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Criminal behavior is a complex, extremely common, and costly problem for society. Not all people who engage in criminal behavior are the same in terms of etiological pathways, versatility, continuity, type of behavior, and amenability to treatment. There is little agreement about the causal origins of criminal behavior. However, research identifies a range of factors that are involved in the development of criminal behavior, including environmental (e.g., neighborhood), constitutional (e.g., personality), and neurobiological (e.g., emotion, attention, and executive functions). This program will cover a range of theoretical and empirical material to begin to understand the development of the "criminal mind."


  • Arielle Baskin-Sommers (Associate Professor of Psychology and of Psychiatry at Yale University)

    Arielle Baskin-Sommers

    Associate Professor of Psychology and of Psychiatry at Yale University

    Arielle Baskin-Sommers is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Yale, a Professor (Adjunct) of Law at Yale Law School, and also a licensed clinical psychologist. Her work focuses on identifying and specifying the cognitive, emotional, and environmental mechanisms that contribute to antisocial behavior (e.g., substance use, criminal activity, aggression). She is also the first person in Connecticut to be granted permission to run a lab space in a prison. To support her work, Dr. Baskin-Sommers has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Justice, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She is the author of over 105 peer reviewed publications and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Yale Poorvu Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2019.

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