Foley, David (2019) The Influence of Neuropsychological Processes on Criminal Actions. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to consider the influence of neuropsychological
processes on criminal actions. Utilising the Narrative Action System (NAS) the motivation
for offending behaviour is seen as indicative of the criminal perception of self, identity, and
role acted out in committing of their offence. The NAS categorises criminals into four action
roles: Hero, Revenger, Victim, and Professional. Sensitivity to neurological responses to
appetitive and adverse stimuli through activating or inhibiting behaviour within the criminal
actions roles are examined using constructs of Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST)
behaviour inhibition system (BIS) and behaviour approach system (BAS).

Methodology: A sample of 256 Irish offenders completed a Reinforcement Sensitivity
Theory BIS/BAS scale used to measure behaviour activation and inhibition response to
appetitive and adverse stimuli. The sample also completed the Narrative Roles
Questionnaire (NRQ) to determine their perceived offence action role.

Results: This study found that correlation between the neurological processes activated
by adverse or appetitive stimuli and the criminal action roles was not significant and could
not be relied upon to provide predictive or explanatory information on the motivated
behaviour of the criminal roles.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that the NAS criminal action roles are dynamic, whereby
the offender’s behaviour is motivated by external stimuli and activated neurological
processes during their offence. Criminal action was found to be episodic, with behaviour
determined by neurological processes rather than the criminal’s perceptions of self and
role. Therefore, the criminal role, and motivated behaviour, is depended on external
stimuli and will change when exposed to alternative stimuli.

FINAL THESIS - Foley, D.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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