Criminal Thinking Errors

1)    Cutoff – With practice, the lifestyle criminal eliminates normal feelings which deter criminal action through a simple phrase (“fuck-it”, “just chill”), image, or musical theme. In some cases the offender will use drugs or alcohol to cutoff fear, anxiety, guilt, or other common deterrents to criminal activity.

2)    Cognitive Indolence (Mental Laziness) – As lazy in thought as in behavior, lifestyle criminals take short-cuts which inevitably lead to failure, low self evaluation, and poor critical reasoning skills.

3)    Power Orientation – Choosing power and external control over self-discipline and internal control, lifestyle criminals attempt to exert power and control over others. Consequently, they feel weak and helpless (zero state) when not in control of a situation. They attempt to alleviate this feeling by manipulating, intimidating, or physically assaulting others (power thrust).

4)    Discontinuity – Lifestyle criminals have difficulty maintaining focus over time because of being easily influenced by events and situations occurring around them. As a result, they have difficulty following through on initially good intentions.

5)    Mollification – Lifestyle criminals seek to play down the seriousness of past criminal conduct and current interpersonal conflicts by blaming problems on external circumstances, making excuses for their behavior, pointing out unfairness in the world, or de-valuing their victims.

6)    Entitlement – The lifestyle criminal believes that he is entitled to violate the laws of society and the rights of others by way of an expressed attitude of ownership (“it’s mine”), privilege (“I’m above the law”), or by labeling wants as needs (“I needed a new car, expensive clothing, a trip to Las Vegas, etc.”).

7)    Sentimentality – Like most people, the lifestyle criminal has an interest in being viewed as a “nice guy”. However, this creates a serious dilemma, given the level of interpersonally intrusive activity they have engaged in. Consequently, they may perform various “good deeds” with the intent of cultivating a “Heck-of-a-guy” or “Robin Hood” image.

8)    Super-Optimism – Experience has taught lifestyle criminals that they get away with most of their crimes. This leads to a growing sense of overconfidence in which they believe they are invulnerable, indomitable, and unbeatable. Ironically, this belief leads to their eventual downfall.

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Discussion closed
  • Lindy Thompson (Sunday, October 11 15 01:08 pm EDT)

    My boyfriend is in a Tennessee federal prison. He has not had trial yet but they have him in lockdown for no reason!! Can you help? He is charged with conspiracy to sell drugs. Racketeering among
    other things. Can you get him out? He has not been found guilty of anything or sentenced.

  • Anh Nguyen (Saturday, October 17 15 10:43 am EDT)

    Lindy - If its prison-wide "lockdown" than there are some security reasons for it. His charges are serious. Please make sure you have a good attorney and call our office to find out about early
    release options.