Home > Publications > Psycho-Socio-Cultural and Personal Attributes of Murderers in Punjab, Pakistan

Psycho-Socio-Cultural and Personal Attributes of Murderers in Punjab, Pakistan

Adnan Adil1 & Qurratulain2

Murderers have specific behaviors inclusive of developmental, psychological,
and cognitive characteristics. The present research is based on a purposive sample (N
= 170) of convicted murderers in district jails of Sargodha, Shahpur, and Jehlum. The
thematic analysis of the data obtained through semi-structured interviews depicted
that a typical murderer was a young, poor, unskilled, and uneducated man with no
history of imprisonment. The major themes in the domain of developmental
trajectories included unstable family and poor interpersonal relationships. The major
sub-themes in the cognitive factors included lack of empathy, lack of remorse or guilt,
and lack of self-control. Antisocial tendencies and impaired psychological health were
the major themes extracted in the domain of psychological characteristics. The major
causes of committing the murder were revenge/enmity, honor killing (Zan), robbery,
sudden provocations, and disputes over the land/property (Zar and Zameen).
Murderers’ emotional states before and after killing were the function of the motives
of killing.

Keywords: psycho-developmental characteristics of the murderers, reasons for
murder, cognitive and emotional states of the murderers