19 October 2015

The Psychology of Serial Killers

The debate of nature versus nurture is an ageless debate among the psychological community. Is it one or the other? Or, is it a mixture of the two? “Theories that base their understanding of human behavior on "nature," focus on characteristics that we are born with, like our genetic make-up, stable personality traits, and physical predispositions.” (Hartney, 2010). Nurture is quite the opposite. People on the side of nurture are of the opinion that it is the environment that determines who a person is and becomes. Nature and nurture can be studied in various ways on many different types of people. The extreme classification though is when these theories are applied to a group of people who are hard to examine at best. Serial killers, for example, are so complex that the nature vs. nurture debate seems to have just gravitated towards them in the hopes of answering the age old question; do they kill because of nature or because of nurture?

Watch the video and be ready to answer the questions below:

1. What is said to be the main motivation of serial killers as defined by an encyclopedia?
2. What do all the serial killers have in common? How they differentiate from other criminals?
3. How does David Berkowitz accounts for his actions? How his childhood was different from a childhood of other children?
4. How does John Huse explain his behavior?
5. How does Aileen Wuornos feel on the day before her execution? Who or what does she blame for becoming a serial killer?   Does she feel any pains of remorse?
6. To what do people attribute John Wayne Gacy’s inclination to murders?
7. What disorders did Arthur Shawcross was diagnosed with? What was he sentenced to? 
8. What was Tommy Sells’ penalty? How did he feel during murders?
9. How does Tom Bundy different from other serial killers? What drove Bundy into committing murders?
10. How are all serial killers classified by FBI?

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