Background and Evaluation Issues

A table of all topics for Criminal Psychology OCR, useful for revision purposes. Gives outline of background, evaluative issues for the whole course, including examples. 

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Topic Study Background Theory Evaluation Issues of Study Evaluation of Topic/Approach
Disrupted Families Juby and Certain patterns of family life have Validity: selfreport used which lacks validity
Farrington consistently shown to be related to crime, due to social desirability bias.
shown in the Cambridge Study into Delinquent
Behaviour that 4.6% of families accounted for
48% of all convictions.
Eysenck came up with a theory that said that
we are all somewhere on a continuum of two
personality dimensions: introvert/extrovert and
emotional unstable/stable. If an individual is
extraverted and emotionally unstable then they
are said to have a risk taking personality. If your
life circumstances mean you mix with those
who break the law, it's more likely that you will
also break the law if you have a risk taking
Poverty and Wikstrom Research commissioned by Association of Sample: all from the same city so not able to
Disadvantaged Chief Officers of Probation: After studying over generalise, large sample, only one age
Neighbourhoods 1,300 young people they found that there was a
group so would the findings be different for a
`real' link between poverty and crime, but the
exact relationship isn't clear. Poverty alone isn't different age group
enough evidence to suggest why people turn to Data: Mostly quantative data which is easy to
crime analyse, qualitative data from interviews
Method: Questionnaires have problem of
social desirability bias, but 20% could
expand on answers
Ecological Validity: High as it was about real
populations and real lives
Holistic: Explanations aren't limited to one
thing, considers individual and situational

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Cross Sectional Study: doesn't look at
development over time
Criminal Thinking Palmer and PICTs is a psychometric test that is used to Sample: :Large sample, only one type of Nurture Argument because it suggests
Patterns Hollin identify the thinking patterns of offenders: crime, gender biased towards males so can that older offenders have different
Sentimentality ­ high scores = unrealistic it be generalised, no control group to thinking patterns so it must be
belief in yourself as a `good person' despite environment which determines this…read more

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Affiliation ­ for comparison, representative of population.
whether attachments to people make a Ethnocentric.
difference in moral decision making. Life ­ the Data: Mostly Quantative so objective and
importance of saving the life of a stranger and
the importance of saving the life of someone's easy for analysis
life even if they don't want to live. Property and Method: Self Report so relies on truthful
Law ­ moral judgements about ownership.…read more

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