A.C. 2.1 + 3.2 - Describing and Evaluating Biological Theory (UNIT 2) (6)

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  • A.C. 2.1 Describe Biological Theories.
    • A.C. 3.2 Evaluate Biological Theories.
      • Advantages
        • Research supports the idea of, that a damage to the pre-frontal cortex leads to becoming a criminal
        • Research on Brain damage suggests behaviours of criminality and anti-social behaviour.
        • Methodology - controlled procedure, Can use PET scans on living people - allows for more non - intrusive studies. Can help create treatments if we are able to understand why they are violent
        • EEG study activity, links murderers and psychopaths together.
      • Disadvantages
        • Androcentric research as it does not study female criminals, only male.
        • PET scans can be subjective and cause interpretation bias. The task done in the scan is a general task and doesn't relate to violence so could lack validity
        • Lacks ability to establish cause and effect. We can only say tat the study shows a correlation not a cause. Also important to note that not all murderers are violent e.g. using poison
        • Reductionism - explaining complex behaviours with simple answers
    • Raine et al
      • Brain Abnormality, studies suggest damage to the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. Causes a person to have altered behaviour pattern.
      • person becomes more immature and increased loss of self-control.
      • Uses PET scans to study living brains of impulsive killers.
      • Phineas Gage: An iron rod was driven through his entire skull, damaging frontal lobe of the brain.
        • His behaviour changed, he became a different man.
      • Some brain disease's have been linked with criminal or anti-social behaviour. Epidemics or Encephalitis lethargica amongst children was linked to destructive, impulses, arson and abnormal sexual behaviour.
      • Brainwave activity is measured by an electroencephalograph (EEG), some studies show 'clearly insane' in murderers or psychopathic criminals.




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