There are many factors involved in criminal behaviour. Each crime is specific and particular. Why do offenders commit particular crimes?
Psychologists understand all behaviour, broadly, as motivated – whether the individual is consciously aware of the goal they seek to achieve or not. A distinction may be made between ‘situational’ and ‘dispositional’ factors involved in the emergence of any form of behaviour, criminal or otherwise.
Situational factors are those that arise from the social and environmental background of the individual such as their culture, whereas dispositional factors are those tendencies to act in certain ways that have been relatively stable in the individual, such as their personality, sense of self, and overall outlook on the world.
Understanding these factors may enable us to make sense of the motives behind specific forms of criminal behaviour.