Behavioral Genetics and Psychology in Law

Behavioral Genetics and Psychology in Law


There has always been a thought-provoking problem, whether a criminal state of mind is an essential feature of a human or whether it is fostered in a problematic family and lousy environment. Redundancy of suggestions, guesses, scientific works, and philosophical reflections has led to the usage of neuroscientific and psychological works for the sake of understanding the causes of criminal behavior. People were always curious about the factors which influence a person's inclination towards committing a crime. That is why there are such books as “Psychology and Crime” by Clive R. Hollin  and “Genetics, Crime and Justice” by Debra Wilson . However, these different opinions are still controversial, and the main problem is that human's brain is an utterly complicated machine. Examining the lie detector mode of operation, people eventually concluded that a polygraph test is not reliable for detecting truth. The fact of being recognized makes some people so nervous that they will fail the test, let alone that people can trick the device (Evans, 2018). Some specialists are conducting the same scrutiny of MRI as proof in courts. The credibility of genetics and psychology in law became a question of life and death, influenced sentences, and applied the moral side of judges.

Statement of Research Questions

According to Lombroso's  theory of crime, those who have biological defects are more likely to be criminals than those, who are biologically perfect. He firmly believed that the shape of a human's traits and body parts reflect subliminal desires. However, scholars admitted his work as a social theory, which does not have enough evidence (Elwood, 1912 , 717). The problem being addressed in this study is the use of behavioral genetic and psychological deviations as an absolution. Several countries' court systems count behavioral genetic and insanity as a mitigating circumstance. Such a tendency evoked scholars' debates regarding human's predisposition to violence and the measure which courts should be used during trials .

 Theoretical Framework

In this research, several articles are used to help in covering  the questions. “Genetics Home Reference” will fully explain the notion of the MAOA gene and its influence on a person's behavior.

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