Criminal Careers and Cognitive Scripts: An Investigation into Criminal Versatility

Helen Gavin, David Hockey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Pages (from-to)389-410
Number of pages22
JournalQualitative Report
Volume15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

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