11 Apr 2022


Neuroscientists and Psychologists Views vs. sociologists Views on the Sources of Crime

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The views of crime vary between neuroscientists and psychologist, and sociologists. Their views sometimes merge and are similar. The prosecution of criminals has been largely molded from the view of these professionals. For instance, psychiatric examinations are normally demanded by the courts from psychologists to determine if the victim might have committed the crime due to an underlying condition. Neuroscientists and sociologist are also commonly involved in the prosecution of crime. They can also help determine the reason for crime and where an individual had control over their actions. This text compares and contrasts the views of these professionals. It will also provide the most effective combinations of these views so as to provide the most effective way to understand crimes.

Similarities in Views

Neuroscientists and psychologists agree with a sociologist on a number of things regarding crime. These are those studies and results that are universally acceptable as being consistent. To understand the similarities, one must first understand the different roles they play in trying to understand crimes. Neurologists deal with genes to determine if they are responsible for the predisposition to commit a crime. Psychologists, on the other hand, study an individual’s mental state to determine if it might have led to the crime. The sociologists, on the other hand, deal with the social relationships and environment of an individual to examine if it might have influenced their commission of a crime.

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Despite wide differences in the fields, there are some inherent similarities in their views. One evident similarity is that both believe that disorders should be put into considerations when judging criminal cases. The future assessment of the risk to commit crime puts the offender and not the crime. These mean that criminals are not judged upon the severity of their crimes, but their risk to commit the crime and the associated personalities and disorders (Rose 2006). Both professionals agree that crime is there are inherent motivators of crime that should be addressed and examined before handing sentences.

They also agree that a small group is responsible for the commission of most crimes. A study by David Farrington found out that as few as five percent of individuals in the study were responsible for half of the crimes committed. Other researchers have also supported this result, arguing that a very small percentage of people are responsible for the commission of a crime. The small group is equally responsible for the commission of over seventy percent of violent crimes (Rose 2006).

People that are inclined to commit crime are usually seen from a very young age. Neuropsychology and the children’s environment can play a role in their disposition to crime. In more privileged families, children’s behaviors can be corrected at an early age. But in those from less privileged backgrounds, their characteristics sometimes persevere, making them prone to commit a crime. The personality traits of an individual can thus be as a result of inheritance or effects from the environment. Psychologists, neuroscientists, and sociologists agree on these issues as the factors that can cause or lead one to commit a crime.

Contrasting Views

There are many differences in the view of these professionals too. One example is their view on what can cause a person to commit a crime and what cannot. The things that can put a person at risk of crime still remain controversial (Rose 2006). Neuroscientists insist that genes can be responsible for the crime. Sociologists, however, debunk this view with the claim that there are certain crimes generating social ills. These include poverty, unemployment, poor housing, and lack of schools to access education. Sociologists argue that these crime generating ills are the main factors that influence the risk of a person committing crime and not the inheritance of genes.

Socialists also argue that children that are raised in abusive environments are more prone to commit a crime. They are also at a great risk of being more aggressive, which might lead them to commit a crime (Connor 1995). Psychiatrists, however, do not have the same views. Their argument is that psychiatric conditions are responsible for the commission of a crime. There are many psychiatric conditions, some mild and others severe that can lead to the commission of a crime. That is why a mental condition can be presented in court as an excuse for the commission of a crime. These excuses are admissible and acceptable as causative factors of crime.

Neuroscientists argue that there are certain genes that are linked to aggressive behavior in human beings. They have been able to isolate these genes and characterize them in relation to their effects on crime. They state that crime originates in the genes. A genetic determination is proposed as an explanation for the occurrence of crime among individuals. These different opinions raise the question whether people that commit a crime should be given shorter sentences on the basis of their genetic characteristics and their social environments.

Socialists argue that punishment should be based on the severity of the crime and not the propensity to commit a crime (Rose 2006). Neuroscientists and psychologists, on the other hand, argue that crimes should be punished on the propensity to commit a crime. This contrast results from the fact that socialist see the risk do crime as obtained rather than predetermined by inheritance or as a result of a particular condition. These contrasts persist though lately, some agreement is being reached on the most effective systems. Below is a discussion of the combination of views that would be considered as the most appropriate in the understanding of crime.

The Best Combination of Views on Crime

Neurologists have been able to prove that there are certain genes that can increase a person’s risk to commit a crime. This means that some aspects of crime could actually be inherited. Sociologists also argue that the environment and social ills surrounding one's growth can increase their risk of committing a crime. In this regard, things such as poverty and lack of education are pointed out as some of the factors that can lead to crime. Identification of these causes can enable the professionals to mitigate them, thus preventing against crime.

Both disciplines discussed above forward important ideas that can help in the understanding of crime. Some of the views, however, have shortcomings. For instance, the view of sociologists that crime is as a result of people's environment can be disqualified since some people from bad backgrounds grow to be responsible citizens (Connor 1995). A better understanding of crime can help in the spotting of high-risk individuals when they are still young and correct them before they are immersed in the life of crime. Interventions should then be made to correct the children’s behaviors.


In conclusion, understanding of crime requires the use of various fields. Some of these fields include neuroscience, psychology, and sociology. They both have varied views on crime, but some of the views are similar. Incorporation and understanding of these views can help in litigation against crime. It can also help in the mitigation and prevention of crime early before it happens. New ways of understanding crime emerge each day as a result of research in these fields. The results of these researchers are changing the view of crime in the modern society.


Connor, S. (1995) Do Your Genes Make You a Criminal? The Independent. 12 February.

Rose, D. (2006) Lives of crime. Prospect London Prospect Publishing Limited , 125, P.26.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Neuroscientists and Psychologists Views vs. sociologists Views on the Sources of Crime.


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