The psychology and biology of crime come together in a variety of subdisciplines. These include genetics, neuropsychology, biochemistry, and psychophysiology.


The bad seed idea of criminality assumed a solely genetic basis for crime, ignoring the influence of socioeconomic class, peer influences, and disorganized and abuse family influences in criminal behavior. Conversely, strictly environmental explanations ignored the appearance of criminal behavior in some individuals growing up in economically comfortable and stable family environments. A more apt analogy for the origins of crime may be bad seed in bad soil with inadequate rain and sunshine. Such conditions may be optimal for weeds.

Heritability is the proportion of variance in a trait that is due to genetic rather than environmental factors. One way of assessing it is to compare ...

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