Life history theory and the general theory of crime: Life expectancy effects on low self-control and criminal intent

Curtis S. Dunkel, Eugene Mathes, Kevin M. Beaver
2013 Journal of Social Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology  
Life history theory predicts that an array of behaviors will shift in response to life expectancy cues. Findings from a number of studies suggest that among these shifts is a willingness to engage in criminal behaviors. Using the framework of the general theory of crime, this possibility was explored more directly by examining differences in self-control and criminal intent under three different life expectancies (5 months, 5 years, and 50 years). The results revealed that under conditions of
more » ... der conditions of short life expectancy, self-control decreased and criminal intent increased, but that this effect was moderated by individual differences in life history strategy. Consistent with the general theory of crime, it was found that differences in criminal intent across life expectancies were predicted by differences in self-control across life expectancies. The results are discussed in terms of the relationship between life history theory and criminality.
doi:10.1037/h0099177 fatcat:hj4drmc3kzhbrgzl4vvhcaw5fa