Antisocial people flock together in gangs

People with extreme antisocial personalities may be more inclined to join gangs, new research has suggested. Published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, the study says these individuals often feel socially excluded and therefore seek out others similar to themselves in a bid to fit in and make friends.

According to the research, those with antisocial traits are often avoided by others, who find their company to be difficult or disagreeable.

The researchers observe that joining a gang is driven by the wish to belong to a group with which you fit in, rather than the idea proposed by previous theories that this is steered by intimidation or peer pressure.

Dr Vincent Egan, a Chartered Psychologist from the School of Psychology at the University of Leicester, says: "Our findings suggest individuals with low agreeableness seek out similar peers and this assortative process drives gang membership rather than socialisation alone."