CRIMETIME

Short-Term Mindsets and Crime

Why are some people more likely to commit crime than others? Answers to this question, which is at the heart of criminology, can be grouped into two broad views. On the one hand, dispositional perspec­tives argue that stable factors within the individual, such as lack of self-control, lie at the roots of criminal conduct. Sociogenic perspec­tives, on the other hand, put the locus of study outside the individual and point towards factors such as rough neigh­bor­hoods, parental unemployment, and deviant peers as the main causes of crime. In spite of ample em­pir­i­cal support for both views, there has been relatively little constructive engagement between the two schools of thought. Yet, it is precisely research at this intersection that is likely to yield the most dividends when it comes to improving our understanding of criminal conduct.

The ERC-funded CRIMETIME project (ERC Consolidator Grant 772911) aims to address this gap in the current knowledge base by outlining and testing a new perspective on criminal behavior that integrates the dispositional and the sociogenic view, focusing on a well-established correlate of crime: the tendency to concentrate on imme­di­ate benefits at the expense of considering long-term costs (i.e., short-term mindsets). This perspective is prem­ised on the idea that such mindsets encourage crime, and it specifies how both individual dispositions and socio­genic variables can encourage such mindsets. That is, rather than being stable, as is commonly assumed in criminology, short-term mindsets are malleable and change over time as a function of exposure to environmental factors such as victimization, parenting styles, sanctions, and delinquent peers—factors that have all separately been related to crime in important ways.


Selected Publications

Ivy N. Defoe, Jean-Louis Van Gelder, Denis Ribeaud, and Manuel Eisner, "The Co-development of Friends’ Delinquency with Adolescents’ Delinquency and Short-term Mindsets: The Moderating Role of Co-Offending," Journal of Youth and Adolescence (50), 1601-1615 (2021).
Jean-Louis Van Gelder, Margit Averdjk, Denis Ribeaud, and Manuel Eisner, "Sanctions, short‐term mindsets, and delinquency: Reverse causality in a sample of high school youth," Legal and Criminological Psychology (2020).
Jean-Louis Van Gelder, Margit Averdjk, Denis Ribeaud, and Manuel Eisner, "Sanctions, short‐term mindsets, and delinquency: Reverse causality in a sample of high school youth," Legal and Criminological Psychology (2020).
Liza J. M. Cornet and Jean-Louis Van Gelder, "Virtual reality: a use case for criminal justice practice," Psychology, Crime & Law (2020).

Podcast

Short-Term Mindsets and the Victim-Offender Overlap

Guest: Sebastian Kübel • 11/2021
In this episode Christopher Murphy talks with Sebastian Kübel about results from the CRIMETIME project, touching in particular on the role that short-term mindsets have on the victim-offender overlap.

 

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