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Criminal Careers and Cognitive Scripts: An Investigation into Criminal Versatility

By Helen Gavin and David Hockey

Abstract

“Criminal careers” denotes ways in which offenders develop specialisms and versatility, but studies linking delinquency to social skills deficits have not attempted to explore cognitive, internalised processes by which such “careers” might be chosen. This study investigated criminal minds via script theory: “internal” scripts are used to guide behaviour, “situational” scripts are knowledge of everyday events, and “personal” scripts are a sequence of actions towards a desired goal. This research investigated whether criminal career offenders develop situational scripts for offending and whether such situational scripts express an internalised identity, which manifests as a personal script. Thematic analysis of data derived from “criminal career offenders” supports the notion of criminal situational scripts, with emergent themes considered evidence of personal scripts

Topics: BF
Publisher: Nova Southeastern University
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4504

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