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Marisa Mauro
Marisa Mauro Psy.D.

Could Your Thoughts Be Criminal? Part I

Quiz yourself: Are your thoughts criminal?

So you think you're on the straight and narrow path of life. You've never been arrested or sent to jail; in fact, you think you're very different from the people who have. Not so fast.

Maybe you are not yet aware of your criminal thinking.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections and the Hazelden Foundation have identified nine criminal thinking patterns in A New Direction: A Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Curriculum and they aren't as dark or outlandish as you might suspect. At first glance, many of these patterns might even be considered prevalent in today's culture.

Want to find out if your thoughts could be criminal?

Simply read each statement below making note of whether you agree or disagree with each. When you are finished, read on to get the answers and discover more about the researchers' findings. *

1. I tend to be a victim of the whims of others. Friends, family, employers, and/or the government really created the mess I am in today.

2. I've done things in my life that others really look down upon me for, like stealing, drug dealing or fighting, but I'm still a really good person.

3. I act tough, but even though I'd never admit it, I'm scared of being ‘found out'.

4. It doesn't take a lot of hard work, time or effort to be successful. I am really interested in ‘get rich quick' ideas.

5. No one knows what I have gone through. I've lived a tough life that has given me the experience to be better at things than others.

6. Rules and laws are made for other people. I tend to have my own way of doing things.

7. People are always telling me that I should learn from my mistakes and plan for my future. Not me, I live for today.

8. Honestly, I like it when others are fearful of or intimidated by me.

9. I'm a thrill seeker. I live for excitement - responsibility is not for me.

10. I tend to be possessive of my things and the people around me, but get upset when others don't share their good fortunes with me.

Ready for the answers? Click here.

* Please note, this quiz is meant for entertainment value only, it is not meant to advise, diagnose or treat.

Source: Minnesota Department of Corrections & The Hazelden Foundation. (2002). A new direction: A cognitive-behavioral treatment curriculum. Center City, MN: Hazelden Publishing

About the Author
Marisa Mauro

Marisa Mauro, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.