Introduction: the article presents a study conducted by means of a questionnaire survey among convicts in the Varna prison. The legal status of convicts affects their psychological and behavioral features. When studying the process of forming certain personal qualities in a criminal, we find it necessary to trace the interaction between society and personality. In particular, it is necessary to identify the negative impact of isolation on the convict’s personality in order to work on their reformation. When working with a convicted person, it is necessary to take into account such features of their personality as orientation, abilities, and age characteristics. Such people are alienated from society and its values and have a negative self-image. The present paper focuses on the moral attitudes and knowledge of convicts and on the use of their potential and desire for personal change. In this process, a comprehensive set of intellectual and volitional qualities is formed, in which self-esteem is an important factor that determines behavior and individual features. The aim of our research is to study the level of aggression in convicts and its manifestations under the conditions of isolation; we also try to work out measures to minimize the impact of places of deprivation of liberty on an individual and their relations with others. Methods: we use the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory that measures aggression, and a questionnaire that helps to interview people whose behavior is of interest to researchers. Such questionnaires are designed to assess an individual’s features in specific situations and allow us to ask questions directly. They are relatively straight and do not require complex electronic equipment. The studies confirm the thesis that the closeness of the convicts’ stay in isolation conditions generates negative feelings, which, under specific conditions, can transform into aggressive behavior. Results: summarizing the results for aggressive manifestations of convicts’ personality traits and the corresponding methods of working with convicts allow the researcher to obtain information for solving the target task. We believe that these methods can serve as a basis for building a program for psychological correction of the behavior of an individual kept in isolation.
Keywords: Personality; isolation; aggression; communication; self-knowledge
Ph.D., Associate Professor, Professor of the Department of Psychology, Varna Free University “Chernorizets Hrabar”, Varna, Bulgaria.
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