Basic personality structure and criminality


  • Janko Međedović Filozofski fakultet Kosovska Mitrovica



basic personality traits, criminal, antisocial behavior


Over the last two decades, personality has been one of the most important explanatory constructs in criminology. While examining personality traits which generate criminogenic and antisocial behavior, special attention is given to basic personality traits. The existing models of the basic personality structure are mostly robust, based on empirical data and various theoretical concepts. There are numerous data about the connection between the basic personality structure and different types of criminal behaviour. These data are relatively consistent and replicable. This paper presents several models of the basic personality structure, as well as research related to the connection between these models and criminal behaviour. Hans Eysenck's theory is presented first, because of its important role in criminology research in the 1960s and 1970s. The paper also presents Tellegen's model, and the work of Marvin Zuckerman considering sensation seeking. However, special attention is given to the Five-Factor personality model, as the dominant concept related to examining personality today. As described in the paper, this model proves to be a successful explanatory construct in the field of criminology as well. At the end of the paper, HEXACO model is presented, with the emphasis placed on the Honesty/Humility factor, as a promising concept for the future research into the relationship between basic personality traits and criminal behaviour.


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How to Cite

Međedović, J. (2009). Basic personality structure and criminality. Primenjena Psihologija, 2(4), 339–367.



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