Knowledge — 3 years ago

Traits of a Criminal Mind!

by Andrew D.

Criminal Mind Set, Traits of a Criminal, Criminal Records

9 Traits of a Criminal - How their Mind Works!

Criminal psychology focuses on the psyche of criminals, and how they become to be what they are. This fascinating field keeps evolving, as scientists and psychologists learn more details about the criminal mind, and conclude things they could not conclude in the past. Exploring criminal behavior led researchers to find several qualities that criminals share with one another, and these are some of the most prominent ones:

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Sense of entitlement

Criminals in general, and recurring offenders specially, have a sense of self entitlement, and they are incredibly self-centered. This dangerous quality makes criminals commit crimes because they feel like they are entitled to do whatever they want, even if it hurts other people. Why? Because the world revolves around them.

Dysfunctional family

This might not be a trait per se, but many criminals share a troubled family history.  Some of the most notorious criminals in history lacked emotional support from their families, and grew up in a vacuum inside a dysfunctional family dynamic. Also, family members of criminals are characterized by an inability to express their emotions, passing on this quality to their criminal members.


Many criminals committed crimes in the heat of the moment, when they found themselves unable to control their urges and behavior. The combination of lack of control over their temper along with an inability to stop themselves from doing whatever they want, makes people more likely to become criminals.


A lot of criminals tend to rationalize their actions, and even blame their victims of getting themselves hurt. This trait leads criminals to be unable to evaluate the consequences, and to give "just" reasons for why they did what they did.

Anti-social personality

Criminals are known for breaking social boundaries, which stems from them being anti-social. This type of behavior can be observed before the age of 15 with people who become criminals along time. The anti-social behavior is characterized by getting into fights, skipping school, lying, having weapons, causing harm to animals, and also stealing.

Association with criminal "friends"

People who have criminal tendencies associate with like minded people they can relate to. Criminals will seek and also find the company of people who share the same distorted values as they do, and will engage in criminal behavior along with the criminals. 


Despite the fact that criminals are characterized with anti-social behavior, they will still see themselves as positive individuals. A common and a very peculiar quality of criminals is sentimentality towards animals and children, which does not coincide with their anti-social behavior. This sentimentality makes criminals think of themselves in a positive manner, which often makes them commit even more crimes.

Focusing on power

Criminals often perceive situations between themselves and others as a power struggle they must prevail. That is why many famous crimes were not necessarily planned all the way through. When a person with a criminal mind come face to face with someone, he will size them up, and if he feels like he has the upper hand, the criminals will begin to exploit, or even harm their power struggle victim.

Sense of invincibility 

Another trait common among criminals is a sense of invincibility that often leads them to believe they will never be caught. Criminals are often very optimistic about their ability to get away with murder, literally, and ironically, this is what leads to their capture in many cases. The false sense of invincibility makes criminal repeat certain patterns they perceive as successful, leading them to a path that ends in their incarceration.

Criminals tend to be very similar to one another, and researchers have noticed several patterns and traits with criminal behavior. Spotting people with a criminal mind set can be difficult, and hopefully, one day we will be able to learn more about the criminal mind and avoid people who may cause us harm.

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