Criminological psychology

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Key terms:

  • CRIME: Defined as an act against the law and implies a punishment or treatment to avoid someone re-offending. They are against social norms too. Crime is said to be socially constructed because it represents what a particular culture thinks is wrong, and so what is considered a crime differs across societies. e.g. stealing, murder and fraud are crimes that are against the law and carry with them a punishment.
  • RECIDIVISM: Involves someone repeating a crime or behaviour for which they have been punished or treated. e.g. if someone convicted of burglary and punished is freed after the appropriate length of time and then steals again, this will increase recidivism figures.
  • ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR: This is behaviour that is not necessarily against the law but that the majority of people do not like and do not approve of. It is behaviour that effects people negatively; the term is often to used for aggressive behaviour. Antisocial behaviour can turn into or can be crime. Recently in the UK, ASBO's have been created to prevent such behaviour.
  • CRIMINOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY: This looks at the explanations and causes of crime, features of crime and antisocial behaviour, and also treatments for crime and antisocial behaviour. Forensic psychologists are also…


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