Inside the Criminal Mind

Understanding the dark side of human conduct

Note on the Criminal's Lack of a Concept of Interdependence

Criminals seldom are team players

Because the criminal looks at life in a highly self-centered manner, he rarely thinks of the greater good. Put nine criminals on a baseball team, and each will consider himself the captain. If he is challenged, he may quit or stick around and make life miserable for others. The lack of teamwork can be seen even in childhood where things must go his way. The criminal is determined to prevail in any situation whether by cunning, intimidation, or brute force. Interdependence is anathema to his entire way of life. He may appear to relate well to others in order to achieve a particular objective that he has at the time. But he is not a reliable individual upon whom others may depend.

Even when a criminal performs well on a sports team or on a job, his objective is to advance his own agenda.  He may seem to care about other people but his main concern is himself.  Success with the team or on the job is never enough for him.  He often bends or circumvents rules or policies -- any means to achieving his objectives. If he conforms his behavior to the particular situation, then he engages in illicit activities outside it.

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Stanton Samenow, Ph.D.,is a clinical psychologist practicing in Alexandria, Virginia and author of Inside the Criminal Mind.

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