A Multidimensional Psychobiological Model of Violence

  • C. Robert Cloninger
  • Dragan M. Svrakic
  • Nenad M. Svrakic
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 292)


Violence is an interpersonal activity influenced by a complex interplay of multiple psychosocial and neurobiological factors. In this chapter, we will describe a general psychobiological model of personality with multiple components, each of which has a distinct psychological description, neurobiological substrate, and genetic and environmental causes. This general model includes components of reactive aggression, like the impulsive-aggressive temperament traits described by Eysenck and Eysenck (1985) and Barratt and colleagues (in press), and components ofpredatary aggression, like the non-impulsive hostile attitudes described by Huesmann and others (Dodge & Newman, 1981; Heilbrun et al, 1978). First, we will describe the general model of personality briefly, and then I will relate the general model to violence and the causes of aggressive criminality in particular. The interaction of these components in the development of violence will be described as a complex adaptive system with nonlinear dynamics.


Personality Disorder Personality Development Reactive Aggression Complex Adaptive System Harm Avoidance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Robert Cloninger
    • 1
  • Dragan M. Svrakic
    • 1
  • Nenad M. Svrakic
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Psychobiology of Personality and Departments of Psychiatry and GeneticsWashington University Medical SchoolSt. LouisUSA

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