Jeremy Matyas

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert I. Sundick

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Anemone

Third Advisor

Dr. Tal Simmons

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between genetics and criminal behavior. Using specific dermatoglyphic features of 100 Caucasian male criminals, comparisons were made to a comparable control group of noncriminals. Dermatoglyphics are known to be, in part, genetically determined. Differences between the non-criminal and criminal samples would support the belief that certain criminal behaviors are genetically determined.

Statistical tests were performed on the dermatoglyphic pattern types and ridge counts of the criminal and non-criminal samples. There were three tests of the total ridge counts (TRC) that were found to be statistically significant. The principal difference was that the criminal sample had a lower mean ridge count than the noncriminal sample. There were no statistically significant differences found between the pattern types of the two samples. Although not statistically significant the criminal group exhibited a higher incidence of arches than the non-criminal group.

This study is only relevant with reference to a population and not to an individual. These findings do not support the possibility of predetermining criminal intent in individuals, only that behavior may be influenced by genetics.

Included in

Anthropology Commons