Crime and Intelligence Essay examples

1579 Words May 12th, 2012 7 Pages
Criminologists have debated back and forth the question, “Does a person’s IQ level really affects their probability of committing a crime and if lack of intelligence increases criminal behavior throughout a person’s life.” Some believe that IQ is a more important variable than race, social or economical class in foretelling criminal behavior. The theory of crime being linked to a person’s intelligence says that if IQ does not affect the probability of crime, it can have a chain reaction. Academic incompetence as a child is the stressor for many adult criminals; children with low IQs tend to have difficulties in school and in performing tasks that their peers can do. Criminologists believe that IQ affects future criminal behavior because …show more content…
Arguments have technically just assumed that low IQ increases criminal behavior; however, it is possible that in various ways high IQ actually increases criminal behavior. A vast amount of studies have shown that violent behaviors, delinquency and adult crime are linked to low IQ’s (Bower,1995). Goodman concluded, after testing children between the ages of 5 and 15, excluding children with hyperactivity, psychosis or retardation, that children with lower IQ’s seem to have more tendencies towards conduct disorders than those who did not or had “normal” IQ’s (Goodman,1995). The theory about low IQ’s does leave open for idea of maybe it’s just that their low IQ’s leaves them more vulnerable to get caught and imprisoned.
For example, more-intelligent individuals may feel greater confidence of committing crimes without getting caught and feel like they’re “above the law” or invincible, which in theory may lead to more criminal behavior. More-intelligent individuals might also have more opportunities for some crimes, such as white-collar crime. An example of high intelligence in crime can be seen in 1941, Hervey Cleckley’s published book The Mask of Sanity. His book was the first to discuss the psychiatric description of psychopaths as dangerous people because many were violent or guilty of white-collar crimes. Cleckley concluded that many psychopaths carry common traits such as, “Exhibit shallowness and narcissism, callousness and lack of empathy, impulsiveness, a
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