Physiological Theory Evaluation
- Goring - anatomical differences not as extreme as lombroso said but low intelligence was common.
- Methodology not rigorous and conclusions bizarre.
- Failed to recognise that correlation doesn't imply cause & effect.
- Could be poverty and deprivation which causes physical defects.
- Gluek & Gluek - 60% mesomorph delinquents and only 31% mesomorph non-delinquents.
- Cortes & Gatti - in a sample of 100, 57% mesomorph compared with 19% controls.
- Remains unclear the link between mesomorphy and crime.
- Muscular types invited into crime, more successful, behaviour continues.
Psychodynamic Theory Evaluation.
- Criticised for concentrating on separation, could be mother is there but unloving.
- Study supports idea of maternal deprivation.
- Doesn't explain rational, thought-out crime.
- Only theory that addresses emotions in criminal behaviour.
- Many people without same sex parent grow to be fully law abiding.
- Males have stronger superego apparently but statistically commit more crime.
- Defence mechanisms are unconscious so can't be tested.
Learning Theory Evaluation.
- Highlight importance of environment on criminal behaviour.
- Try to apply simple principles to complex, varied behaviour.
- Studies involve specific learning tasks - lack eco validity.
- Criminal behaviour runs in families could be genetics.
- Don't explain why many offenders cease to offend as they get older.
- Drew attention to fact that not all crimes are committed by psychopaths.
- Difficult to explain impulsive crimes.
- Vague - how does learning take place?
- Difficulty testing - can't test number and strength of associations.
Personality Theory Evaluation.
- Easily tested - EPI a reliable tool.
- No differences in EEG measures of introverts/extraverts.
- Zuckerman - Boredom arises from increased not decreased arousal.
- Smith - Sensation seekers have an excitable CNS so are more aroused/arousable.
- Some studies - criminals score higher on extraversion and neuroticism.
- Bartol - criminals less extravert but different cultural group.
- Theory that claims to be universal but isn't is not valid.
- Recognises that both environment and biology play a large part.
Biological Theory Evaluation.
Twin Studies - 55% concordance for MZ + 12% concordance for DZ
Adoption Studies - between 1927 and 1947 - 14,000 adoptee offenders.
Family Studies - 40% criminal sons of criminal fathers - 12% sons of non-criminal fathers.
- Hard to seperate genetics from environmental factors
- No single criminal gene identified.
- Have in common that criminals are biologically different.
- Could be environment that leads to biological differences.
Non-Custodial Punishment Evaluation.
- Source of income for the state.
- Don't prevent offender from earning a living.
- Don't stigmatise the offender
- Not exposed to criminalising influence of prisons.
- Effective Deterrent.
- Others can pay them however.
- Often amount is not enough.
- Much less expensive than prison.
- Provides order & structure - prevents slipping back into old habits.
- Family relationships can be strained due to curfews.
Custodial Sentencing Evaluation.
- Causes negative psychological effects e.g. depression, institutionalisation.
- Zimbardo study evaluation.
- Bartol - prison for most can be brutal and devastating.
- Suicide - most at risk, young males within 24 hours.
- Self-Harm - found that women are more at risk of self harm.
- Overcrowding can cause physical illness etc.
- Post-traumatic stress but could be caused by flashbacks to the crime.
- Individual differences in adjusting to prison.
- Different prisons have different regimes - different effects.
- Few controlled longitudinal studies completed.
- Length of sentence and reason for imprisonment can have an effect.
Social Skills Training Evaluation.
- Goldstein - 30 studies reviewed - only 15-20% could use learned skills - increased to 50% after further training.
- Study - records examined - SST group had lower level of conviction but when asked had committed more crimes, were possibly just better at talking to the police!
- No research to show whether lack of social skills even causes offending behaviour
- In some SST programmes there has been no records of participants even lacking social skills in the first place!
- SST is effective in the short term but not in the long term.
Behaviour Modification Evaluation.
- Effective in changing specific behaviours under controlled conditions but not outside prison as there is no reward.
- Requires little training - can be done by Para-professionals.
- Quickly controls unmanageable behaviour.
- Easily evaluated & researched.
- Requires a high degree of commitment from all those involved.
- Many other sources of re-inforcement in prison - e.g. admiration of other inmates etc.
Anger Management Evaluation.
- Study - only one person that completed an 8 session course showed any improvement.
- Hunter - reported considerable improvements in certain areas such as depression and impulsiveness.
- Researchers disagree about whether there is a link between anger and violent crime.
- Effective at reducing anger in the short term but not long-term.
- Zamble & Quinsey - uncontrolled anger is a risk factor in predicting violence and recidivism.
- Loza & Loza - interviewed Canadian offenders - no difference between violent and non-violent offenders.
- Requires careful planning and a high level of commitment.