Theilgaard

very improtant key study with evaluation and moral dilemma

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  • Created on: 18-05-12 11:43
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CRIME
THEILGAARD ­ CRIMINAL GENE
AIM ­ to investigate whether there is a particular gene responsible for criminal behaviour
DESIGN
IV ­ two groups of chromosome patterns XXY or XYY
DV ­ criminal behaviour
PROCEDURE
Took blood samples from 30,000 men
Two abnormalities found XXY and XYY chromosome patterns
16 had XXY
12 had XYY
Men interviewed by social worker about their background and criminal history
Quantitative data
Given an IQ test
Qualitative data
Personality test also given to see if they displayed more aggression than XY males
Qualitative data
RESULTS
XYY males had slightly lower levels of intelligence
They tended to be more aggressive
They had delayed speech
Obvious reason for aggression is they are of lower intelligence so could have made school
very difficult. This could have led to frustration, leading to aggression in childhood that
became a pattern in adult life.
There were more similarities between XXY and XYY males than XY males
CONCLUSION
Study provides limited evidence for XYY males being more aggressive than XXY males
However there were more similarities than differences

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CRIME
EVALUATION
Strength Weakness
Social worker had no knowledge of the aim ­ Only one researcher so subjective
blind researcher so no biasness
Wide range of tests were used Only men ­ gender bias
Blood test objective Invasive ­ temporary pain
Not ethnocentric Blood tests in 1940s were not accurate
Sample is from 1940s so not relevant to now
Small sample ­ not generalisable
Chromosome abnormality is not inherited so
difficult to track them down
Link between XYY and aggression is only a
correlation
Aggression…read more

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