strengths and weaknesses of criminological theories


Evaluation of individualistic theories 

learning theories - banduras social learning theory 


the bobo doll experiment showed the model did have an effect on the child, study showed cause and effect 

the experiment and variables were highly controlled (bgender and actions of the model) allowing greater accuracy, making the results more reliable as they are easier to replicate 

the study has been replicated and similar results were found due to a standardised procedure 


a la experiment was used meaning the study lacked ecological validity - the model is a stranger to the child this lacks validity as typically it takes place where the children are familiar with the model. 

ethical issues may take place as the children were exposed to aggression with the understanding they would imitate it - issues with protection

psychodynamic theories - freud 


contributed to research about crime and behaviour. in particular, the focus on childhood experiances and the importance of them on future behaviour should not be under estimated.

the ID, ego and superego relate to different parts of the brain and their functions and development limbic system = brains emotion centre - ID and the pre-frontal cortex = rational decision making - ego 


psychodynamic theories are no longer accredited due to the difficulty of testing concepts such as the unconcious mind 

unscientific and lack objective interpretation, too subjective and anaylists could draw different conclusions. 

lack of qauntitative data, he knew his patients so could not be objective 

psychological theories - eysencks criminal personality type


his research on soilders supported his theory, he predicted the most traumitised soilders would score highly on neurotic 

could help in reducing crime if this theory is correct and tendincies towards criminal behaviour are detectable in childhood, could lead to interventions based on parenting or early treatment. 


lack of reliabliity, as people may not respond exactly the same to the same questions everday or every time. or social desirability/ demand charectoristics could come into place. 

could be biased or deliberatly false answers as it relys of self report measures about a persons view of their personality. 

theory suggests personality is genetic and fails to consider it may change over time. 

evaluation of biological theories 

physiological - lombroso 


his work heralded the begginings of offender profiling useful in terms of its influence for criminology 

several theories provide evidence to his theory ( butcher and taylor, 2007) suggests that less attractive individuals are more likely to be considered guilty 


deterministic as it assumes people cannot escape a criminal destiny ( some may interpret we should give up on those who turn to crime) 

lacks social sensitivity,the descriptions match those of a african descent 

lack of a control group - no comparisons can be made

not everyone with


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