Biological and Psychological Perspectives of Explaining Crime

Biological and Psychological Perspectives of Explaining Crime


Many attempts have been made to highlight on the biological and psychological perspectives that can be used to explain crime. This goes back prehistoric times where ancient skeletal depicted evidence of primitive surgical processes to affirm the assertion that spiritual evils in minds caused crime and deviant behaviors. Criminologists have confirmed that cranial surgery was aimed at opening mind to release unwanted spiritual influences (Helfgott, 2008). Today biological and psychological perspectives have been used to explain crime and deviance in society.

Biological Perspective

Biological perspectives have been instrumental in explaining crime with theorists ascertaining that biological features could explain criminal inclination. Notably, if criminality is inherited then an offender can be distinguished through endowed physical stigmata. Biological aspects that can be used to explain crime include brain abnormalities, brain damage, head trauma and hormone imbalance.

Moreover, crime can be explained when people depict genetic predispositions, vitamin shortages, inadequate blood sugar, devoid of serotonin and blood abnormalities. Most people have rejected biological dimensions in explaining crime because they believe that biological aspects are congruent to state of hopelessness. This has been countered by theorists who reinforce that biological perspectives are vital in providing explanation because physical abnormalities can institute and facilitate crime (Helfgott, 2008). This is necessitated by assumptions stipulating that brain is the central in defining behaviors and personalities and criminal propensities are genetically predisposed.

Moreover, differences in crime vary based on race and gender visible in certain environments and biological crime instigators are passed from one generation to another biologically. Biological methods of explaining crime provides basis for the hypothesis, criminal conduct can be ascertained through physical endowments and generic factors. On the contrary, biological arguments rely mostly on methodological problems and the kind of analysis used to gather potential data (Helfgott, 2008).

Psychological Perspective

Theorists have opined that psychological perspectives provide explanations on how individuals are modeled by others who they observe and imitate (Bartol and Bartol, A., 2012). This perspective is grounded on thorough analysis of people, personalities that motivates them, criminal propensities decision of an individual, normality and crime results arising from mental processes. Unsuitable mental activities may be as a result of mind diseases, improper learning and emulation of poor role models and mentors. It has been established that psychological perspectives focus primarily on personality disorders and can be used to explain criminal behaviors and misconduct (Bartol and Bartol, A., 2012).

Psychological perspectives oppose biological dimensions because it is founded on regularities that govern social interaction and placement.  Regularities affirm that behavior is grounded on imitations where individuals interacting with others tend to behave similarly. Likewise, imitations tend to follow a hierarchical pattern that is reinforced through education and training. Consequently, new ideas build on prior successful trains and delete or replace failed or inefficient concepts in the brain. Studies have revealed that psychological arguments are useful in crime investigations as they provide framework used in developing foundations and outlines used to identify criminals (Bartol and Bartol, A., 2012).


As discussed above, both biological and psychological perspectives address crime and provide explanations for deviance in society. Biological ideas stimulated contemporary arguments, though not widely used today they provide frameworks for further research in criminology. On the other hand, psychological perspectives encourage social thinkers to re-establish their criminal thoughts that aid criminology practice.



Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. M. (2012). Criminal & behavioral profiling. Thousand Oaks: SAGE


Helfgott, J. B. (2008). Criminal behavior: Theories, typologies, and criminal justice. Los

Angeles: SAGE.