Study: Emotional awareness training 'reduces severe crime reoffending rates'

Posted on July 15, 2015

Photo: flickr

In the new study - reportedly the first of its kind - psychologists from Cardiff University, UK, studied the emotion recognition capabilities and criminal activity of 50 offenders who had an average age of 16.

The study found that participants who took part in the emotion training showed a significant reduction in the severity of the crimes they committed.

High severity crimes usually involve more physically aggressive behavior and interpersonal violence compared with less severe crimes, such as theft and criminal damage. The authors think, therefore, that because the emotion training worked on improving recognition of anger, sadness and fear, the offenders who took part in this training may have increased their understanding of the emotions of their potential victims, which dissuaded them from being physically aggressive or committing more severe crimes.

"Our findings support our belief that a population of individuals, whose combined offending produces the majority of harm in communities, can be made to behave less aggressively with the knock-on effect of bringing about a significant drop in serious crime," says lead author Prof. Stephanie Van Goozen, from Cardiff University's School of Psychology.

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Category(s):Antisocial personality, Emotional Intelligence

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