A2 Criminological Psychology Definitions

All the required definitions for A2 Criminological psychology.

  • Created by: Nerual197
  • Created on: 22-04-14 20:57

Criminological Psychology

The application of psychological knowledge and methods to enrich our understanding of Crime and Deviance, and criminal behaviour. Includes defining crime and suggesting possible explanations for criminal behaviour. It studies courtroom procedures and eyewitness techniques to look at the judgement of potential criminals. It is also used to identify offenders and predict future crimes using profiling techniques. It also looks at ways of treating offenders to prevent recidivism.

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Crime is an act that is against the law or is a behaviour that violates social norms, moral values, religious beliefs or legal boundaries. Such acts break the law and are therefore subject to punishment.

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Anti-Social Behaviour

Not an actual crime, but has a negative effect on people in society and the potential to become a crime at some stage. It is likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to members of the public. E.g excessive noise, abusive language and drunken behaviour.

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Repeat offending when an offender has repeated a crime for which they have been punished or have recieved treatment for. Returning to and repeating behaviour that should have been extinguished. 

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Token Economy

A form of behaviour modification based on the principles of operant conditioning - specifically primary and secondary reinforcement. Such progrmmes are used in prisons to encourage pro-social behaviour and involve awarding tokens to offenders if a desired behaviour is performed. The tokens may then be exchanged for various rewards if the desired behaviour occurs. The aim is to repeat desired behaviours.

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They are standardised and simplified conceptions of groups based on some prior assumptions. There is a tendency to think of a whole group as having certain characteristics based upon evidence from one member of the group and assuming the same is true of the rest. 

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Modelling is a way of learning by imitating the behaviour of others. An individual will observe criminal behaviour being demonstrated in others around them and they will remember this, nd reproduce it should they find the motivation. 

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