From the perspective of scientific psychology and psychiatry, the principal advance in criminological theory during the past quarter century has been the marshaling of hard evidence that impulsive violence is attributable to neurogenic sources. Drawing on research from the neurosciences, developmental psychology, personality and social psychology, and the psychology of learning, and from data on perpetrators, victims, and situational conditions implicated in aggressive criminal violence, this volume proposes a stepwise progression from neurogenic-based impulsivity to criminally aggressive behavior.
The authors refine, amplify, and extend the conceptual model for understanding tinder-box criminal aggression they first introduced in Criminal Behavior. This work integrates relative contributions made by such intrapersonal characteristics as the need for serial stimulation, impairment in foresight and planfulness, and the acquisition of a taste for risk on the one hand, with such factors as child-rearing practices, vicarious conditioning, subcultures of violence, and the availability of mood-altering chemical substances on the other hand.
The book reviews and distills evidence from contemporary research on neuropsychological dysfunctions with a particular focus on impulsivity. It culminates in a broad-gauged conceptual model for understanding the dynamics of criminal aggression. The model discusses the prototypical interactive and developmental sequence from neuropsychological dysfunction through the acquisition of a high taste for risk to involvement in impulsively violent behavior. The authors also discuss implications for traditional concepts of culpability and for offender rehabilitation. Tinder-Box Criminal Aggression will be of significant interest to psychologists, biologists, sociologists, criminologists, and criminal justice professionals.