. Mushaq, S. Nasser, M. N. Ahmad, A. Sharma, G. Kovur, H. (2017). A textbook of psychopathology. Red-shine publication, Pvt Ltd

Supreme Court of the United States of America. (2011). Brown v Enter


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