Date of Graduation
Highly intelligent criminal offenders and non-offenders were compared on self-reported biographical data in order to investigate similarities and differences in their developmental histories. Subjects were 81 male volunteers ranging in age from 21 to 67 years. All were members of Mensa, an international society whose only criterion for membership is a score at or above the 98th percentile on a standardized intelligence test. The study group was comprised of 27 Mensans currently or formerly incarcerated in state or federal prisons for at least 180 consecutive days. The comparison group consisted of 54 Mensans, each of whom reported never having experienced criminal incarceration. The entire control group and the majority of the study group were recruited via ads in the monthly Mensa Bulletin. The remaining study group subjects were identified by ad respondents and solicited for the study by personal letter. Data were gathered using a comprehensive sociobiographical questionnaire modeled on one employed in the widely-known Terman longitudinal studies of gifted individuals (1921-1959). Only descriptive statistical processes were used in analysis of the data. Otherwise, offenders and non-offenders were compared, both in tables and narratives, in terms of the total percentage of each group whose answers belonged to the same response categories. The two groups were found to be similar in age and race. Similarities occurred also in their evaluations of family financial status, religious factors, health factors, and various personality factors. Prominent inter-group differences emerged in the ratings of parent-child relationship variables, generally depicted unfavorably by the offenders. The non-offenders advanced farther than the offenders both educationally and occupationally; the latter frequently cited mental instability as having hindered their life accomplishment. The offenders rated themselves much more self-confident, persistent, and rebellious than did the non-offenders.
Hawkins, Douglas Kent, "A Comparative Study Of High-Iq Offenders And Non-Offenders." (1983). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9006.