Criminally Relevant Affect and Self-Excitation Reaction



The relevance of the study is determined by the difficulties of differential diagnosis of criminally relevant affect and emotional reactions, in the genesis of which self-excitation plays an essential role. The purpose of the study is to identify the essential signs of self-excitation, to analyze the psychological mechanisms of its occurrence and development. The phenomenon of self-excitation in individuals with personality disorders has been analyzed in the context of cognitive theories of emotions, neuropsychic homeostasis, affective complexes, dominance and aggression. It is concluded that self-excitation can be defined as a multicomponent mental process that causes the intensification of emotional arousal through autostimulation, which can be carried out both internally and with the mutual influence of both internal processes and external influences. The practical significance of the study lies in the fact that in the differential diagnosis of affect and mental states associated with self-excitation, with a similar phenomenology of the criminal stage, it is necessary to take into account the different psychological mechanism of the emergence and development of an emotional reaction in a pre-criminal situation.

General Information

Keywords: complex forensic psychological and psychiatric examination, forensic psychological exam-ination, affect, self-excitation, personality disorder

Journal rubric: Forensic and Clinical Psychology in Legal Context

Article type: scientific article


Received: 18.04.2023


For citation: Safuanov F.S., Soldatova K.M. Criminally Relevant Affect and Self-Excitation Reaction [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2024. Vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 140–151. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2024140109. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Farit S. Safuanov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of Chair of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Department of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Head of the Laboratory of Psychology, Federal Medical Research Center of Psychiatry and Addiction of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Ksenia M. Soldatova, Research Assistant, Laboratory of Psychology, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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