A02 Forensic psychology

HideShow resource information

Theories of Crime

Supporting Research - Raine-41 murderes (39m, 2f) , 41 control group, did PET scans whilst doing a CPT (continuous performance challenge) the murder group had lower glucose metabolism in pre frontal cortex which suggests this could explain impulsive behaviour, alltered emotionality and a loss of self control                                      A02-not everyone with low activity will turn to crime, study does not equally represent both of the sexes issue with generalisability, PET scans highly scientific reliable and objective way of studying brain activity, CPT is also scientific, theory lacks validity as it only looks at murders, neurological processes underlying crime are complex.

Brunner Syndrome Hypothesized as a rare genetic disorder, caused by a defective gene, characterised by lower than average IQ, problems with... Impulsive and violent outbursts. Identified in 14 males in one family by Brunner, and an additional 2 families since.                                                                                                                                           A02- Ethics- whether it is ethical to inform someone they carry a gene linked with criminal behaviour, Reductionism- very unlikely that a criminal gene will be discovered, Eugenics- discouraging someone with a genetic defect to have children in fear of passing on the defective gene, shows a strong genetic link 14 members one family.

Differential social theory Sutherland we learn criminal behaviour just like any other, some trivial offences can be as a result of social norms, people are exposed to pro criminal attitudes and beliefs which  reinforces behaviour, for example white collar crime... vicarious reinforcement   A02 higher levels of validity as it explores a wider range of crimes white collar crime, supporting research tends to come from correlational studies cant establish cause and effect, Deterministic- suggests we learn behaviour and doesnt acknowlegde the biological influences, more face validity than biological theories.

1 of 4

Treatment and Punishment of Crime

Effectiveness of Custodial sentencing -  Bartol - for some impact of CS is demeaning and devistating, it is difficult to generalise the effects of prison as the reigmes vary and people cope differently.

Glaser - suggests that in some 'low risk' prisoners community sentencing may be a better option as often prison can reinforce criminal behaviour.

Other - evidence suggests that extreme punishment is failing, America - higher homicide rates than UK, still has death penalty.. because reoffending rates are so high prisons are becoming overcrowded and ineffective gov have to assess the alternatives and whether prison is the best for of punishment for crime.

Ministry of Justice(2010-2011) 630,000 offenders cautioned, convicted or released from custody, 170,000 reoffended within first year, on average 2.88 reoffences per person.

Effectiveness of Token Economy -  Jenkins et al - follow up of male offenders 18months post release, found that the people with the lowest rate of post release offences recieved token economy, highest rate recieved cognitive therapy. A02 - Only treats behaviour doesnt deal with the underlying causes of behaviour, when rewards are finally removed behaviour may regress

Basset & Blanchard - found effectiveness reduced when staff misued the token system.

2 of 4


Top Down Evidence - Arthur Shawcross constructed a profile based on 11 murders of women in NY, 35yrs, low skilled job, functional vehicle, would return to scene. following surveilance of 11th victim at scene they found a man 44yrs, low skilled job, owned ex police car..                                                                                                                              Allison et al FBI approach is based on an outdated understanding of behaviour    Holmes evidence suggests that the FBI approach is ineffective, Holmes found that only 17% of 192 cases which led to arrests were as a result of profiling very low statistic, shows that the approach is not effective in arrests.   Other typologies are based on an unrepresentative sample of criminals said to be unreliable and manipulative, interviews weren't standardised, lack of inter-rater reliability, we can't trust the answers given, lacks reliability.

Bottom Up & Geographical Profiling Evidence - John Duffy (railway ******) 24 sexual assults near 3 railways also committed 3 murders, profile: previous criminal record, lived near first crime, keeps objects from crime, sex and violence fascination... A02 Geographical profiling helped form a highly accurate profile for Duffy, helps focus investigation Snook found that 63% of serial killers killed less than 10km from their home.   Copson questioned police officers who had used profiling, 80% said info was useful, gives reassurance that the investigation is on track, keeps investigators motivated and focused.

Compare and Contrast... Canter does not place criminals into rigid typologies british approach based on scientific principles not assumptions, Copson & Holloway both have limited use, question reliability and validityof both methods of profiling.

3 of 4

Bias in Diagnosis

Research Into Ethnicity Bias -   Fernando   'stereotypical ideas about ethnic groups are inherent in British psychiatry' .. Cochrane reports an over diagnosis of schizophrenia in West Indian and Asian immigrants... Harrison found that these ethnic groups were excessively admitted to Bristol..... 

A02: Different rates of diagnosis for different ethnic groups suggests low levels of validity, cultural stereotypes and a diagnostic system based on Western ideas makes it bias and unreliable when diagnosis people from different ethnic backgrounds... A02: Also shows bias in the way clinicians diagnose, they dont utilise tools to make an accurate diagnosis. However if clinicians are all mis-diagnosing then it increases the reliability as it may suggest an error in the tools they are using.

Research Into Gender Bias -   Broverman certain behaviours are typically labelled as male or female, diagnosis will reflect this.... Worrel and remer argue that bias in diagnosis lies within person diagnising, shows men and women are diagnosed in different ways. Explanation lacks temporal validity as equality has developed less likely to diagnose entirely on gender stereotypes ... 

Ford and Widiger gave psychiatrists written case study, histrionic personality (extreme emot) was correctly diagnosed 80% of the time for a male P, only 30% of the time for male P's, shows how women are lablelled excessively emotional ....A02 correct 80% of the time which increases validity of the study and reliability of diagnosis, also uses inter-rater reliability and is consistent throughout.. A02 typically male samples are used to study mental health which may lead to a less valid diagnosis for women.

4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Criminological and Forensic Psychology resources »