Rationalizing a murder??


Sigmund Freud definitely played a large part in contributing to how we interpret each other today with his different ideas and theories. Specifically, I believe one of his most interesting theories is his theory of personality, which includes defense mechanisms. Furthermore, I've also seen a real example of the defense mechanism, that being rationalization in a recent newspaper article about Erikson, a criminal who was accused of murder back in 2001 along with a man named Ferguson after a physical description, and later lineup identification by Trump, a janitor. This year, Erikson claimed that at the time of the murder he was extremely intoxicated in a downtown club and blacked out from the use of four different substances. He does not remember any events or evidence that he committed the murder, nor does he remember what happened after being at the club. In 2009, Erikson admitted that he committed the murder alone. Erikson's explanation for why his story changed from 2009 to 2012 is because in 2009 Trump had not yet recanted his story and information about Erickson committing the murder, and therefore Erikson was convinced he did it. Erikson used rationalization when he falsely confessed to the murder. Erikson logically rationalized that he must have committed the murder since he had no recollection of the events and very well could have committed the murder in the time that he had no recollection of. Also, the fact that someone described and later identified him probably just solidified his rationalization that he did commit the murder.


This is certainly interesting and although a lot of Freud's theories have been proved ridiculous and inaccurate, this is one that still proves correct today. Rationalization also relates to economics. Sometimes people make decisions that don't make sense economically, decisions that do not increase their own surplus/benefit. According to an article from Kellogg School of Management, people make these irrational decisions because they have rationalized them in their head! How weird is that?

I find this to be very interesting. There are many innocent people in prison, there by coercion, convincing, or just falsely identified. I would like to see more proof that this man who blacked out actually did it, like fingerprints or some sort of DNA. If this man was on as many drugs as he says to the point where he cannot remember, don't you think all his common senses of trying to wear gloves and not leave things behind would go right out the door. Yes his memory and brain in general is blurred from the alcohol, but so are his "defense mechanisms" so to speak; I would think there would be more evidence left behind to be fairly certain that he is the criminal.

Before taking this course, I had heard of Freud and people's opinions of his work. I'm glad I learned more about him though, because although a lot of his theories were ridiculous, some of them (like this one) weren't and he provided a foundation for a lot of other things we have discovered. The fact that this scenario actually happens, makes me believe that we need to put more emphasis on hard evidence (like DNA) while trying to catch a criminal, rather than relying on confessions and witness statements. These do come in handy, but I think they need to be used wisely because the human brain is so complex. Interesting post.

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This page contains a single entry by obas0006 published on April 25, 2012 10:44 PM.

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