The reasons that crime and delinquent behavior exists in society has always perplexed sociologists and psychologists alike. The theories for why this behavior exists ranges from placing the blame on society, to the individual.
Crime is caused by the individualShow moreShow less
Although society may affect a person's willingness to commit crimes, the true cause of criminal behavior is due to individual's experiences and their biology.
The Psychodynamic Theory of crime describes Sigmund Freud's approach to psychology and puts this approach in the perspective of crime. This theory utilizes Freud's Id, ego, and superego and states that crime must be related to an imbalance in one or more of these.
The Psychodynamic Theory of crime is based off of Sigmund Freud’s ideas of the id, ego, and superego. Freud believed that these forces existed in all humans, and that the id represented human’s most base desires and impulses, the superego represents morality, and that the ego was the understanding of societal norms.
In this theory, either conflict between these three forces, or an imbalance between them could cause delinquent and deviant behavior in a person.
Many critics of the psychodynamic theory point to its near impossibility to research or test in a quantitative manner. Many people also point out it's lack of effectiveness in understanding how to stop crime because it is such a subjective process that really can only tell why a crime occurs after the crime has already occurred.