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Influences on criminal behaviour and victim blaming

Critically explore influences on the criminal behaviour of a serial killer and discuss the psychological concept of victim blaming

1.This is a Report, not an Essay, therefore use headings appropriately.

2. Identify a serial killer.

3. Produce a brief background information about the serial killer.

4. Discuss influences on the serial killer specifically or on criminal behaviour generally, making references to relevant research literature.

5. Your influences on criminal behaviour or on the serial killer must include biological, psychological and sociological accounts. In other words, nature and nurture, but you must also consider personality as a psychological concept.

6. You then move away from serial killer to victim blaming and blame culture. Explore what research literature say about victim blaming.

7. It helps to read Sociology books for a topic on crime and deviance, and read Psychology books for a topic on personality.Evaluate biological approaches to criminal behaviour.

8.Evaluate psychological approaches to criminal behaviour.

9.Discuss academic literature regarding victim blaming.

10.Critically analyse the concept of blame culture.
11.Critically evaluate psychological literature regarding serial killers.

Understanding the Psychology of Serial Killers

Crimes have been a part of the society for a long time and there is constant conflict among the people from the different wakes of life to understand mitigate the issues related to it. Murders have been considered one of the worst kinds of crimes of all. One of the worst issues that are faced by the different people in today’s society are murders that take place in mass proportions. The serial killers are one of the worst issues that are faced in today’s society by the different people. A person is considered a serial killer if they commit more than three murders in a similar fashion or if they have a pattern. The understanding of the criminal psychology of the serial killers is very important for the society to understand evaluate the cause of their operations. The most important part of this understanding is the perception that the different serial killers have towards themselves or their victims.

There are four types of serial killers active in crime in the society.

  • Thrill serial killers: The kinds of serial killers who enjoy having a run wiithe law and the media through their actions.
  • Power and control killers: The killers who wish to establish their dominance on the victim by killing them.
  • The mission killer: the killers who think that they are on a mission to cleanse the society.
  • The Visionary killer: The visionary killers are the ones who think they are compelled by some external powers to commit the crimes that they are committing.

Kenneth Bianchy was one of the most feared serial killers in the country and has been one of the most prominent faces as far as the ferociousness of his actions were concerned. Born in 1951 he was a troubled child who had difficulty in social interactions due to his habit of compulsive lying. Being adopted at an early age too meddles with his psyche and he suffered with passive aggressive disorder by the time he reached the age of twelve. He always had issues with the women and relationships which led to the breaking of his marriage. In his series of murders he was helped by his cousin Anthony Buono in 1977 in Los Angeles. They progressed toward becoming pimps and it heightened to murdering. Kenneth use to take costly jewelleries and offered it to his various sweethearts. They slaughtered more than 12 ladies and youngsters from ages 12-28 from all kinds of different backgrounds. They began with whores and working class ladies and youngsters. They seized, assaulted, tormented, choked lastly slaughtered their casualties. Between October 1977– January 1978, they murdered 12 ladies and use to drop them at the slope henceforth the name Hillside strangler. They were later captured and given life sentences.

Osborn and West (1979) found that 40% of children of offenders have had criminal conviction contrasted with 13% of children of law abiding citizen. The accompanying slides will endeavor to list the mental, organic and sociological impact on wrongdoing, thinking about nature and nature. All the same there are mental and sociological variables that relate with the common propensities to impact criminal inclinations in a man.

Different Theories on Criminal Behavior

Lombroso (1876) propose culprits show atavistic characters and binds it to direct advancement. He contends that crooks shows highlights which are basic to substandard creatures. Lombroso (1911), contended that offenders are fundamentally the same as chimps and the females are organically more like men. Unexpectedly Lombroso was scrutinized on methodological grounds that he neglected to perceive connection does not suggest setback and furthermore physical variation from the norm does not make one a criminal. It could be neediness or hardship (Harrower 2001). It is trusted that crooks are altogether different normally than ordinary individuals. Sheldon 1942 created 3 somatotypes which are ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorph and they associate with identity and finished up mesomorphs are more to end up crooks. Glueck and Glueck 1972, upheld Sheldon's advancement with a testing where 60% of the delinquents were mesomorphs. Cortis and Gatti 1972 offers a similar viewpoint with 100 reprobate where 57% were mesomorphs. Sheldon was reprimanded on methodological and subjective grounds since he related it to himself. Lombroso trusts tattoos are markings of conceived lawbreakers as they prove everlasting status and inhumanity to physical agony. (Harrower 2001).

Eysenck (1947) shows personality theory of extraversion and introversion identify with social and unsocial practices of people. The results of the mental contrasts is that extraverts can without much of a stretch progress toward becoming board and may look for novel wellsprings of incitement.

Psychoanalytic theory: This hypothesis recommend that each individual has a criminal inclination impacted by their socialization. The capacity of a person to check social propensities internally or ostensibly as for the earth can prompt despondency (deep down) or culpability (apparently). This hypothesis underpins the possibility that, offenders are typically baffled and irritated and this happens in view of their past occasions amid their initial adolescence. It is said that carelessness, misery and even absence of help or love towards the early youth offers ascend to powerless conscience (Criminal Justice, 2017).

Bandura (1978), recommend that people are not conceived with a natural capacity to act brutally however viciousness and hostility are learnt through a procedure of conduct displaying. This conduct displaying can be classified in three essential sources as family connection, ecological encounters and broad communications. Research by Jacoby in 2004 on family associations recommend that youngsters who are forceful and savage will probably have been raised by guardians or gatekeepers who are forceful.

This hypothesis sets up that criminal conduct of an individual create over a period because of how they sort out their contemplations around ethical quality and law. It endeavors to see how criminal guilty parties see and rationally speak to their general surroundings (Knepper, 2001). Wilhelm Wundt and William James two noticeable clinicians recommend that, there are two sub controls of intellectual hypotheses (Criminal Justice, 2017). The ethical advancement branch is the primary sub train which tries to see how individuals ethically speak to and reason about the world. The second one is to do with how individuals process data, that is procuring, holding and recovering data. Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) connected the idea of good advancement to criminological hypothesis, and declares that there are three levels of good improvement people go through.

Victimology and Defining a Victim

Thette are 4 major theories:

Social Strain Typology

In view of this criteria, Merton distinguished five unique sorts of aberrance, they are; similarity, advancement, ceremony, retreatism and resistance (Boundless, 2017). This hypothesis recommends that abnormality by people are because of what they believe is the satisfactory standard for accomplishing their objectives independent of what the concurred societal standard is.

It proposes that in a general public, degenerate conduct plays a dynamic, valuable part which eventually help to cling distinctive populaces. By this, it implies that, how aberrance is seen by people are subjected to social and religious qualities and standards. Talcott Parsons (1975) depicts "basic functionalism" as a specific stage in the methodological advancement of sociology, instead of a particular school of thought.

It recommends that freak practices happen in social gatherings inside social orders because of social, political and material disparities. Because of these disparities a few people act in a degenerate way so they can cause a few changes in their conditions and social structure as for expert. They are said to "carry on" against their oppressors (Boundless, 2017).

This theory inspects how the social condition makes people participate in wrongdoing, however they ordinarily commit little consideration regarding the official response to wrongdoing, that is, to the response of the police and other authority organizations (, 2017). The labelling theory additionally recommend that, people wind up freak because of other individuals in the public eye constraining a personality on them.

In 1995, the United Nations characterized a casualty of wrongdoing as an individual or a gathering of individuals who have endured physical, passionate, mental damage, financial lost, or significant impedance because of mischief, where their central directly through demonstrations of oversight that are disregarding the law (Newburn, 2007). Casualty faulting happens when the casualty of a wrongdoing or any wrongful demonstration is considered totally or halfway in charge of the damage that came upon them. The investigation of victimology looks to relieve the view of casualties as capable (, 2017) Hill et al (2008) censured the meaning of exploitation, they contends that, the contrast between a casualty and the wrongdoer isn't clear in light of the fact that either gathering might be supported in utilizing viciousness in self-preservation. Positivist victimology is the place insights are utilized to quantify the rate of exploitation. It thinks about casualty precipitation; where casualties are reprimanded for the reason to the savagery, and casualty inclination; where individuals move toward becoming casualties because of their qualities eg. The old, ladies, rationally incapacitated. Information additionally demonstrates that ethnic minorities will probably be casualties of numerous sorts of wrongdoing contrasted with the greater part white, likewise, young fellows in the vicinity of 16 and 24 years have most noteworthy rate of exploitation with regards to wrongdoing (Chapman, S. et al, 2016). Miers (1989) had worries about factual investigations and its estimation as it focusses on savage violations and casualty precipitation (Newburn 2007). There is additionally the feedback that exploitation reviews may not be totally dependable and it is restricted to the scope of violations it considers. The radical victimology takes in consideration the factors that the society focusses on in understanding the role of the law enforcement and the different cultures in understanding role opf the social scenarios in the increment of crimes. The lack of the proper relationship between the common people and the law enforcement agencies makes it difficult for them to report the crimes making it tough for them to reach out to help the victims. The culture of the victim blaming is also very rampant in today’s society where the victims of the crimes are chided for their rather foolish decisions which ed to their victimisation. For example, if a person goes into a car or home of a complete stranger in a desolate place they may be victimised and they may be equally blamed along with the criminal.


In conclusion one can contradict that criminal exercises could be an inalienable or characteristic attribute, all a similar time it is impacted by mental, sociological, organic and identity qualities. Casualty and accuse culture could at some point catalyse criminal exercises.


Akhaine, H., (2017). Definition of who a serial killer is and types (Handout-BXScience Education Publications [2016]). Milton Keynes College, unpublished.

Bandura, A. (1978). Social Learning Theory of Aggression. Journal of Communication, 28(3), pp.12-29.

Boundless. (2017). Sociological Theories of Deviance. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Apr. 2017].

Chapman, S., Holborn, M., Moore, S. and Aiken, D. (2016). Sociology AQA A-level. 4th ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers. (2017). Kenneth Bianchi - Serial Killers Profiles and News - Criminal Motives. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Apr. 2017].

Criminal Justice. (2017). Psychological Theories of Crime (Criminology Theories) Researched. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017]. (2017). What does Victim blaming mean?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017].

Harrower, J. (2001). Psychology in Practice, London: Hodder Education. (2017). Crime Causation: Sociological Theories - Labeling Theory. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

Newburn, T. (2007) Criminology, : Willan Publishing (UK).

Sable, K. (2017). Hillside Stranglers Kenneth Bianchi & Angelo Buono. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].

Talcott Parsons (1975), "The Present Status of "Structural-Functional" Theory in Sociology." In Talcott Parsons, Social Systems and The Evolution of Action Theory New York: The Free Press, 1975.

Eysenck, H.J. and Eysenck, M.W. (1985) Personality and individual differences: A natural science approach - Hans J. Eysenck - Hardc.. 3rd edn. New York: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers.

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