A2 - G543 Studies - TURNING TO CRIME.

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  • Created on: 30-05-16 15:32


Aim: Document life-time span of criminal careers and research influences and risk factors.

Sample: 411 boys, aged 8-9 years old, mostly white working class, from six state schools in East London. 365 re-interviewed at age 48.

Design: Self report - interviews, criminal record searches. Longitduinal survey.

Findings: At age of 48, of 404 individuals - 161 had convictions.

Boys who started offending at 10-13 years old, were nearly all reconvincted at 91%

93% admitted to at least commiting one type of the reported crimes.

Conclusions: 'Persisters' are people who convict before and after their 21st birthday, they're more likely to have: convicted parents, high daring, delinquent siblings, young mother, large family size, low popularity etc.

Risk factors: poor child rearing/school performance, criminality in family, poverty etc. Early prevent can reduce this by improving relationships, education, accomodation.

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- It's longitudinal, so you can study criminality over time. Longitudinal studies provide lots of data, this ensures you measure what you intend to and improves validity.

- Uses self report method, interviews give qualitative data, this is rich in detail and increases validity. Also helps to give reasons for the criminality.

- Large sample size, over 400 PPs, making it more representative. Also, has a low attrition rate with 365 still in the study 40 years later.


- The sample is androcentric and ethnocentric, this limits the representativeness so results can not be generalised to all target populations. This limits the studys usefulness.

- In interviews PPs may have been untruthful about criminality due to extraneous variables such as social desirability bias. PPs may have been scared to incriminate themselves.

- Study has temporal validity as it was conducted in the 1950s.

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Background: Bandura's Social Learning Theory.

1. Criminal behaviour is learned, not a result of other factors e.g. biological.

2. It's learned via social interaction with peers and others.

3. Principle learning takes place in intimate personal groups, e.g. your friend circle not media

4. Learning includes techniques for the crime, also adopting attitudes towards the crime.

5. Motives influnced by the persons unique defitions of legal codes.

6. Become delinquent when your moral codes favour offending for your needs, than following law.

7. 'Level of criminality' quantified by analysing amount of criminal contacts to non-criminals.

8. Criminal behaviour learnt like any other behaviour is learnt.

9. Criminal behaviour should not be justified by the reason behind commiting the crime. e.g. stealing food due to hunger.

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Aim: Test a range of factors, to find the most significant predictors of criminal behaviour.

Method: Self report - Interviews and questionnaires. Data from 1991 consensus.

Design: Cross-sectional study, snapshot.

Sample: Nearly 2000 Year 10 (14-15 yrs) pupils from state shools in Peteborough area.

Findings: 9.8% of males and 3.8% of females commited a serious theft crime.

44.8% males, 30.6% females commited at least one of the studied crimes.

Conclusions: High freq. offenders commited a wide range of crimes, often drink and use drugs more than non-offending youths.

Youths with risk factors tend to offend frequently. Risk factors include: weak family/school bonds, poor parental monitoring, truancy, disadvantaged neighborhoods etc.

Three types of offenders: propensity-induced, lifestyle-dependant and situationally-limited.

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- Uses a large sample of 2000 PPs, both male and female, This makes it representative, and therefore can be generalised to a larger population.

- Snapshot allows for low attrition rate, this makes the study more replicable - therefore reliable.

- Uses quantitative data, easy to analyse and compare. More valid as it's objective and scientific.


- Sample only used 14-15 year olds, and is ethnocentric to Peteborough area. Which limits the generalisiblity of the results.

- Cross sectional studies can be low in reliability, which devalues findings of the study in real life situations.

- S-R can be low in validity due to ext. variables such as PPs lying, demand characteristics or socially desirably biased answers.

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Aim: To investigate criminal thinking patterns. (Changed to this after PPs exerted SDB in an attempt to improve their situations.)

Method: Self report - series of interviews over years.

Design: Longitudinal, Freudian Based Therapy - designed to find root of problem and treat it.

Sample: 255 New York convicted offending males, various backgrounds. Half confined to hospital on insanity verdicts. Half not confined to a hospital.

Findings: High attrition rate, only 30 completed the programme with 9 seeing a genuine change. 

Found criminals to be restless, dissatisfied, irritable, isolated from others, habitually angry, lack of empathy, thrill-seeking, poor-decision making, selfishly fulfills own needs, pre-judged situations.

Conclusions: 52 thinking patterns were distinguished to the criminal mind, considered as ''errors'' in thinking. They are usually displayed more often in criminals, but not limited to them.

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- Self report method, only way to study cognition and criminal thinking patterns. Useful to psychology and can be applied to real life.

- Longitudinal study offers qualitative data, rich in depth and detail - help to explain thought proccesses of criminals. This can lead to ways of rehabilitating it.


- Based on Freudian techniques, which are subjective, unscientfic and are uncredible. More reliable measures such as standardised psychometric tests could've been used.

- The issue of extraneous variables tainting the validity, PPs answered in a SBD manner etc. in order to shorten sentences or try to get parole etc.

- High attrition rate, reduces both validity and reliability. Sample size shortened to 30, which is very unrepresentative so thought patterns can't be generalised to a wider population. Alsom ethnocentric.

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Background: Piaget's stages of development.

Aim: To find evidence in support of the progression through the stages of moral development.

The stages: Pre-morality, Coventional morality, Post-morality - each with two stages.

Sample: 72 Chicagoan boys, working/middle class, aged 7, 10, 13, and 16.

Design: Longitudinal study.                             Method: Self report; interviews.

Procedure: Each boy was given a two hour interview, involving ten dilemmas they had to solve. Including the famous Heinz Dilemma, some of them re-interviewed at 3 yearly intervals up to 30-36 yrs old.

Findings: Younger boys tend to perform at stages 1 + 2, older boys at 3 + 4, suggesting support for progression through stages. Patterns were consistent in cross-cultural studies, however slower in non-industrialised societies. No support found for stage 6.

Conclusions: His stages were supported across countries, applies to types of criminality.

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- Longitudinal study, over 20 years, can study moral development over time and provide support for the theory of progression.

- Standardised procedure for all PPs, this makes it more replicable and therefore reliable. The environment was controlled for limitation of extraneous variables.

- Cross cultural studies gives it concurrent validity and generalisibality to TP.


- Studys usefulness limited because of the issue of temporal validity, it took place in 1960s and many factors could change the progression of moral development now.

- Extraneous variables may affect validity as children may answer in any way, SDB, or believe a different answer is needed due to repeatedly having to do the interview.

- Longitudinal study is time and cost-effective, making it harder to repeat in modern day, this reduces reliability.

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Aim: Examine r/ship between offence and attribution offenders make about the criminal act and cross validate earlier findings on an English sample.

Sample: 80 criminals, serving sentences in N. Ireland.

Method: Self report using GBAI (42 item inventory of blame attribution) to measure the association between the crime and blame attribution for it.

Procedure: Sample split in to 20, 20 and 40.

G1 - Homicide and GBH offenders, mean age of 29.                                                             G2 - Sexoffenders, mean age of 41 for paedophiles and 28 for others.                                     G3 - Property offenders, mean age of 29.

Findings: G2 showed most remorse, followed by those who'd commited violent acts on others. Violent offenders had the highest mental element scores on GBAI, then sex offenders. Sex offenders had internal BA, violent offenders had high external BA.

Conclusion: Strong consistency with English study, Irish prisoners showed lower mental element, less guilt and higher external BA scores.

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- The strong consistency found between the cross-cultural studies provides concurrent validity.

- Self report method allows you to explain/understand how criminals attribute blame. This is useful and has real life applications.

-  The interviews and questionnaires provide qualitative data, this improves validity as it is detailed and provides reasons for 'why'


- With all S-R studies, the issue of ext variables such as DC, SDB exist and can decrease the validity of the findings. 

- Sample still lacks representativeness, as it is androcentric and limited to England and N.Ireland so can not be generalised to TP.

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Aim: Multi-factorial approach to understanding anti-social/agressive behaviour in children with a biological primary focus.

Method: Review article.

Procedure: Using articles on neuropsycholoigcal, neurological & brain imaging studies to report relevant findings of anti-social behaviour through a child's development.

Findings: Low resting heart rate = good predictor of an individual who will seek thrill.

The adolescent brain is still forming final connection in pre-frontal lobe up to 20s, activity here is linked to be lower in anti-social and aggressive indviduals. This can explain why offending peaks during adolesence.

Birth complications, poor parenting, physical abuse, malnutrition, unhealthy pregnancy can add to the risk.

Conclusions: Early health intervention and prevention may be the most effective way of reversing biological deficits that predispose a person to anti social and aggressive behaviour.

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+/- Multi-factorial approach makes it a more holistic study, however it is still reductionist because only sub factors with in biology are explored.


- As a review article, it adds to and supports exisiting data - giving it concurrent validity and strengthening findings.

- The method is time and cost effective, easy to replicate, increasing reliability.

- Useful as it collates data in one place, of different perspectives and approaches.


- Researcher bias, could make it subjective to what data is chosen to include and discard. This will make it lack validity and reliability.

- Uses retrospective data, raising the issue of temporal validity - especially since science and technology has since advanced.

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Aim: Explain behaviour of males in a large family in Netherlands, affected by a syndrome of borderline mental retardation and abnormally violent behaviour.

Method: Quasi experiment.

Sample: 5 males from said family. Involved in arson, attempted ****, exhibitionism and impulsive rage.

Procedure: Data collected from analysis or urine samples over 24 hour period.

Results: Deficit of MAOA enzyme found, point mutation of X chromosomes responsible for MAOA production.

MAOA is involved in serotonin metabolism, serotonin is responsible for amendment of mood, anger and aggression.

Conclusion: Inability to regulate their aggression is a result of the MAOA deficiency, which is linked to a behavioural phenotype known for this.

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- Data is collected through biological samples, which is very scientific and objective. This improves validity and relaibility of study. Helps psychology as a social science & falsifiable.

- Quasi experiment, allows you to research abnormal minorities.

- It is useful, in raising awareness of biological reasoning for a persons behaviour. Helps towards treatments, therapy, medication etc.


- No control group, to use as baseline data and compare to. This is an extraneous variable of individual differences, reducing validity. No clear cause and effect.

- Sample size is small, androcentric, ethnocentric and limited to one family (could be a result of social factors such as childhood). Lacks representativeness, can't be generalised to all others with the MAOA deficiency.                                 

- Reductionist, only looks at biology.

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Aim: Find out if homicide rates vary as a result of life expectancy in areas of Chicago.

Method: Correlational study using survey data from police records, school records, consensus and demographic records.

Procedure: Chicago is split in to 77 longstanding communities. The communities examined were ones where males had a life expectancy lower than avg, from 55.4-77.4 yrs olds. Correlations were plotted using this data.

Results: Strong negative correlations between:

Truancy rates & life expectancy                                                                                               Neighborhood-specific homicide rates & life expectancy                                                             Neighborhood-specific absenteeism from school & life expectancy.

Conclusion: Possibility that men from these areas discount their future, expecting to live shorter lives, therefore take part in risk taking behaviour, leading to criminality. Parents are unwilling to invest in child's education by enforcing attendance.

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- Correlations are good for comparison, analysing and spotting trends. They are scientific, objective and give quantitative data. Which is both reliable and valid.

- Useful, has practical life applications by spotting risk factors early and preventing them.

- Attempts at being holistic.


- Still restricted by reductionism, looking mainly at social factors.

- Sample is androcentric and ethnocentric, so can not be generalised to a wider TP.

- No comparison, control or baseline groups such as the other communities in Chicago.

- Correlations can not provide clear cause and affect, can lack validity because of this.

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The focus of my campaign is domestic violence, the reason why I have chosen domestic violence is because I believe that it is a serious crime that is largely under reported and goes under the noses of many. I don’t think many people know about domestic violence and how often it occurs in people’s relationship and I would like to raise awareness by doing my own campaign and helping people that are in situations and to bring about a change in society. I believe that domestic violence goes under reported due to the victim feeling that they have no one to go to and feel isolated and I would like to change that because there are many places where you could go to get help, which is why I have chosen my campaign. Some victims may not have any hope in the police and they may feel ashamed to talk about what they have been through.


My three main aims are to encourage people to report domestic violence if they are a victim of it or if they see it occurring in their neighbourhood, my second aim is to outline how common domestic violence occurs in relationships by educating people and giving them information on how to get out of the situation and what to do if you are a victim of domestic Violence, my third aim is to highlight different support channels available to victims of domestic violence.In my campaign I will also try to encourage people not to commit domestic violence and explain to them the negative effects that it will have on you and the impact it will have n the person you are doing it to


To achieve these aims I have created objectives following the SMART technique. My first objective is to set up an Instagram account to give advice to victims of domestic violenceon how to seek help and get many followers so they could share the account to friends and family. This objective will help me with my aim of highlighting support channels for victims. I have chosen social media as I believe it is a good and effective way to get through to my target audience. However, this method does have a disadvantage as not everyone is on social media such as the elderly who do not owns mobile phones and may not know how to use technological devices. My next objective is to educate people on how to report domestic violence by putting up at least 15 posters in 8 different colleges in Northampton. the posters will provide information on Domestic Violence, the poster must be eye catching, I will create a Face Mask by using a catchy slogan as a lot of people wear face masks due to this current pandemic and its easily visible and attract a lot of peopleand to encourage people to report domestic violence, I will also create pens to outline my campaign and many of my target audience go to colleges and use pens and they are relatively cheap. This will help me raise the profile of my campaign if people start wearing facemasks, following my social media account and buying pens. By having all this, it will enable me to spread my campaign to wider society not just in my locality. Objectives are clearly stated, well done.

Target Audience

My target audience is young people aged 15 to 21 years old and people in relationships and I have made my aims and objectives to specifically target people in these age group. I want to target people in relationships because this is where domestic violence mostly occurs, I also want to target young people because by educating them on domestic violence it could prevent more cases occurring in the future when they are adults and if they know information about it from a young age and if they are ever in that situation they are more likely to know what to do and how to get out of that situation. It could also prevent future cases by outlining to victims early on that there are many different support channels available to them to help them. The method of using social media links back to my target audience because many people in that category use social media which means I can easily interact and give them more information. Also using social media means that my message can spread quickly. Some justification given for the target audience which is 15 to 21.

Justification of my Campaign:

I have selected this crime as I believe not many people know Domestic Violence and the fact that it’s happening to a lot of people on a daily basis, not many people see Domestic Violence as a serious crime and not many people would report it. This crime goes unreported due to the lack of media representation and media interest and offenders may feel like if they commit hate crime, they will not get a long-term punishment. Because many domestic violence cases occur in relationship the offender may think that they would get away with it and the victim may feel scared to report it. This type of crime is not commonly represented in the media which is why I would like to raise awareness and change the public perspectives. One of the consequences of not reporting domestic violence is decriminalization In some cases domestic violence will get reported but not recorded as the police may feel like as this crime is not serious and they would feel like it is not worth the time and money investigated these types of crime and they would pay attention to more important types of crime e.g. knife crime and murder crimes. An example of a victim of hate crime is Clare woodwho was murdered in 2009 by her ex-boyfriend who had a history of violence against women.Ms Wood was strangled and set on fire at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester, in February 2009 by George Appleton, who had a record of violence against women. Figures show that the police recorded 758,941 domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales (excluding Greater Manchester Police), an increase of 9% from the previous year; this continues an ongoing trend that may reflect improved recording by the police alongside increased reporting by victims, Domestic Violence is on the rise.According to CSEW data for the year ending March 2018, only 18% of women who had experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months reported the abuse to the police, this shows that victims of domestic abuse do not tend to report it, this one of the reasons why I am doing this campaign is to encourage people to report it by giving them friendly advice on what to do next.

Methods and Materials

My first method will be the use of social media. Social media is a key method for reaching my target audience as most young people nowadays have access to some form of social media. However, this method does have a drawback as not everyone is on social media, especially older people who do not own phones, computer’s etc. Using social media is an effective way of reaching my target audiences and it is a largely successful method.By using social media, it means that my campaign can reach to a wider audience not just my target audience, it is a more productive, effective, and easy way of sharing information. I will be posting daily images and information such as facts and figures which can be seen by anyone as my account will not be private, the materials that I will need to make a social media account is a good reliable internet connection and a phone. I will share advice about the support available to victims and mention any existing help lines or websites in which they may find useful. However, this method does have a disadvantage as not everyone is on social media such as the elderly who do not owns mobile phones and may not know how to use technological devices.

My second method is the use of posters, I will be designing 20 posters to put around 5 colleges in Northampton which will help me raise awareness and my posters will include images and information and to make sure it looks appealing to viewers and to make sure it is not dull and boring, the poster could be stuck on classrooms and hallways of colleges. This would enable a lot of my target audience to see the posters and it is easily visible, I will use a poster to encourage people to report domestic violence crimes.The reason why I have decided not to use a leaflet is because there would be a lot of information on leaflets rather than images and my target audience would be more likely to ignore it and not bother reading it which would limit the awareness of my campaign if I decided to choose leaflets as one of methods.

My third method is merchandise in which I will create both a face mask and a pen. I have chosen a facemask as I can use a slogan which is memorable and makes people remember my campaign, currently a lot of people wear face masks due to covid-19, since a lot of people wear it the slogan and my logo will be eye catchy. They are also low-cost items to buy (and produce) which wouldn’t limit the range of people who could afford to purchase my merchandise. A Facemask is also an effective form of merchandise because it will spread the message to a wider audience when it is worn in everyday life. I have chosen to also create a pen because pens are Widley used by my target age group as they go to college, and pens are not costly.


To fund my campaign, I have done some research and done some calculations on how much I will need to spend and how much I will make in profit to raise for my domestic violence charity and which will enable me to carry on with my campaign. I will be making facemasks with my own logo, I will need to order 20 pieces of face mask from https://www.bizay.co.uk/ which will cost me £50.49, if I sell 1 piece costing £3.99, if I sell all 20 pieces at £3.99 I would make a total of £253.00, Leaving me with a profit of £202.51 to give to a domestic violence charity such as women aid and some of the profit will enable me to carry on with my campaign and enable me to buy more merchandise. Creating 20 posters which will be printed out in colour I will be making the posters myself so the cost will not be high, I will design the posters on Microsoft word and I will need to spend £1.67 to print the posters out in high quality, I will hand out free posters and stick some on walls. Making a social media Account is Free to set up. I will need to order 35 customised pens with my campaign log on it. 1 customised pen is £0.18 from https://www.totalmerchandise.co.uk/ ordering 35 Pens would cost me £6.30 Including delivery, if I sell one pen for £0.25 and I sell all 35 I would make £8.75 leaving me with a profit of £2.40, this can enable me to order more pens.

Timeline of my campaign

There will be a limited amount of time into each stage of my planning process. I will research the crimes committed in domestic violence cases, the affects this offence is having on both the victim and the offender, statistics surrounding domestic violence, existing support available for victims and real-life cases of domestic violence. To conduct my research I will need to use the internet and to interview victims of domestic violence and talk to the police about their experience in dealing with domestic violence to get more insight into how they deal with domestic abuse cases which could give victims hope and would turn to the police for help because some people may not have faith in the police and think that they might not do anything and I would like to change that by interviewing police officers with a high rank. This research should take me approximately 2 weeks

My next stage is the designing stage, I will need to design a logo for my campaign, a poster, a pen and a face mask. I will use the information I have found in my research stage to create my poster and social media account; this stage should take me around 2 weeks. During this stage I will need to find pictures that I will use on my poster to attract people and to think about the color scheme I will need to use and to think about the name of my social media account. To design my logo and poster I will use Microsoft Word, to design my face mask I will use https://www.bizay.co.uk/to design my customised pen I will need to use https://www.totalmerchandise.co.uk/. On my Instagram I will post links to the existing support available to victims

Stage three of my campaign will be the creation of my materials. I am hoping to approach a local business to get a donation to help me create my materials for my campaign. I would use the donation to produce my posters, pens and facemasks. After I have got some donation and order my facemask and pens I will make an overall profit of £204.91 which will allow me to continue to produce and sell more merchandise. It will take me approximately 1 month and 1 week to create my materials and have them delivered.

My final stage will be launching my campaign, for this I will need 5 days as I will have to put posters around 5 different colleges in Northampton, to launch my social media account and to make people aware of the account by telling friends and family to share the account and post it. I will launch my merchandise last because I want people to be aware of the campaign before they start buying the merchandise. I will use my social media account on Instagram to promote my merchandise. I will do this when all my materials have been created, produced and delivered, It will take one day to create my Instagram account as I will need to think of an appropriate username and pre plan the posts that I will be posting. I will promote the merchandise on social media and sell it through an eBay account which I will set up for my campaign on the same day I set up my Instagram account. In conclusion my campaign will take around 2 months and 2 weeks

Resources needed

The main resources I will need for my campaign will be a computer. I will need the computer to use Microsoft Word to create the design for my logo and poster. I will also need the computer to access the internet to create and order my Face masks and copies of my posters and will need it for my research stage. I will need finance as I will need to order the personalised face masks and pens.



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