The Psychology of murder

Psychology of intentional and unintentional murder
The psychology of murder

Violent criminal activities, like murder, have always been a serious
issue within nations. As per the global homicide rates in 2017, 464,000 individuals became victims
of deliberate acts of murder in the year. Not only this, but the website report
also presented the fact that the average global homicide rate, back in 2017,
was 6.1
per 100,000 people
. Henceforth, murder can be considered one of the
most vicious crimes that deal with the direct intention of causing death to an
individual. Whilst incriminating some with the said offence, the physical
activity performed by the perpetrator has to have the guilty mind. The minds of
ordinary people cannot think in such a savage way as to commit a homicidal
activity. Typical killers are not in the same sense of mind as that of a normal
human beings as the former is particularly emotionally damaged. Such mental
problems can arise due to the presence of pain
that might have been
inflicted upon them in their past or present.

Relating to the works of Richard-Devantoy and his
, it has also become clear that murderers who suffer from any
mental disorders are tended to be more aged
. In comparison to them, the
perpetrators that do not have any mental problems are likely to be young
Now, if we are to consider the types of typical psychological issues that the
aged murderers face, it will include suicidal thoughts, high
levels of anxiety
, delusional ideas, and depression.
On the other hand, the reason for young ones murdering someone is due to having
a row with the victim, before the act of offence. Murderers having mental disorders
are most likely to kill close ones rather than strangers, which is the opposite
of the case of young ones. From this study, it can rather be interpreted that post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD)
can be considered to form the basis of criminal
activities. Before the complete inference for an official diagnosis of PTSD,
traumatic stress syndromes can be considered form the basis for criminal defenses.

Here, the
context of unintentional killing also comes to light, where the
perpetrator, post-murder, goes through a great level of guilt, which can also
trigger PTSD. The psychological consequences of indeliberate killing, if
untreated, create opportunities for remorse and guilt within the murderer. As stated
by Gray,
moral responsibility takes over unintentional murderers and they became heavily
aware of their actions. Ongoing of such deep moral conscience post-murder, causes
the perpetrator to feel potential psychological distress with the preoccupation
of the fatality caused by his/her actions. Such remorse feeling can
eventually lead to lifelong repercussions.

Antisocial behaviours are the outcomes of people, who somehow feel
instigated to dare to involve in criminal activities. Psychological theories
like psychodynamic
and social
processing (SIP) theory
can describe the mental solicitation of an
individual to perform murder. The SIP theory offers us the chance to critically
investigate the typical interpersonal influences that happen during childhood
and mark the development of criminal behaviour. As per the theoretical
understanding of
Fontaine, both real-time and latent cognitive features
are involved and account for antisocial functioning. The works of the author
also highlighted the Frustration-Aggression hypothesis of
, which highlights the fact that aggressive behaviour always
is the outcome of some kind of frustration. Herein, the aggressive behaviour of
a murderer can be judged by their angry emotion and hence, can be related to a
stimulus-behavioural responsive action on their part. Based on the conclusions
drawn from the psychodynamic theory, it can be stated that there is a presence
of a conflict between the three psychoanalytic contexts. These include id, ego,
and super-ego, where internal disagreements between these three lead to the
occurrence of problematic behaviour, and eventually delinquencies, like murder.

In a different context, it can also be stated that both psychopaths and
soldiers have the intention to kill but there is a high level of difference in
their moral processing. As mentioned in the Serial
Murder and the Psychology of Violent Crimes
, the judgements that they make
for their choice of killing an individual is also an important aspect to
understand to judge their psychology. As presented by various researchers, it
can be stated that ‘rich life fantasy’ is one such factor that compels one to
perform a hideous crime like murder. Murderers, who are practically
psychopaths, can even take their time in selecting out a “right place”, “right
”, and “right time” to gain the maximum
level of proximity to the victim. 

Generally, organized offenders tend to follow this approach so
that escalating toward physical violence act becomes easy. On the other hand,
considering the context of the disorganized slayer, there is the
presence of an unsystematic behavioural attribute, which leads them towards
murdering acts like homicide. It is the consistent impulsive nature of such a
murderer that often leads to their frenzied way of ending one’s life. They want
to silence the victim as fast as possible, which is why murderers also tend to
use blunt force trauma. This technique is further used for gaining more control
over the act as it is followed by immediate death.

There is a great deal of neuroscience involved in the act of
murder, which helps one to make a better understanding of the psychological
aspect. A significant amount of activity can be focused on the brain activities
that occur within the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) of the
forebrain, which is related to the morality of a person. Secondly, the findings
Kluger also suggest that the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) also
functions for making the sense of taking deliberate action and taking
responsibility for it. Henceforth, from the study, it has become evident that
there is a rather coupling activity of both OFC and TPJ on the thoughts or repercussions
that comes to mind of the murderer after one’s accidental or deliberate death. However,
it has further been claimed that another region, the fusiform gyrus, takes
a more active part in making face analysis. This can be related to the aspect
of imagining own self while performing the act of killing. Nonetheless, the
physiological part of the brain deals with spatial reasoning, which is of particular
importance when performing ruthless murdering acts.

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