The 8 types of characters (and their characteristics)

What is the character? What types of characters are there and how are they classified?

The Senne itself defines characterology as “the methodical knowledge of men, while each is distinguished from the others by its originality”. This concept will help us understand the behavior of particular groups and various individuals.

Simply put, characterology is the discipline that studies character and its classification. It is therefore clear that the study of character is of vital interest for the study of the genesis and dynamics of the most common criminal phenomena insofar as character is a criminogenic factor.

What is the character?

In psychology, as a science, many concepts are created that serve to describe in descriptive terms sets of patterns of behavior. These concepts, called psychological constructs, Can be more or less specific, ranging from the description of specific actions, such as self-harm, to the more abstract, such as the tendency to neuroticism. The character is part of this second group.

Thus, character is a concept that tries to explain very diverse groups of behaviors and which are expressed in a wide variety of situations. Therefore, his study provides general patterns of behavior, although in order to know the details one has to refine it further and go to the “micro”, which in turn is a little easier to study if we start from these “macro” concepts to know where to start and what kind of hypotheses to test.

Characterology and its importance in criminological study

For the characterology applied to the study of the criminal (the so-called criminal characterology) the individual predisposition to the commission of a criminal act is represented by the hypertrophy of the characterological mechanisms, A consecutive atrophy of the other mechanisms, which then lose their neutralization capacity.

Benigne Di Tuli, a distinguished scholar in criminology, noted that there are specific provisions and skills for each criminal that make him feel attracted to a particular form of crime, which in some cases repudiates the offender from others. criminal protests. For example, people with fetishistic traits (those who generally tend to be bloodthirsty) who enter homes exclusively to steal female clothes, but not other goods.

Character and predisposition to criminal behavior

On the other hand, you already correctly point out two points:

1. Certain characterological mechanisms predispose a subject to crimeThus, the trait may be an endogenous criminogenic factor.

2. The criminogenic “power” of a mechanism seems to be directly linked to its hypertrophy. which can be global or selective (in relation to the three constitutive factors of this one)

Criminal characterology: classification of characters

The typological typology studied by Le Senne gives rise to the following classification with a total of 08:00 character profiles.

1. Nervous character (emotional, inactive, primary)

Emotional above all, being keenly each of the stimuli of the outside world, the slightest friction is enough to excite his hypersensitivity. To the inactive being, he has a high energy potential, which he does not discharge by persistent activity is available to impulses, instincts and antisocial tendencies. When it reaches its maximum, it reacts instantly without measuring the consequences of its actions. The most criminogenic of all the characters.

2. Passionate character (emotional, active, secondary)

It is a subject par excellence linked to so-called “passionate” crimes, Although it has a low criminogenic incidence. The dangerous element of the passionate character comes from the fact that their emotions affected by their secondary school are prolonged in time, which are sometimes organized on the basis of hatred and / or jealousy which, linked to the activity that they possesses, facilitates his actions and this could easily be turned into actions with murderous intentions. Acquired hypertrophy is the consequence of a diversion of psychic energy which uses the exit route which best favors the commission of a homicide, caused by hatred, jealousy or revenge. Paranoid states occur quite frequently and easily shift the passion mechanism towards aggressive antisocial behavior.

3. Anger (emotional, active, primary)

Easily observable in this type that the emotion turns into a reaction. The anger mechanism easily conditions initiative, combativeness, aggressiveness: these behavioral traits easily run the risk of being directed against people by becoming antisocial acts. The need for action gives rise to certain tendencies such as greed or sexuality and even expressiveness. This angry mechanism it promotes injury and fraud more than theft.

4. Sentimental character (emotional, inactive, secondary)

Heymans, Wiersma and rest point out that this character does not predispose to delinquency. The sentimental is slowed down in the expressiveness of his emotions by his secondary nature, which outlines prospects for him far from his behavior and also by his inactivity which very rarely channels him down the path of crime. However, their secondary character can organize emotions on a passionate subject, the basis can be hatred, resentment, envy, etc. For this reason, violent, aggressive and unusual reactions are most often directed at people. Like the classic example of a subject who decided overnight to murder his whole family or start a school shooting, and then committed suicide. This fact can only be explained by a momentary eclipse of the sentimental mechanism which gives way to a nervous mechanism.

5. Blood character (non-emotional, active, primary)

the blood it tends to give quick and complete satisfaction to your body’s claims: Eat and drink greedily for example, also trying to satisfy their sexual appetite. It intervenes relatively little in crimes against property (such as theft, for example), while it has some incidence in sexual crimes and violence against people.

6. Phlegmatic character (non-emotional, active, secondary)

individuals in general cold, calm, punctual, orderly, honest and caring. Little participation in crimes. However, his intellectual and meticulous traits can mean that when the phlegmatic chooses to lead to crime, he engages in long-considered, carefully prepared and executed anti-social behaviors, unlike, for example, the nervous or angry person who can commit crimes by rape. “impulsiveness. They are usually associated with very complex intellectual crimes such as bank robberies, white collar crimes, etc.

7. Amorphous character (non-emotional, inactive, primary)

Its dominant characteristic is extremely radical laziness. He lives in the immediate present and is generally not attentive to the consequences of his actions, he only responds to their needs to give them satisfaction always with the slightest effort. The Amorph is easily swayed by crime under the influence of others as he has no ability to resist the suggestions of a group. The case of those who are only secondary collaborators in a crime (for example in an abduction: the one who keeps the victim in the house and feeds her).

8. Apathetic character (non-emotional, inactive, secondary)

Characterologically poorly endowed and difficult to adapt to the environment. Sometimes they have a certain mental weakness with defects in the moral and voluntary sphere. With notable gaps in education. Particularly involved in sex crimes against minors, given his many difficulties in establishing relationships with other people.

Character and prevention of aggressive and criminal behavior

Finally, we want to indicate that the crime prevention must start with the clinic: For the early discovery of aggressive or antisocial tendencies in young people and the characteristic needs of each individual. An early diagnosis of these needs will establish relevant and proactive relationships in terms of rehabilitation and biopsychosociological intervention.

Bibliographical references:

  • Bermúdez, J. (2004). Personality psychology. Theory and research. (Vol I and II). UNED didactic unit. Madrid.
  • Hermangómez, L. and Fernández, C. (2012). Personality and differential psychology. CEDE PIR preparation manual, 07. CEDE: Madrid.
  • Marchiori, H. (2004) Criminal Psychology. 9th edition. Editorial Porrúa.
  • Preiss, M; Kucharová, J; Novák, T; Stepánková, H (2007). Temperament and Character Revised (TCI-R): Psychometric characteristics of the Czech version. Danubian psychiatry. 19 (1-2): pages 27 to 34.

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