OCR Psychology: Crime Studies Revision Paragraphs

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Chapter 1 ­ Explanations of Criminal Behaviour
Bandura et al.
The behaviourist perspective looks at how environmental factors can influence and
possibly even cause someone to commit a crime and this area of psychology believes that
certain behaviours can be learnt. Bandura et al. looked at how aggression can be imitated and
learnt by studying 72 nursery school children in a laboratory experiment of three stages. The
sample contained 36 girls and 36 boys all from one nursery school and with a mean age of 52
months. The sample was split into a variety of different conditions where participants were either
exposed to a male or female model that was either the same sex or the opposite and the type of
behaviour they were exposed to (violent or nonviolent). There was also a control group among
the conditions. Each child participated in the experiment individually and in the first stage they
entered a room where they were left to play in the corner for 10 minutes at the same time the
model played (either violently or nonviolently) in the opposite corner of the room. The child
was then taken to another room for the second stage where they were exposed to mild
aggression arousal as the toys that were in there were taken away from the child when they
began playing with them. The child was told that those toys were being reserved for other
children. In the third room the child was left to play and the psychologists observed him/her
through a one way mirror for different forms of both verbal and physical aggression. Imitative
aggression was more common in all of the conditions, however less aggression was observed in
the conditions with the nonaggressive model. Lastly boys were more physically aggressive,
however verbal aggression was of equal amounts. It was concluded that children were more
likely to copy the same sex model and that the aggression of the female model had a confusing
Raine et al.
The biological perspective is interested in how physical differences in the brain can have
different effects on people and the way they behave, and when related to crime the biological
perspective claims that it is differences in people's biology that makes some people more prone
to committing crimes than others. Raine et al. looked at murderer's brains in comparison to
nonmurderers by using PET scanners. Their sample consisted of 39 males and 2 females who
were all from California and were pleading not guilty for reasons of insanity for various reasons
such as schizophrenia or epilepsy the control group contained 41 participants matched on age
and gender, and the six schizophrenics were also matched on their illness. For the PET scans to
work participants were injected with a radioactive tracer that bonded to glucose in the
participant's body. When the glucose was absorbed by the different parts of the brain the tracer
was left behind and as it decayed it emitted positrons which were picked up by the scanner and
used to create a 3D picture of the brain and the levels of activity in the different areas. The
results showed that the murderers had lower levels of activity in prefrontal lobe, and the left side
of the amygdala and the hippocampus. It was concluded that brain structure affects aggression
and therefore this makes some people more likely to commit aggressive acts, this is because it is
believed that the amygdala is linked with basic emotions such as anger, and the hippocampus
and prefrontal lobe manage emotional expression.

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Eysenck et al. looked at how individual differences could affect and cause criminal
behaviour and in his study he aimed to classify criminal behaviour according to personality. His
personality questionnaire focussed on extraversion (how much someone looks to the outside
world for gratification, instead of themselves), neuroticism (the extent to which someone
experiences negative emotional states, even when they would not normally be experienced) and
psychoticism (how vulnerable to psychoses a person is).…read more

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The fear of crime has interested some psychologists and how different things affect the
fear. Heath looked at how reports of crime in newspapers affected the fear of crime by
examining reports in 62 local newspapers from 42 American cities. He analysed the crime
reports in these noting their type, locality and whether it was violent and/or bizarre. In the
second part of the study Heath conducted telephone interviews with 335 randomly selected
participants aged between 16 and 83.…read more

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Less obvious
relations were that black, poor and/or less welleducated people were less likely to defend
themselves and were more likely to report the crime. Also when considering the type of crime
rape produced a higher chance of selfdefence compared to armed robbery and crimes with
weapons appeared to have no affect on selfdefence. In conclusion, the age of the victim and
the severity of the crime are the most influential factors for causing selfdefence and reporting to
the police.…read more

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However more research is
needed in order for PICTS to be used effectively in the UK.
Yochelson and Samenow
Some psychologists have attempted to find out if criminals have particular ways of
thinking and Yochelson and Samenow wanted to find out if it is possible to describe the thinking
patterns that are common in offenders. This study used 255 male offenders who were resident
in an American psychiatric hospital and were pleading not guilty for reasons of insanity (NGRI).…read more

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The results show that 38%
of the sample had introversion, sensing, thinking and judging and 22% had extraversion, sensing,
thinking and judging. Both of these personality types are described as practical, realistic,
unemotional, organised and good administrators, which are all optimal traits for police officers.
The results also showed that there were very few combinations of intuition and feeling, which
create an imaginative personality type.…read more

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McConville et al.
McConville et al. observed and interviewed police officers at the different stages of the
prosecution decisionmaking process and summarised what happened to the suspects after they
were arrested, and why. It was seen that in the first stage when the suspect is arrested they can
be prosecuted, cautioned, or the police decide to take no further action.…read more

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Loftus and Palmer
Witnesses' memories can be affected and altered by a variety of different factors and
sometimes it can even be buy the police. Loftus and Palmer investigated how leading questions
were a possible cause for altering people's memories. (2 experiments, 1. how fast were the cars
travelling when they *** into each other? Bumped, smashed, hit, collided, contacted 2.…read more

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Chapter Eight: Offender Punishments and Treatments, and Preventing Crime
Farrington (2002)
Preventing criminals from reoffending is a difficult task, however it is important to
minimise reoffences as this would save money and help integrate offenders back into society.
Farrington, in 2002, was interested in testing the impact of highly structured regimes on
reconviction rates two years after release. To do this he used young male offenders who were
aged 18 to 21 and had roughly six months left to serve.…read more

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Cognitive behavioural treatment is one way to help offenders improve their lives and is a
form of treatment that is used for this. Friendship et al. were interested in evaluating the
effectiveness of this form of treatment by making use of 670 adult male offenders who
volunteered to take part and were serving a sentence of two years or more. These were
compared with a control group of 1801 male offenders who did not take part in any
programme.…read more


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