Knowing what you do about trends and patterns in crime, how would you counteract the assertion that people who commit crime are physically or mentally abnormal? For example, how would you explain the fact that crime is more likely to occur in western and urban areas than in eastern or rural areas? Aside from becoming a criminal, what other career paths are open to psychopaths?

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When it comes to crime and its causes, there are nearly as many causation factors as crimes themselves. The motivation behind an individual's criminal activity can range from a lack of economic opportunities to simply enjoying the thrill they receive from engaging in illegal behaviors. The notion that criminal behavior...

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When it comes to crime and its causes, there are nearly as many causation factors as crimes themselves. The motivation behind an individual's criminal activity can range from a lack of economic opportunities to simply enjoying the thrill they receive from engaging in illegal behaviors. The notion that criminal behavior is exclusively demonstrated by physically or mentally impaired individuals is not entirely accurate.

Indeed, it is true that a good percentage of incarcerated individuals have been found to have varying degrees of mental distress. As reported by the American Psychological Association (APA), "64 percent of jail inmates, 54 percent of state prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners" suffer from some form of mental illness, with the most frequent diagnosis being major depression (APA).

All the same, it is not always clear as to what percentage of these illnesses has actually contributed to an inmate's crime(s), as opposed to what percentage of these illnesses has been precipitated by incarceration itself.

A 2014 research study performed by the APA actually seems to support the idea that mental illness plays an insignificant role in the causation of criminal activity. In fact, this study concluded that out of 429 crimes committed by 143 offenders, "only 7.5 percent were directly related to symptoms of mental illness" (APA). So while there are criminals who suffer from physical or mental conditions, this particular population cannot account for all of the crimes that are committed.

Crime may be more likely to occur in Western societies than in Eastern societies for many reasons. Factors such as the availability of drugs and weapons, cultural differences, economic climate, and the severity of punishment for crimes committed can all play a critical role in this phenomenon. Likewise, crime rates tend to be higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as greater disparity between the rich and the poor, greater competition for economic security, and increased opportunities for criminal activities.

When determining what types of careers may be sought after by individuals with psychopathic traits and tendencies, it is important to fully understand what psychopathy involves. Psychopathy refers to a chronic lack of empathy or regard for the feelings and experiences of others. While traumatic life events such as child abuse may exacerbate psychopathic traits within an individual, true psychopathy is actually something someone is born with.

Psychology Today describes psychopaths as "manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal." So, while it is not unlikely for a psychopath to engage in criminal activity, it is also common for them to establish careers in a wide range of fields.

The common phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover" is an excellent reference to remember when thinking about psychopathy. Despite a psychopath having no real ability to care for or emotionally relate to others, observers may perceive them as being charismatic and alluring. Therefore, psychopaths would likely do well to pursue any career path in which they could utilize the art of persuasion. Particularly good careers for psychopaths could include lawyer, politician, entertainer, or salesperson.

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There is a misconception among the public regarding the origins of criminal thought. In previous decades, the general population believed that crimes were committed by those with sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies, whether officially diagnosed by a clinician or not.

However, multiple studies in criminalistics, sociology, and forensic psychology have shown that there are various factors that contribute to criminal acts and trends. For instance, the state of the economy is a major factor in criminal activities. The perpetrators of a crime may not have any mental or physical abnormalities, but rather may be simply desperate for money in order to survive.

The only effective way to combat stereotypes and misconceptions about crime is to educate the public via internet articles, videos, fact-checked blogs, and social media campaigns. Over the past few years, there has been a trend on social media to proliferate education on mental health. If health officials treated criminology as a subgroup of mental health, new avenues to educate the public about the causes of crime could be available.

While studies regarding the trend of crimes more likely occurring in western and urban areas than in eastern or rural areas is still up for debate, urban studies scholars believe that dense populations contribute to the rise of crime. Urban settings themselves aren't a major factor in contributing to crime, but a simple fact of probability: more people means more chances that a larger portion of the population are criminals. Additionally, criminals would be more likely to target high-population areas, like a city, rather than a sparsely populated rural regions. More people means more available victims.

There is a stereotype that all psychopaths are criminals and serial killers. This misconception is due to film, television, and general ignorance. There are many functioning psychopaths who have never committed a crime, nor do they have violent tendencies. While a very small portion of those diagnosed with psychopathy and other mental illnesses do commit crimes, it would be statistically false to generalize all psychopaths as prone to criminal acts. Psychopaths can work in many professions just like anyone else.

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