Serotonin: What role has it in the making of a “Rotten apple”

  • Lori Lahue
  • Jim Ruiz
  • Pam Clarke


It has been suggested that social feedback causes increases and decreases in serotonin levels. This constant variation determines and individual’s current level of self-esteem. Increases in serotonin have been associated with a rise in an individual’s expectations and drive to achieve success. On the other hand, a lowered level of serotonin may cause an individual to act out inappropriately and to have a lowered expectation of themselves. When the serotonin level functions as it should, it allows individuals to cope in difficult situations and excel in positive endeavors. Some with low serotonin levels seek out alcohol or other drugs to temporarily raise serotonin levels to achieve the felling of euphoria and well-being but this is only temporary. This could explain how some people become psychologically addicted when they fell they need assistance to maintain the felling that all is well.


Serotonin Police Officer Personality Disorder Violent Behavior Serotonin Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brown, S., Botsis, A. & Van Praag, H.M. (1994). Serotonin and aggression. In M. Hillbrand and N.J. Pallone (Eds.)The Psychobiology of Aggression (pp. 27–39). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
  2. Fyfe, J.J., Greene, J.R., Walsh, W. F., Wilson, O. W., & McLaren, R. C. (1997).Police administration. New York. McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  3. Goldberg, J. (1995). The bad seed: Amid controversy, scientists hunt for the “aggression” gene.Omni, 17, p. 16.Google Scholar
  4. Hankoff, L. D. (1990). The neuroscience of violence.International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 34, pp. v-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hippchen, L.J. (1981). The biochemistry of stress reactions and crime.Journal of Offender Counseling, Services & Rehabilitation, 5(2), pp. 19–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kappeler, V. E., Sluder, R. D., & Alpert, G. P. (1998).Forces of deviance: Understanding the dark side of policing. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.Google Scholar
  7. Knapp Commission (1973).The Knapp Commission report on police corruption. New York: George Braziller.Google Scholar
  8. Murphy, Patrick V. (1973). Police corruption.Police Chief, 12, pp. 36–72.Google Scholar
  9. Pine, D.D., Wasserman, G. A., Coplan, J., Fried, J. A., Huand, Y., Kassir, S., Greenhill, L., Shaffer, D., & Parsons, B. (1996) Platelet serotonin 2A receptor characteristics and parenting factors for boys at risk for delinquency: A preliminary report.American Journal of Psychiatry, 153:4, pp. 538–543.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Siever, L. J. (1994). The frontiers of pharmacology.Psychology Today, 27, 40–48.Google Scholar
  11. Slaby, A. E. (1994). Psychopharmacotherapy of suicide.Death Studies, 18, 483–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sylwester, R. (1997). The neurobiology of self-esteem and aggression.Educational Leadership, 54, 75–80.Google Scholar
  13. Wikkunen, M., & Linnoila, M. (1993). Serotonin in personality disorders with habitual violence and impulsivity. In S. Hodgins (ed.),Mental Disorder and Crime (pp. 227–243). California: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Westley, William A. (1953). Violence and the police.American Journal of Sociology.59, pp. 34–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Whisenand, Paul M. & Fergerson, R. Fred (1996).The managing of police organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori Lahue
    • 1
  • Jim Ruiz
    • 1
  • Pam Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.Westfield State CollegeWestfieldUSA

Personalised recommendations