ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (8): 1379-1391.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.01379

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Self-control of criminals from a dual-systems model perspective

LIU Yi(), WANG Junqi, WU Xinjia   

  1. Department of Psychology, School of Philosophy, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2019-12-17 Online:2020-08-15 Published:2020-06-28
  • Contact: LIU Yi


Self-control refers to the ability of individuals to consciously control their impulsive behaviors in order to achieve long-term interests. The dual-systems model proposes that the self-control system includes an impulsive system and a reflective system, which can be used to analyze the internal structure of criminals’ low self-control. The impulsive system in criminals is thought to predominantly use behavioral schemata related to crime, while their reflective system is too weak to suppress impulsive behaviors. With the impulsive system activated and the reflective system insufficiently activated, the criminals will likely fail to self-control and subsequently commit crime. To investigate the mechanism of the self-control system in criminals, more integration of the existing studies on the basis of the dual-systems model is needed. It is also necessary to explore the application of the dual-systems model in intervention and psychological correction for prisoners. In addition, juveniles who are susceptible to crime require special attention.

Key words: criminal, self-control, dual-systems model, impulsive system, reflective system

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