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CC210 Lecture Notes - Boston Strangler, John Dillinger, Bradycardia

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Jennifer Lavoie

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Psychology of Crime
October 3, 2012
Week 4, Wednesday
Famous left handed criminals:
jack the ripper
john dillinger
billy the kid
the boston strangler
Left hemispehere dysfunction theory
Cerebrum divided into parts
left and right cerebral hemispehres
Lateralization: functional specialization in one hemisphere
Contra lateral pathways
Left controls right, right controls left.
Functional Asymmetry
Left hemisphere: (dominant for most people)
Language processing and comprehension, math, logic
Right hemisphere”
Creativity, spatial dimensions, imagination.
Reduced functional lateralization for language:
Deficits in left hemisphere activation ersult in problems with language comprehension, processing and
Difficulties in interpersonal encounters (social skills)
Conflict resolution, peer rejection.
Why is handedness meaningful?
Indicator of reduced lateralization
Left handedness
95% right handers are left hemisphere dominant
Most (60%) also left hemisphere dominant
20% are right hemispheres dominant for language
20% are bi lateral for language (no specialization)*
Criminals should be more likely to be left handed, since lefty's are more likely to have bilateral
language representation.
Week 4: THE BAD SEED: evolutionary theory and crime
Genetics and crim behaviour.
Behaviour genetics theory:
A branch of genetics that studied the relative contributions of heredity + environment to behavioural
and personality characteristics
GENES affect behaviour in interaction with ENVIRONMENTAL influences.
What are genetic markers?
Characteristics of genes that “mark” a locations of genes that may contribute to a trait.
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