The psychopharmacology of criminality and oxytocin modulation of social behavior in aggressive individuals

Authored by: Royce Lee

The Routledge International Handbook of Biosocial Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415722131
eBook ISBN: 9781315858449
Adobe ISBN: 9781317936749


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Psychopharmacological research focused on criminality and aggression can be characterized as having two separate goals. The first is a pragmatic one of seeking tools to apply to aggressive psychiatric patients, often treated in forensic psychiatric settings. The context of this research is distinct from the broader context of the criminal justice system, in that the individuals being treated are usually patients rather than prisoners or parolees. The second goal is primarily a scientific one, that seeks to understand criminal behavior in a biological or neuroscience framework. This goal often entails using one of the standard tools of clinical neuroscience research, the placebo-controlled medication trial. This is because it is one of the few methods with which to test causation in clinical research.

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