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Criminal thinking in a Middle Eastern prison sample of thieves, drug dealers and murderers.

Megreya, Ahmed M., Bindemann, Markus, Brown, Anna (2015) Criminal thinking in a Middle Eastern prison sample of thieves, drug dealers and murderers. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 20 . pp. 324-342. ISSN 1355-3259. (doi:10.1111/lcrp.12029) (KAR id:36702)


Purpose: The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) has been applied extensively to the study of criminal behaviour and cognition. This study aimed to explore the psychometric characteristics (factorial structure, reliability and external validity) of an Arabic version of the PICTS, to explore cross-cultural differences between a sample of Middle-Eastern (Egyptian) prisoners and Western prison samples, and to examine the influence of type of crime on criminal thinking styles.

Method: A group of 130 Egyptian male prisoners who had been sentenced for theft, drug dealing or murder completed the PICTS. Their scores were compared with the reported data of American, British, and Dutch prisoners.

Results: The Arabic PICTS showed scale reliabilities estimated by coefficient alpha comparable to the English version, and reliabilities estimated as test-retest correlations were high. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the PICTS subscale scores of Egyptian prisoners best fitted a two-factor model, in which one dimension comprised mollification, entitlement, superoptimism, sentimentality and discontinuity, and the second dimension reflected the thinking styles of power orientation, cut-off and cognitive indolence. Observed levels of thinking styles varied by type of crime, specifically between prisoners sentenced for theft, drug dealing, and murder. Cultural differences in criminal thinking styles were also found, whereby the Egyptian prisoners recorded the highest scores in most thinking styles, while American, Dutch and English prisoners were more comparable to each other.

Conclusions: This study provides one of the first investigations of criminal thinking styles in a non-Western sample and suggests that cross-cultural differences in the structure of these thinking styles exist. In addition, the results indicate that criminal thinking styles need to be understood by the type of crime for which a person has been sentenced.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/lcrp.12029
Uncontrolled keywords: PICTS, criminal, assessment, thinking styles, culture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Anna Brown
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2013 12:54 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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