Curt Byers’ Major Project History

  • 2017-2018 — As the first Director of Vocational Services for suburban Philadelphia disability services nonprofit The Arc Alliance, I opted to launch services with PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation’s new (as of 2016) PETS (Pre-Employment Transition Services) program for high school special education programs for which I designed the two PETS-specific workplace readiness training programs. Both were approved for OVR-funded PETS workplace readiness and self-advocacy training respectively.

2009-2014 — Founder and part-time CEO of SymBionyx, the for-profit successor to the SymBionyx Foundation, and a remote disability services platform technology start-up created to commercialize the output of the Messiah College Collaboratory WERCware project team (see following) through the development of its first commercial Tymer app product, and its pilot project deployment with Goodwill Industries Keystone Region and recruitment and hand-off of day-to-day management to a full time professional manager CEO and CIO based out of offices in suburban D.C.

2007-2014: Leadership of Messiah College College Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research WERCware project. In response to my clients with autism’s post high school challenges in first employment I invented Wireless-Enabled Remote Co-presence (W.E.R.C.)–embodied in WERCware®, embodied in products and services as WERCware–to enable remote job coaching support of people with autism and other cognitive disabilities. I founded the SymBionyx Foundation to partnered with a Messiah College’s Collaboratory student team and faculty from the engineering, computer science and education departments to develop a succession of WERCware technologies. Initial development and proof of concept projects with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit and United Cerebral Palsy of Central PA were funded by thee grants from PA state agencies totaling $65K.

The final Collaboratory WERCware project resulted from my observation that mothers of my clients with autism were detecting impending “meltdowns” in rising stress in their child’s voice. I proposed development of an artificial neural network (ANN)-based smartphone app that could. 1) recognize rising stress and an impending “meltdown” in a user’s voice, 2) correlate voice data with input from a wearable biometric monitor and, 3) trigger an alert, automated intervention script, or summon assistance as per defined escalation criteria. The final WERCware team successfully trained an ANN to 85% effectiveness in recognizing voice stress and were developing interface software for both the Affectiva Q-Sensor (for galvanic skin response) and Emotive’s wearable EEG reader in the final year of the project.

2001-2003: As an independent consultant I researched, created and packaged a wireless broadband company concept for aggregating a leading independent wireless broadband provider in each of 20-30 mid-size markets into an integrated network that is then pre-configured for a roll-up acquisition of each provider in a single transaction. That concept became JetStream Broadband, an Orlando, Florida-based commercial wireless broadband and Internet Service Provider when I “sold” a majority interest in the company concept to recruit its funder/CEO, create value for my minority position and secure my own employment as its VP of Business Development.

1996-1999: I became the 8th hire and a Director of Business Development for Evangelical market-targeted Web portal only after management agreed to change from a subscription business model to one based on top-of-web page advertising that came to be called “banner ads”– with which business model Crosswalk raised $90 million in its 1997 IPO—ticker symbol AMEN. I transferred from business development to content production to become founding channel producer and editor of a new Spiritual Life Channel. I later added running Crosswalk’s volunteer chat monitor program to my editorial portfolio and for which I designed its training program and hired and managed the chat program’s only full time employee.

1997: Lead consultant and project manager for a team of academic consultant specialists conducting an analysis and making recommen-dations for a cooperative model online learning platform for the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities, a trade association of 92 Christian colleges and universities.  Christian University Globalnet was launched in 1998.

My team’s report and recommendations as presented to representatives of 32 of the CCCU’s 92 member institutions. I opened the consultation with an initial overview and high level summary presentation on the project.

1996-1997: Planning coordination consultant for the first international Internet Evangelism Consultation, sponsored by the Billy Graham Center’s Institute of Evangelism

I was retained by project management contractor Christianity Today Inc. to be the sole paid planning committee member for the nine months leading up to the first international Internet Evangelism Consultation, sponsored by the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. The primary purpose of the Consultation was to both educate and assess, over the course of three days, the perceived need for and interest in creating an ongoing internet evangelism organization–in effect, a trade association–and if affirmed, secure the endorsement of its creation by consultation attendees and election of charter officers. For this and other reasons, participating organizations were required to send either a CEO or COO/EVP along with their senior internet operations staffer. Every invited major player organization attended. I delivered one of the opening plenary addresses. Consultation attendees strongly affirmed the founding of the Internet Evangelism Coalition.

1996: I wrote Life With God: First Steps, with Helen Johns, as part 1 of a four part Life With God introductory curriculum on the Christian faith and membership in The Brethren in Christ Church, for the BIC publishing arm, Evangel Press. The project was offered to me after Evangel Press’ editors’ review of the UK Live Program material. First Steps is effectively a complete rewrite and adaptation into conventional print format (i.e. prose vs. image-centric) of LIVE Program’s approach and core concepts for the U.S. market.

1992: UK publication of the LIVE Programme, by a leading UK church media publisher. The LIVE Programme was the first comprehensive, multiple media format, family metaphor-based introduction to Christianity curriculum and local church outreach program in the UK. It was, for its time, unique in its featuring of non-white ethnicities in a highly visual presentation format chosen for an urban target demographic for whom English was likely a second language. I proposed and secured the endorsements of eight of the U.K.’s highest profile U.K. evangelical church leaders in the bottom half of the promotional piece below.)

With graphic designer and London multicultural church co-pastor, Norman Savine.


Walters Eight Cognitive Thinking Patterns model supersedes Samenow and Yochelson’s Criminal Personality Theory but still stigmatizes all criminal behavior resulting from as irrational (at best.)

Walters’ Eight Cognitive Thinking Patterns model supersedes Samenow and Yochelson’s Criminal Personality Theory but still cannot conceptualize socialization to behavior that is locally adaptive given a violence-prone, highly dysfunctional social environment

Mandracchia, Morgan’s 2007 paper “Inmate Thinking Patterns: An Empirical Investigation” details the history and interrelationship of Walter’s eight cognitive patterns model, based on his research using his PICTS assessment instrument, and Samenow and Yochelson’s Criminal Personality Theory and its 52 Criminal Thinking Errors. Unless otherwise noted, all citations below are from this paper.

Walters (1996) developed eight cognitive patterns to describe the criminal thinking process that both builds on and is intended to supplant Samenow and Yochelson’s model and its 52 criminal thinking errors. Walters’ eight thinking styles are:

  • (a) mollification: rationalizing behavior by placing blame on external factors,
  • (b) cutoff: quickly disregarding thoughts that deter from crime,
  • (c) entitlement: permitting criminal behavior by a special privileged self-attribution,
  • (d) power orientation: the need for utmost control over the environment and others,
  • (e) sentimentality: doing something good to offset one’s negative feelings about one’s behavior,
  • (f) “superoptimism”: confidence in one’s ability to evade the typical negative outcome of crime,
  • (g) cognitive indolence: using mental “short cuts” instead of using more developed and thoughtful mental strategies, and
  • (h) discontinuity: lack of perseverance and reliability in both behavior and thinking (Mandracchia et al.,  1030-1031)

Three of the Walters’ eight cognitive patterns are his own. (“Mollification, entitlement, and cognitive indolence were formed on the basis of Walters’ clinical experience (Walters, 1990, 2001).” The other five are derived from what Walters deemed to be the most salient of Samenow’s fifty-two thinking errors, specifically:  “Sentimentality and superoptimism were adopted directly from Yochelson and Samenow’s theory; power orientation consisted of a combination of Yochelson and Samenow’s conceptualization of the thinking patterns “zero state” and “power thrust”; whereas cutoff and discontinuity were generalized versions of Yochelson and Samenow’s descriptions of the thinking patterns “cutoff” and “fragmentation thinking errors,” respectively (Walters, 1990, 2001).”  (Mandracchia et al.,  1031)

Walter’s model and his Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS)

“To investigate these cognitive patterns empirically, Walters (2001) developed the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS). In the first published study of the PICTS, sufficient reliability and early validity was demonstrated to support continued investigation and development of the instrument (Walters, 1995).”  (Mandracchia et al.,  1031).  

Walters still characterizes as all criminal behavior as only “self-indulgent” and “irrational”

Walters’ model still cannot conceptualize the possibility posited by Elijah Anderson’s Code of the Street, that some criminal behavior of offenders from high crime, violence-prone distressed urban communities is the product of both explicit and unconscious socialization and is locally adaptive and survival-promoting in its specific highly dysfunctional social context.  

As per Mandracchia et al.:  “These patterns represent the notion that criminal thought enables decisions that are self-indulgent, rash, interpersonally invasive, and contrary to societal standards. As such, these thinking patterns are irrationally based, unorganized, and subjective and serve the desires for immediate gratification.” [1030] 

All of this may be descriptive of some of the thinking and resulting behavior of many if not most juvenile offenders. But as a description of the thinking patterns and behavior of every criminal act by every juvenile offender from distressed urban communities–and in particular, those behaviors explicitly taught and modeled as per The Code of the Street, these characterizations are obviously incorrect.  Certainly the “old rule” described by Ta-Nehisi Coates that “we all take our beating together” and which requires every kid seeing any kid from his neighborhood being assaulted to join the fight in defense of his friend–and so commit criminal assault–is neither irrational, unorganized or subjective. (Which, again doesn’t make it moral, or exempt it from criminal sanction, or even in the true longer term best interest of the kid in question.)

The ways the Code of the Street predisposes to criminality are not mutually exclusive with factors from other criminogenic models as explanations for criminal behavior.

Of course, it is entirely possible and even likely that socialization to a Code of the Street that is adaptive behavior in a highly dysfunctional local context and which justifies and even requires criminal behavior is anything but mutually exclusive with other factors highlighted in the more conventional criminological models as predisposing to criminality.  Certainly, Walters’ cognitive pattern of “power orientation” would be a likely outcome or concomitant factor to a code-required physical response to disrespectful treatment. Living out the Code of the Street on a daily basis may have the effect of causing or requiring the cognitive immaturity and/or egocentrism that are two of the three factors posited by Mandracchia et al.

Walters’ critique of Samenow and Yochelson:

“Walters criticized Yochelson and Samenow’s conceptualization of criminal thinking errors, identifying; a) insufficient operationalization, b) difficulty of empirical evaluation, c) lack of generalizability and applicability, and, d) lack of recognition of environmental influences on erroneous thinking as specific weaknesses of their theory.”  (enumeration mine:  Mandracchia et al.,  1030).  Mere listing of these concerns–most or all of which have been identified in previous scathing assessments of Samenow and Yochelson’s work–does not adequately convey the degree to which this is a devastating critique.

What Walters concedes to be significant of Samenow and Yochelson’s work and which he incorporates into his own model

 In spite of these criticisms, Walters (1990) based his conceptualization of criminal thinking on what he deemed as Yochelson and Samenow’s major contributions to a cohesive theory of the criminal lifestyle. These contributions included the ideas that (a) criminals’ antisocial behaviors were based on free choice, (b) continued criminal thinking is the primary expression of free choice, and (c) developing a sense of responsibility for one’s own behavior was necessary to enable change.  (Mandracchia et al.,  1031)

Critique and consensus re: questions about the statistical validity of Walters model:

After what appeared to be very strong validation of Walter’s eight factor model by his own early research, the validity of an eight factor model has been called into question, in part by some of Walter’s own research.   Current thinking is leaning towards either a two factor, (proactive and reactive) (Disabato, 2015) or three factor, (Control, Cognitive Immaturity, and Egocentrism) model. (Mandracchia et al.)

Disabato, D. J., Folk, J. B., Wilson, J., Barboza, S., Daylor, J., & Tangney, J. (2015). Psychometric validation of a simplified form of the PICTS for low-reading level populations. Journal of psychopathology and behavioral assessment38(3), 456-464.

Mandracchia, J. T., Morgan, R. D., Garos, S., & Travis Garland, J. (2007). Inmate Thinking Patterns: An Empirical Investigation. Criminal Justice and Behavior34(8), 1029–1043.

Criminal justice textbook conflates CBT and confronting criminal thinking errors

Stohr and Walsh’s 2018  textbook Corrections: From Research, to Policy to Practice explicitly conflates confronting criminal thinking errors with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Samenow and Yochelson’s Criminal Personality Theory and/or  juvenile justice treatment programs based on confronting clients with their criminal thinking errors  are  widely thought to build on a well research validated evidence-based practice.  This is true despite the fact that no treatment program with Criminal Personality or Criminal Thinking Errors or any combination thereof in its title appears in registries of evidence-based practice.

But a 2018 textbook by distinguished criminologists and professors of criminal justice Mary Stohr and Anthony Walsh may explain why this perception exists and why a focus on Samenow and Yochelson’s criminal thinking errors are so deeply entrenched in corrections, both adult and juvenile.

In the chapter titled “Correctional Programming and Treatment” (Chapter 11) of Stohr and Walsh’s 2018 textbook Corrections: From Research, to Policy, to Practice, the authors could not more explicitly conflate confronting criminal thinking errors with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy then in the CBT section  title and its first two sentences:

Chapter 11 title:    “Correctional Programming and Treatment”

Section title:   “CBT and Criminal Thought”:

First two sentences following:    “The first lesson of CBT is that criminals think differently from the rest of us.  Yochelson and Samenow (1976) and Samenow (1999) pioneered treatment theories based on challenging thinking errors when they realized that modalities based on “outside circumstances” don’t work.”  (Stohr & Walsh, 2018, p. 272).

It is noteworthy that CBT and Motivational Interviewing are the only two evidence-based practices cited in this textbook.  One would never guess that the specific application of CBT in corrections treatment programs that builds on the work of Samenow and Yochelson to focus on confronting “Criminal Thinking Errors” is based on deeply flawed and non-replicated research that has never achieved evidence-based status.

Stohr, M. and Walsh, A. (2018) Corrections: From Research, to Policy, to Practice. Thousand Oaks, California:  Sage Publications.

Gabbidon’s Thesis and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Thesis of Gabbidon and Unnerver’s Theory of African American Offending (ToAAO)   

Summarize and cite thesis of G&U’s ToAAIO 

Gabbidon’s thesis may well be supported by research on Adverse or traumatic Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  Certainly an implication of ACEs theory would be a continuation  into adulthood of traumatic racism related experiences in childhood.  But there is no reason to believe stress and trauma’s contribution to “allostatic load” (described following)  is limited to childhood experiences and doubtless there is research to the contrary.   If the cumulative effects of major racism-related trauma and/or the cumulative effect of daily racially motivated micro-aggression constitutes a form of trauma then ACEs theory and research can likely be cited in support of Gabbidon’s ToAAO.    


Allostasis refers to the way the brain and body respond to challenges or stresses: by reacting, adapting and then recovering. But if the stress is extreme, negative and unrelenting, the brain and body pay a price. That accumulated wear-and-tear, called allostatic load, can cause chemical imbalances, accelerate certain diseases, and even alter brain structures. Genetics, early brain development, the social and physicalenvironment, diet and other behaviors can all influence a person’s allostatic load.

Learn more at


When children are exposed to multiple traumatic events, such as ongoing physical or sexual abuse, witnessing family or community violence, or separation from family members, they may suffer complex trauma, with deep and long-lasting effects on their ability to think, learn and relate to others. Research has shown that the more ACEs a person has, the higher his or her risk for problems including addiction, chronic physical conditions, depression and anxiety, self-harming behaviors, and other psychiatric disorders.

Learn more at

Voluminous research on Racism-caused Trauma


Critical Research Influences on Cultural Factors in Non-coercive Adversary Behavior Management

Elijah Anderson
Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University

Anderson developed the Code of the Street model out of 14 years of ethno-graphic research and sociological analysis of a Philadelphia neighborhood.  His writing explains how how racism, the deteriorating economic base of inner city neighborhoods  and resulting social dysfunction have given rise to a world view and behavioral schema  Anderson calls the Code of the Street. His research and writing explains both both the adaptive rationality of the Code of the Street and how it accounts for many of the social and behavioral dysfunctions of communities and individuals socialized as per the Code of the Street.  The Code of the Street model has been validated and extended in over 25 years of research in multiple academic disciplines.  

Jamie Fader
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Temple University

Fader brings Anderson’s Code of the Street concept to bear on the her analysis of how Samenow and Yochelson’s Criminal Personality Theory, (which is virtually canonical in criminal justice theory and juvenile justice clinical treatment) uniquely problematic for African American juvenile offenders socialized to the Code of the Street, especially as applied in practice in most residential juvenile justice facilities.  

Both Fader’s chapter in the Anderson’s 2008 Against the Wall and her 2013 book Falling Back: Incarceration and Transitions to Adulthood among Urban Youth are both “based on over three years of ethnographic research with black and Latino males on the cusp of adulthood and incarcerated at a rural reform school designed to address “criminal thinking errors” among juvenile drug offenders.”

James Barrett and Janice Kupersmidt
Havard Medical School and CEO / Senior Research Scientist Innovative Research and Training, respectively

James Barrett is an Instructor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School.  However, it is his work with youth in Cambridge, Massachusetts schools and those involved with the Cambridge Police Department that is most relevant to this project.  While teaching cognitive behavioral anger management Dr. Barrett kept getting push back from African American youth clients from tough inner city neighborhoods.  He concluded this was due to their socialization by a widely shared survival-oriented ethos Elijah Anderson calls the Code of the Street. 
Barrett partnered with research and clinical child psychologist Janice Kupersmidt, developer/author of multiple evidence-based intervention curricula and programs, in developing the Fight Navigator program. Fight Navigator  takes account of the Code of the Street in helping urban youth identity strategies for avoiding violent conflict that doesn’t cost them peer respect or undermine their street rep. Fight Navigator is arguably the first and currently only other known anger management and violence prevention program/curriculum that exemplifies Non-coercive Adversary Behavior Management, though its development predates NABM’s conceptualization by several years.  

Ta-Nehisi Coates  
Author, journalist, educator and comic book writer, (Marvel Comics’ Black Panther and Captain America)

As profound as Ta-Nehisi Coates’ is as a commentator on and analyst of issues relevant to this project, his primary value in terms of NAMB curriculum content is as a source of  compellingly written biographical anecdotes in his books and articles that illustrate theoretical concepts and content drawn from academic research.  Coates’ is only the first of what will become many African American stories and voices enlisted to communicate and illustrate Non-coercive Adversary Behavior Management curricula content to urban youth out of a shared community context.  However, few other voices can match  Coates’ combination of literary and theoretical heft and the pop culture  cachet as a writer of superhero comic books.  

Coates’ Between the World and Me was a  #1 New York Times bestseller , a finalist for the National Book Award.  Coates is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow and  has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story “The Case for Reparations

The Code of the Street and Reentry

This page is currently just a place to post research notes on this topics.

The problem for reentry of an exclusive focus on CBT techniques without any reference to cultural contextual issues that are studiously avoided in most juvenile corrections programs

From:  Juvenile Corrections in the Era of Reform: A Meta-synthesis of Qualitative Studies  in  the August 2017 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  

Once they return, young people must navigate a minefield of challenges to maintaining their commitment to law-abiding lives. The researchers found that in their almost absolute focus on cognitive behavioral programming without attention to issues surrounding residential and employment services, many of the residential placement facilities studied are ill-prepared to tackle the structural issues that youth face, particularly in urban communities. These young people, who are disproportionately youth of color, are more likely than their non-institutionalized counterparts to lack the hard and soft skills that make them attractive job candidates (Inderbitzin, 2009). They face significant barriers to finding steady employment that pays more than minimum wage, including racial discrimination, lack of access to job networks, and spatial disconnection from well-paying jobs (Fader, 2013; Nurse, 2010). These deficits are rarely addressed during their period of confinement. Many experience pressure to get a job, but use a “scattershot” approach to applying for positions. Once they find work, they discover that daily conditions involve a lack of respect from customers and supervisors (Nurse, 2010).


Sankofa, J & Cox, A. & Fader, J.  & Inderbitzin, M & Abrams, L.& M. Nurse, A.. (2017). Juvenile Corrections in the Era of Reform: A Meta-Synthesis of Qualitative Studies. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. 62. 0306624X1772707. 10.1177/0306624X17727075.

Code Switching




Here is the Encyclopedia Britannica’s helpful definition:

Code-switching, process of shifting from one linguistic code (a language or dialect) to another, depending on the social context or conversational setting. Sociolinguistssocial psychologists, and identity researchers are interested in the ways in which code-switching, particularly by members of minority ethnic groups, is used to shape and maintain a sense of identity and a sense of belonging to a larger community.

In popular culture and particular among African Americans code switching is either with ambivalence or even outright hostility.  The Urban Dictionary definition illustrates this.  It defines “code switching” in neutral terms while the hashtags following  captures the ambivalence or outright hostility many feel about the practice.

code switching

To customize style of speech to the audience or group being addressed.
Example:  She talks street to her friends at school, but when she is with her family, she is code switching and speaks proper English.


This piece from NPR’s Code Switch podcast seems to imply that Code Switching is somewhat sketchy or in some way a cop-out  that nonetheless needs to be owned up to.

The words “power and peril” in the title of the Guardian review of the movie “Sorry to Bother You” perfectly illustrates ambivalence towards code switching:
Sorry to Bother You, black Americans and the power and peril of code-switching

Long before Sorry to Bother You taught moviegoers the meaning of code-switching – the act of altering how you express yourself based on your audience – I learned its power by listening to my father take phone calls. While checking in with his mother in Georgia he’d drift into a black southern lilt, subtly prolonging vowel sounds as he reverted to his childhood timbre. From there, he’d answer calls from his white co-workers, ingratiating himself with carefree enthusiasm and a formal syntax while deftly employing his lawyerly lexicon.

But at the barbershop, my father was best at being himself. As soon as the shop’s door swung open, I’d watch him relax his stance before strutting towards the owner of the shop. As if preparing to bounce, he’d walk with a slight bend in his knee, greeting him with an ardent “My man!” before dapping him up. From there, he’d pay similar respects to the other barbers and fellow customers, often extending a hug to the older women waiting for their sons, smiling at shopgoers the way you smile at family. And as the barbershop buzzed with local gossip and philosophical debate alike, I’d hang on my father’s every word, listening to him drop the “r” from “brother” or the “l” from “alright” or the “g” from seemingly any verb. At the shop, he was cool in a way only black people can be cool.

Criminal Thinking/Personality Theory Critique and challenge 

This page will eventually be a well organized narrative summary of the major categories of criticism  of Samenow and Yochelson’s Criminal Personality Theory research and publications with examples and citations of most significant reviews and contrary research findings.

For now it is just a minimally organized listing of what I turn up in my research with minimal to no summarizing or commentary other than in  heading copy.

A devastating early academic review: The Criminal Personality: Exceptions to the Rule: A Review of The Criminal Personality, Volume I: A Profile for Change by Richard A. Dienstbier

In attempting to show that more traditional ways of understanding criminal development are insufficient, the authors do not present arguments that are logically compelling or well documented with data. In addition, they are not able to develop any convincing theoretical alternatives to those traditional accounts.

The authors mistakenly search for ultimate causal variables to account for their clients’ criminality. Thus they reject any variable demonstrated by other research to have some causal relationship with criminal behavior if they can argue that it does not invariably lead to criminal behavior (emphasis added here and throughout). Broken homes, for example, are dismissed as an important cause of criminality since some siblings are not turned to crime by this background variable. Unfortunately for their argument, the authors’ denial of the relevance of such factors as broken homes, disadvantaged economic circumstances, and bizarre socialization techniques by parents is not based upon evidence presented in numerical form or upon contrasts with any comparison group; nor do they consider the possibility that such factors might interact to cause criminal behavior. Instead, the authors merely ask the reader to accept their conclusion that most of their criminal clients came from homes with some caring adults, that they were socialized in normal ways, etc. Alongside the illogicality of discounting the impact of social, physical, and psychological variables simply because such variables are not perfect independent predictors of criminality, the authors compound the problem by an insufficient review of relevant literature  (Dienstbier,  1977 p.  211-212).

In attempting to demonstrate the superiority of understanding the criminal through an analysis of the criminal’s thinking patterns, the authors present no theory or evidence to explain why such patterns emerge….In attempting to formulate abstractions about “thinking errors,” the authors present evidence in the form of their own notes from interactions with their clients. This is a very limited form of evidence, since the authors do not discuss in detail the degree to which their own emerging theory may have disposed them to see confirmation of their theory in their subjective data; nor are they prone to present numbers. (Dienstbier,  1977 p.  2013).

A placeholder listing from an  undocumented and badly written but reasonably comprehensive overview of Criminal Thinking Theory, Yochelson and Samenow: What Makes a Criminal?

(I am researching to determine a source for each of the following claims. Emphasis added throughout.)

They began their study with 240 male patients who were being treated at St. Elizabeths and had come from a variety of backgrounds. The patients were “hardened criminals” and had committed thousands of crimes in their lifetimes, according to the psychologists.

Contemporaneous reviews of Yochelson and Samenow’s publication tended to focus on the shortcomings of their methodology…the experimental design… had serious flaws.

First of all, the researchers did not include a control group

…the attrition that occurred over the fourteen-year period left so few patients that subsequent researchers had to wonder if any results…held ….for the population as a whole.

….the researchers…offered neither logical arguments nor data to support their decision to reject sociological and biological explanations for criminal behavior.

Clarke, Marcus. Psysci. (undated) “Yochelson and Samenow: What Makes a Criminal?” [Blog post] Retrieved from

Walters’ four criticisms:  

Walters criticized Yochelson and Samenow’s conceptualization of criminal thinking errors identifying, 1) insufficient operationalization, 2) difficulty of empirical evaluation, 3) lack of generalizability and applicability, and 4) lack of recognition of environmental influences on erroneous thinking as specific weaknesses of their theory.  (enumeration added)

(Mandracchia et al. / INMATE THINKING PATTERNS, p. 1031. CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR, Vol. 34 No. 8, August 2007 1029-1043 DOI: 10.1177/0093854807301788–citation copied –minimal to no editing for APA formatting.)