Psychological markers underlying murder weapon profile: A quantitative study

Kamaluddin Mohammad Rahim, Azizah Othman, Khaidzir Ismail, Geshina Ayu Mat Saat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The horrific nature of murder using different types of weapons has been an important focal point of many criminological studies. Weapons that are used in murders seem to play dominant roles in murder investigations as they may provide information leading to arrest. The established factors for weapon usage include environmental context, demography and availability of weapons. However, there is insufficient research attention on the psychological functioning of murderers for particular weapon usage. In light of this, the current study seeks to narrow this gap of information by identifying the influences of psychological traits on weapon usage among a sample of male murderers. The present cross-sectional study was conducted among 71 male murderers incarcerated in 11 prisons within Peninsular Malaysia. The selection of the sample was based on predetermined selection criteria using a purposive sampling method. A guided self-administered questionnaire comprising socio-demography variables and four Malay validated psychometric instruments: Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire-40-Cross-Culture, Self-control Scale, “How I Think” Questionnaire and Aggression Questionnaire; was used. Independent sample t-test was performed to establish the mean score differences of psychological traits between the murderers who used single and multiple weapons while Kruskal-Wallis tests were carried out to ascertain the differences between the specific types of weapons used among the murderers. Following this, one-way ANOVA was carried out to ascertain the psychological trait differences among the murderers according to the different sources of weapon. Results indicated specific psychological traits influenced the number(s), source(s) and type(s) of weapon used in committing murder. The findings have implications for the psychological profiling of unknown murderers within the Malaysian context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
JournalMalaysian Journal of Pathology
Volume39
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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Weapons
Homicide
Psychology
Demography
Prisons
Malaysia
Aggression
Psychometrics
Patient Selection
Personality
Analysis of Variance
Cross-Sectional Studies

Keywords

  • Malaysia
  • Murder
  • Murderers
  • Psychological markers
  • Weapon profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Psychological markers underlying murder weapon profile : A quantitative study. / Mohammad Rahim, Kamaluddin; Othman, Azizah; Ismail, Khaidzir; Mat Saat, Geshina Ayu.

In: Malaysian Journal of Pathology, Vol. 39, No. 3, 01.12.2017, p. 217-226.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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