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Unit 3 Psychology Revision Guide
(Forensic Psychology)
Offending behaviour:
- Problems in defining crime, measuring crimes including official statistics and alternatives.
- Offender profiling, including typology and geographical approaches.
- Theories of offending:
Early biological approaches: atavistic form and somatotype theories.
Biological explanations including genetic transmission.
Social learning theory explanations
Eysenck's theory of the criminal personality.
Dealing with Offenders
- The role of custodial sentencing. Effectiveness of custodial sentencing, including
recidivism. Alternatives to custodial sentencing.
- Treatment programmes: behaviour modification and anger management.…read more

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Self-report method: These involve asking offenders about their offending. These surveys focus on
people previously convicted or at a risk of offending. The 2006 OCJS showed that alcohol was a key
factor of offending, the figures showed 27% of binge drinkers had offended in the past year.
Offender Profiling
Profiling entails providing a description of the offender based on an analysis of the crime
scene. Also known as criminal investigative analysis.
Features of the crime:
- Corpus delecti: the evidence from the crime scene.…read more

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Douglas et al (1992) suggested a third category of mixed offenders should be
- Jenkins (1988) suggested 2 types of serial killers the respectable type and the
predictable type.
- Holmes and De Burger (1988) proposed 6 types that could be defined according to
the combination of 14 characteristics.
- The profile may be inaccurate if the existing knowledge is untrue.
- Information is only from convicted criminals, successful criminal may act
differently.…read more

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Location needs to be understood in the context of the offender's behaviour at the
scene, the time of the crime and the victim. Combing geographical and
psychological data is necessary.
- Copson (1995): survey of 184, found profilers had very different approaches and
satisfaction depends on the individual profiler.
Supporting evidence
- Is useful for all types of crimes, not just violent ones. Goodwill and Alison (2006):
found profiling useful in linking house burglaries committed by the same burglar.…read more

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Ectomorph: thin, flat chest, delicate build, young appearance, tall, lightly muscled,
stoop-shouldered, and large brain. Traits: self-conscious, preference for privacy,
introverted, inhibited, socially anxious, artistic and mentally intense.
Mesomorph: Hard, muscular body, overly mature appearance, rectangular shaped, thick
skin and upright posture. Traits: adventurous, desire for power and dominance,
courageous, indifference to what people think and want, assertive, bold, zest for physical
activity, competitive, a love of risk and chance.
According to Sheldon, delinquency is associated with mesomorphic body types.…read more

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Dalgaard and Kringlen (1976): (Makes the Christiansen study reliable):
studied Norwegian twins and found a concordance rate of 26% for MZ and
15% DZ.
- If offending is genetic we would expect a high concordance rate in MZ twins
who share 100% identical genes than for DZ twins who only share 50%. As
they don't show a 100% concordance rate there may be an environmental
influence.…read more

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Although much is known about chromosomes and genetic disorders, no
single criminal gene has been identified.
Animal research has shown structures in the brain specifically the limbic system and
amygdala (controls emotional behaviour) as responsible for aggression.
This response usually requires an environmental stimulus.
Different areas of the brain have been implicated in different types of aggression.…read more

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The deviant superego: The same sex parent whom the child identifies with in the
phallic stage is immoral. The child internalises a deviant moral code, the person's
view of right and wrong are at odds with the rest of society.
The over-harsh superego: The child's superego is excessively punitive and
demanding of guilt, leading the child to seek out opportunities to be punished. The
person engages in impulsive criminal behaviour because they have an unconscious
desire to be punished.…read more

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Bandura claimed the main influence on an individual's behaviour are from
observation of role models.
According to SLT behaviour is learn through a processes of observation, imitation,
identification, and reinforcement.
Vicarious reinforcement is an indirect form of reinforcement and involves learning by
others rather than directly receiving rewards or punishment oneself.
Differential Association Theory
Sutherland (1939): suggested a sociological theory which states that criminal's
behaviour is learned through exposure to criminal norms/values. The learning results
from close association with other people.…read more



these notes are perfect! thanks for uploading 


Theses notes are pefectly fabulous, thank you!!!!

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