Criminal thinking patterns. Chapter 2, Crime.

Chapter two - criminal thinking patterns

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Discovery one, Biological.


Point: Criminal thinking patterns differ from thinking patterns of a non -criminal. People who do not develop morally are moere likely to be associated with crime.

Evidence: Kolberg - 'theory of moral development', three stages:

egocentric cognitive development linked a deficit in moral reasoning and with a lack of empathy. the offenders who reason at preconventional stage have this lack of empathy.

1. Preconventional stage: this is the stage that most children reason at. They have no personal code of morals, and have a lack of concious of what is right and wrong.

2. Conventional stage: the person can judge morality from a perspective of a social group or society, but when this is taken away they do not have their own rules within themselves.

3. Post conventional: This is when the person understands the rules and regulations of the government but understands that sometimes it is more important to break those rules in order to stick to their own conciounce or set of morals.

Hollins: found male offenders were predominantly reasoning at a preconventional level (stage 1 above) therefore had low moral development.

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Discovery one, Biological.

Conclusion: This is useful because it tells us that people who commit crime are biologically predetermined to do so, they are biologically different. This can help the government to identify and help those with low moral development in order to prevent crime.

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Discovery two, social reasons.


Point: Social attitudes can effect the likelihood of crime being commited.

Evidence: Kannin - researched into **** and date **** (not the drug, but literally ****** on a date).

Kannin researched withmale students and previously convicted male rapists. He found that 1/3 of the students admitted to intoxicating a partner or falsly professing love in order to gain sex. This 'date ****' was often not seen as an offense by students or rapists, especially if they had slept with the person before, bought an expensive meal or they had history.

Kannin found little difference between the social cognitions (thinking patterns) of the rapists and the students.

Conclusion: This tells us that mens attitudes towards **** and sex need to be changed. The government need to stress that **** is not acceptable EVER.

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Discovery Three,


Point: Not all crime is impulsive.

Evidence: The Theory of planned behaviour can be applied to crime as it often involves offenders making a choice and then planning their behaviour (cost-gains analysis).

Benet and Wright - 59% of burglars targetted a specific house and waited until the circumstances were appropriate before breaking in. = crime is often more a practical than a moral problem.

Conclusion: Punishments should focus on attempting to modify the likely outcome of commiting the burglary so that they are less likely to attempt it eg in this case burgular alarms and better door and window locks.

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Discovery Four


Point: Individual differences such as personality characteristics can meake soemone more likely to engage in criminal behaviour. (Vold - some individual differences are energising factors and dis-inhibitors thus raising the likelihood of crime).

Evidence: Type A behaviour personalitys (founded by Friedman) are more likely to be involved in crime than type B personalalitys. Type A personalitys are said to be more outgoing, thrillseekers and yet still more organised than the laid back and easy going personalitys that type B descibe.

Conclusion: This is useful because it identifies groups who are more vunerable to commiting crime, and shows that they should be targetted in crime prevention.

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