Researchers estimate that at least 100 studies have shown that genes play a role in crimes. “Very good methodological advances have meant that a wide range of genetic work is being done,” said John H. Laub, the director of the justice institute, who won the Stockholm Prize in Criminology last week. He and others take pains to emphasize, however, that genes are ruled by the environment, which can either mute or aggravate violent impulses. Many people with the same genetic tendency for aggressiveness will never throw a punch, while others without it could be career criminals.The article is interesting because it talks not only about one's childhood environment, but one's current environment. One such environmental factor is marriage:
Kevin Beaver, an associate professor at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said genetics may account for, say, half of a person’s aggressive behavior, but that 50 percent comprises hundreds or thousands of genes that express themselves differently depending on the environment.
[Steven Pinker] mentioned one of the biggest risk factors leading to crime: remaining single instead of getting married, a link uncovered by Mr. Laub and Robert J. Sampson, a Harvard sociologist who was a co-winner of the Stockholm Prize. Marriage may serve as a switch that directs male energies toward investing in a family rather than competing with other males, Mr. Pinker said.For those who are interested in improving their environment in order to maximize self control, this NY Times article about decision fatigue is good. The gist of the article is that you have limited amounts of self control, so don't waste it on unimportant things. Also be very aware of your blood glucose levels-- glucose can erase the effects of decision fatigue. It's oddly a lot of things I have just intuited about myself over the years, but still helpful to learn the science behind it.