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Criminal Behaviour
Unit 2 Psychology…read more

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Key words:
· Crime- Any act going against the law
· Heritability- The proportion of a behaviour that is due
to genetic factors.
· Criminal personality- A collection of traits that make a
person different from 'normal' law abiding people.
· Brain dysfunction- The idea that a brain is not
operating as normal brains do.
· Vicarious reinforcement- When someone's behaviour
is reinforced because they observe how another
person is rewarded for the same behaviour.…read more

Slide 3

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Key concepts
Defining and measuring crime is not always
easy, crime statistics are often inaccurate and
it is sometimes impossible to define whether
something is a crime or not. (For example,
many people may see not paying for a short
journey on a train as not a crime, but in fact it
is still stealing and you are committing a
crime, whereas murder everybody knows and
accepts it as a crime.)…read more

Slide 4

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Crimes statistics are often skewed for a number
of reasons:
1. Statistics count number of criminal acts
rather than numbers of criminals
2. People may be unaware that they have been
a victim of a crime, therefore not reporting
the crime
3. Victims of a crime may not want to report it
for a number of reasons…read more

Slide 5

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A criminal personality
A criminal personality has the following common
· Impulsiveness
· Lack of guilty feelings
· Pleasure seeking
· Being over-optimistic
· High self-importance…read more

Slide 6

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Core Theory: Biological Theory
The Biological Theory of Criminal Behaviour
There is a debate whether criminal behaviour is a product of nature or
nurture. This debate is about the heritability of criminal behaviour
The biological theory suggests that criminal behaviour is inherited- that the
person has already been genetically programmed to behave in this way
(in their DNA).
On this basis there should be 'criminal families'
This theory suggests that if an individual's parent is a convicted criminal,
then that individual would have a higher chance of becoming a criminal
However you don't inherit everything from one parent, therefore even if the
gene is shown in the parent it may be recessive in the individual.…read more

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