What Do You Have In Common With A Criminal?

How Common Is Criminal Thinking?

With the recent doping confession of Lance Armstrong, Criminal Affair we are once again shocked with headlines announcing misbehavior from a famous member of society. Why prominent people destroy their reputation with stupid behaviors is a head-scratcher.

From David Petraeus’ affair to Senator Mike Crapo’s (R-Idaho) DUI, to Utah Attorney General John Swallow’s alleged elicit deal brokering we have recent examples of successful lives derailed from poor judgment. For more info please visit:-RedLasso.com

But are the well-publicized peccadillos the result of a rare rash act? Or upon closer examination would we likely find a pattern of flawed thinking that eventually leads to their decline?

In the 1960’s researchers looked at thinking patterns widespread in the criminal population. Among inmates they found a common core of beliefs, goodsandnaturals which eventually lead to misconduct. These “thinking errors”, as Aaron Beck, father of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, coined are found in the general population and often lead to problematic behavior.

There are a dozen or so “thinking errors” but one frequently found in individuals directionfilms in high profile cases is termed uniqueness or entitlement. Followers of this thinking pattern have the engrained belief they are one of a kind. They are very special and rules don’t apply to them. They are entitled to special privileges and societal norms don’t apply to them.

Less sophisticated followers of entitlement or uniqueness dogma, mindsplintersfilms lie, steal and fight often. The justice system quickly notices anti social behavior and they are often jailed as juveniles. A more sophisticated version of this faulty belief is often off the societal radar screen because the individual does appear special to us. They appear extra ordinarily intelligent, attractive, hungergamestrilogy or athletic.

Social norms still apply to them but somehow they slide by on their charm. Eventually tattletale behaviors such as embezzlement, wiraingames marital affairs, prescription fraud or doping appear and they fall from grace. We are shocked by their demise but a close examination will reveal a life long belief in their uniqueness or entitlement and general disregard of the harm of their behavior. habitforge

So if you are tempted to speed down the highway, under report taxable income, ignore your parking ticket, neglect to pay library fines, or park in a handicap zone—- examine your beliefs. Those infractions may seem small but at the core is a belief that you don’t have to follow rules, which are set up for everyone’s best interest.
Appropriate parenting can influence character formation. Parents, allow your children the consequences of their behaviors. They aren’t special; sometimes they deserve failing grades, stickwargames aren’t safe at home base or make bad choices. Early childhood accountability builds good citizens.


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