Psychological Theories of Serial Killers

Motives for serial killers is often unclear. There are many theories trying to explain why they perform those actions. Some theories say childhood abuse plays a role in becoming a serial killer. Other theories say serial killers seek the thrill and pleasure in it.

Many children are abused in several ways such as mentally, physically, and sextually resulting in the behavior of a serial killer. Studies show children that were abused are three times more likely to be violent as an adult. It often shows up in their adult years as rage. They think things are their fault or that they aren’t good enough because the abuse shows rejection at young ages. This causes them to act out in rage when they get older and kill people.

When they kill women it’s often because of how their mother acted when they were young and the same thing for men. When they kill kids it’s because they see traits that they don’t like about themselves in those kids. Killing multiple people is understood to equalize pain from their childhood. Since things never equalize it could be understood as trying to balance self-esteem. It often starts as an animal when young because that’s the only thing they feel they have control over, but eventually turns into humans.

Studies say a primary factor in becoming a serial killer is not having a good relationships growing up. Fathers being absent in their life while mothers act controlling, rejective, seductive, and overprotective. Under these circumstances children develop low self-esteem causing them to think they aren’t good enough or that everything is their fault when something goes wrong. Resulting in their behavior being extreme in numerous ways including premeditated and detailed. These types of serial killers often do it seeking thrill and pleasure to fill those voids. Thrill seeking serial killers require the victims to remain fully awake and aware while being tortured.

Thrill serial killers are trying to make up for the mirror experiences they didn’t have. Trying to save any relationship they have by putting others needs before their own, even as a young child. As a result, of them not having their needs as children met they are very distant when they grow up.

Both theories are trying to fill voids of relationship expectations that weren’t met as a child. They are also trying to subconsciously claim power and they believe killing people is they best way to show they have power in the world. They may also be seeking revenge in both theories by the people who hurt them early on in their life. Many serial killers were rejected throughout life and they think killing people is an answer to not feeling rejected anymore.

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Psychological Theories of Serial Killers. (2019, Jul 17). Retrieved December 7, 2021 , from
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