Good Brain, Bad Brain

Can This Man Predict Whether Your Child Will Become a Criminal? reviews some of the current research on brain structure and criminality. What could have been a complete disaster on the part of a publication that should know better is mildly averted. Once again, we don’t get the numbers, probabilities or statistical significance, so for the wrong kind of reader, one without a healthy dose of skepticism, it can be a “fascinating” read.

On the other hand, the article makes two important points. First, that most research designs have weaknesses, a number of different approaches to the same subject can be useful. Finally, the article ends noting the important difference between group and individual behavior. There is absolutely no predictive value for the individual – especially when the causal mechanism isn’t clearly identified.


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