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Personality traits common to those who commit crimes

When looking at why people commit crimes and what influences them to do so repeatedly, one thing researchers have settled on is that many so-called "career criminals" share specific personality traits. While every individual is unique and the level of contribution from a specific trait differs from one person to the next, these traits do perhaps shed some insight on why people act the way they do.

For instance, experts said that many career criminals tend to rationalize their behavior. In some cases, they may have a reason to commit the crime that goes beyond what outsiders recognize -- stealing food to provide for their family, for instance.

Many people also tend to spend more time focusing on their own positive traits, which can influence how they see themselves. Someone who knows they are committing tax fraud, for instance, may focus on their own love of animals or the way they care for the environment. When they see themselves in this positive light, often for legitimate reasons, it makes it easier to rationalize criminal behavior.

One very common trait is impulsive decision-making. This is why people often express regret after the fact. They honestly did not think their actions through in advance. Given more time, they realize that they should have acted differently, but it's too late. They impulsively made a decision that carries some very real penalties.

Again, everyone is unique, and these traits do not always apply. But they do help to show why some crimes happen and how people get drawn into this lifestyle. Remember, everyone who gets arrested on criminal charges has the right to a fair trial.

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