Theories of Personality and the law

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 19th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

Theories of personality have been extensively studied in psychology. This series will deal with some of the most known theories.

Breaking the rules

The first article in this series talked about rules and how we conform to society. The biological perspective of personality would dictate that we are born that way, our personalities are pretty much shaped before we are born. We will have the tendency to obey rules or break them. We may just break small rules like being late for work or school or we as humans may break the bigger rules like adhering to the law.

Defense lawyers

In certain cases people break the rules, and they are not responsible in the ethical and moral sense of the word. We can see that in the case of an insane person who has committed murder, but it so mentally ill that he or she is not accountable for his or her actions. However, the issue of being accountable for our actions is at the core of our legal system and has also been a defense against legal consequences.

Defense attorneys have used the nature (or genes) or the nurture (the environment) as their defense essentially arguing this is our personality, our nature, and we cannot change that. We could not have done anything differently. We had to play the hand we were dealt. This applies to our genes, our lot in life, how we live, what we learned, and the social issues such as poverty and high crime rate in our neighborhood, These are just a few examples of how our nature and our environment from our personalities and makes us into the people that we are.

The role of defense lawyers in determining responsibility and personality

Thus, lawyers appeal to the courts to take these psychological or sociological issues into consideration when making legal rendering of the case and the person convicted of the crime who stands before them.

Our legal system and the criminally insane

It is comforting to know that the courts though often rendering judgments based on legal precedent are not totally robotic and do look at the extenuating circumstances of each individual case.

The questions that are argued in court remain; we are born this way and therefore we couldn't help our actions or did society make us into the people we are?

To be continued

Some links to previous articles in this series

Human personality and how it shapes our identities

All photos taken from the public domain

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Tags

Crime, Crime And The Insane, Justice System, Law, Legal, The Insane

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
20th Mar 2015 (#)

Great post!

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author avatar spirited
20th Mar 2015 (#)

"Our personalities are shaped before we are born."

Who shapes them then, our genes, or if you believe in the soul, it might pick one for us to suit our role in our upcoming life.

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author avatar Utah Jay
20th Mar 2015 (#)

I don't know...I think our personalities are formed by our surroundings, our parents, our friends, where we live. I know for sure certain that my daughter who got diabetes went through many changes in her personality. We called her our little antichrist back then, now she has a masters degree. Growing up I had a friend whose father was a mean drunk and beat him badly. He is now in the Utah State Prison because he couldn't live without supervision. So much so that he finally killed another inmate so he could stay in...I just don't think that was formed before he was born, I believe he was made to be that way.

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author avatar Utah Jay
20th Mar 2015 (#)

Oh yeah...Great post Carol.

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author avatar Retired
20th Mar 2015 (#)

I agree with Utah Jay. I simply cannot believe that my natural parents, whom I never knew, can have had the slightest influence on anything about me that is not purely physical.

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author avatar Carol Roach
20th Mar 2015 (#)

many studies through out the years have been done and it is a bit of both. I too lean towards the environment but there still is parts of the personalty that is passed on by genes. Remember personality is all encompassing from being let's say nervous and anxious (neurotic) to hard working, disciplined, stubborn, easygoing and so on

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