The inclination for criminal behavior is derived from some inherent biological or psychological trait that separates the criminals from the rest of society. Environmental factors and genetics can play a role in the creation of the deviant. Much research has been done into the individual trait theory and has produced many different focuses from the actual physical traits of the offender to the internal characteristics that make up the individual’s psyche.

Crime has been an ongoing issue since the beginning of human civilization. From the beginnings of society starting with Hammurabi’s Code to today’s Patriot Act, people have been dealing with crime and its effects. From simple petty thefts to mass murders, society has been trying to identify the causes of crime and how to better prepare and possibly predict crime. Multiple theoretical approaches attempt to explain the source of criminal behaviors and offer solutions that attempt to circumvent criminal behavior.

As complex as these theories are, there cannot be one definitive explanation for the reasons that a human engages in criminalistic behaviors. The Individual Trait theory explains how through individual explanations of disposition and behavioral issues are biologically induced. This theory gives a credible ground to the belief that some people are biologically prone to criminal activities due to certain psychological and environmental factors. To understand the Individual Trait Theory, an understanding of what it actually is is key.

The theory is based in the thought that the offender has certain traits in themselves that differ from non-offenders. These traits whether they be psychological, biological or (believed at one time) physical. This theory has many parts. Some parts of this theory have been studied and found to be untrue and possibly what could be accounted for as rash generalizations or lack of scientific accountability. However, other parts of this theory have been extremely benificial to the way that we look at the offender today.

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