Crimonological psychology

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  • Criminological Psychology
    • Key terms
      • Crime- acts attracting legal punishment, they are offences against the community.
      • Anti-social behavior- acting in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the defendant.
    • Social Learning theory as an explanation of crime
      • based on the principles of operant conditioning and observational learning. Operant conditioning uses reinforcement and punishment to explain how characteristics may be learnt.
        • Positive reinforcement- receiving good thins for an action. Money for a drug deal
        • Negative reinforcement- involves the removal of a burden or something bad when a certain behavior is reproduced, which again reinforces that behavior to be repeated.
      • Modelling- explains how observational learning can only take place where someone identifies with another person in the same way (role model). Likely to be same sex, roughly same age and share similar interests.
      • Attention Retention Reproduction Motivation
      • Bansura Ross and Ross (1961) Bobo Doll Experiment
    • The Role of Media in Making Criminals
      • Social Leaning Theory offers an explanation through observational learning and modelling.
        • When characters from a TV show do aggressive acts they are said to be modelling aggression
      • Children may become desensitised to violence as they get used to seeing violent acts on the TV, so they are not hugely disturbed by real violence unlike those children who do not watch television
      • Williams (1986) Notel, Multitel and Unitel looked at how the arrival of TV in three communities affected the behavior and attitudes of the children who lived there. Notel had no TV, Unitel only had one channel and so on. By looking at the number of aggressive acts in the playground Williams found that they increased by a factor of two upon the introduction of TV
        • Good ecological validity and also the use of three communities as baselines for comparison strengthened the findings.
    • Personality Theory Eysenck
      • Theory is rooted in biology
      • Extroversion- need for external stimuli in the form of something new, risk-taking and physical challenges.
      • Neuroticism- lacking stability in emotions may over react a lot.
      • Psychoticism- lack empathy cannot put themselves in another persons shoes; they may see people as objects to be used.
      • Based within the Nurture debate.   Osborne and west (1982)


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