Crime and personality

What is the definition of aggression
behavior, (2) that is intended to harm another person, (3) who is motivated to avoid that harm (Bushman & Huesmann, 2010; DeWall, Anderson, & Bushman, 2012)
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What is the definition of violence
Most psychologists define violence as an extreme form of aggression that has severe physical harm as its goal (Anderson & Bushman, 2002; Bushman & Huesmann, 2010 Huesmann & Taylor, 2006).
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Anderson and Bushman(2002)
General aggression model
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What is it?
is a social-cognitive model that includes situational, individual, and biological factors that interact to produce a variety of cognitive, emotional, physiological and behavioral outcomes
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What are the sex differences in crime?
August 2010, males and females held in custody in England and Wales, Males are more likely to commit crimes than females violence against the person, assault, grievous bodily harm
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Romano, Trembley, Boulerice and Swisher (2005)
National longitudinal survey of children and youth, 59,000 households in Canada
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What was found?
Males exhibited more aggression and less prosocial behaviour (after controlling for parental style, family variables, neighbourhood variables (size and problems
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What was found about girls?
Girls are highly aggressive in preschool and if relational aggression is considered, middle childhood 4.2% girls were identified as aggressive (if physical), 21.6% girls if physical and relational
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What does it depends?
Definition of aggression, aggression effects into adult hood established
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What did Wasworth and Achenbach (2005) investigate?
Socioeconomic status, aggression
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What was investigated?
Parental evaluations of aggressive behaviour, SES (via welfare payments, family Y, occupation), and referrals.
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What was found?
those in lower SES group showed rise in aggressive behaviour across the study years Of those referred for problems, lower SES individuals scored the highest for aggression.
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Haynie et al (2006)
80 high schools, 52 middle schools, all students were interviewed and identify 5 friends of each sex to be interviewed, also random sample visited at home (especially for sensitive data) random sample visited at home, collected data about violence
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What was found?
SES= highest level of education + parental occupation
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What did low SES correlate with?
respondents fighting, peers who fight, peers of lower educational involvement
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What was disadvantaged?
Neighbourhood effect mediated by connection with violent and unmotivated peers
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What is disadvantaged neighbourhood effect mediated by connection with violent and unmotivated peers?
Disadvantaged neighbourhood --> Violent and unmotivated peers --> increased violence
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Johnson et al (2006)
593 families in community sample longitudinal analysis when offspring were 6, 14/16, 22, and 33 - interviewed Structured interview for DSM-III and DSM-IV
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What was measured and controlled?
Offspring and parent Cornell Parent Behavior Inventory and items relating to physical and verbal abuse, use of guilt, rough treatment etc. Controlled for offspring age, sex, parent psychiatric problems and childhood behavioral and emotional problems
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Low parental affection or nurturing was associated with?
elevated risk for offspring antisocial across ages 22 - 33
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What is Maguin and Loeber (1996), education?
Meta-analysis of academic performance and delinquency
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What is associated with lower academic performance?
offended more frequently, committed more serious and violent offences, and persisted in their offending.
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What was the association?
Stronger in males than females
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What was academic performance predicted for?
Deliquency independent of socioeconomic status
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What are the environmental features?
Pain, heat, noise, crowding
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Lindsey and Anderson, 2000
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Bushman et al, 2005, Bell, 1992
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Geen and McCown, 1984
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Lawrence and Andrews, 2004
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What are interpersonal variables?
Insult, humiliation, norm violation, rejection
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What is psychoanalytical approaches?
Freud: development of superego aids conscience
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What happens with poor attachment to parents?
Sublimination of needs to criminal activity
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If permissive parents?
The superego content is not sufficiently moral
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What happens if the superego is underdeveloped?
Lack of check on pleasure principles
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Martins (1991)
Link with poor parenting (an underdeveloped superego) not moderated by education
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Adler (1982)
Disturbed child mother relationship (incomplete sense of self in world
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Lack of fix?
Need to belong and be contained in secure environment embraced
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Provocation by what?
Antisocial behaviour is incitement to society to contain them and give them security VIA prison
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Those high in E?
Under stimulated reticulo cortical system less well suited to conditioning
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Those low in E?
Over aroused stimulated reticulo-cortical system better suited to conditioning
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Those high in N?
Over active reticulo limbic system (autonomic nervous system) they condition poorly
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What does it assume?
Offenders have little control or socialisation, therefore, higher in E and N but higher in P
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Furnham (1984) 210 UK non delinquents
Variables: Personality, anomie and social skills
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What is it a best predictor of?
Self reported delinquency was P, then N, anomie, E and then social skills
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Farrington (1922)
‘Official’ offenders are high in N and low in E Self-reporters are low in N and high in E Both are related to P
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What have most studies suggested?
Offenders score higher on P and N Results for E, however, are mixed
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Heaven (1996)
Study tracked 282 14 year olds over 2 years, P at T1 best predictor of later deliquency at T2, with E and self esteem but accounted for only 6% of variance
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What needs to happen?
Need to look at facets rather than domains, excitement seeking, impulsiveness, venturesomeness
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Heaven (1996) study 1: participants = 216 undergraduates, aggreeablenss?
A strong negative association with self reported violence
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Moderately and negatively
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N (moderately and positively correlated with self reported vioence
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Study 2. Participants?
90 undergraduates, trust (negatively) and excitement seeking (positively) correlated with self reported violence
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Miller and Lyman (2001)
Antisocial behaviour predicted by: Antagonistic traits (low A, high P) 2. Impulsivity related traits (low C, also high P) 3. Emotional adjustment (high N)
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Miller et al (2003)
Found negative correlations between A & C, and positive correlations between N with series of antisocial behaviours including aggression
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Anxiety, depression, self consciousness, impulsiveness, vulunerability
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Altruism, modesty, tenderminded
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Competence, order, achievement strive, self discipline, deliberation
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High Bas activity associated with?
increased prefrontal activity, impulsivity, negativ e affect, aggression and anger
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What was BAS mediated aggression associated with?
may be reactive rather than proactive and linked to the impulsive-aggression association
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BIS responds to what?
conflicting goals and emotions of anxiety and frustration. The BIS appraises risks and considers consequences of behaviour (Heym et al 2008) and a lack of BIS has been associated with reactive aggression
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Baumeister, Smart, Boden (1996)
Very positive self esteem leads to aggression following ego attack. Especially if unstable = narcissism
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self aggrandizement, fantasies about unlimited power. React badly when challenged or humiliated. Feelings of grandiose self-worth to counter fragile self-esteem
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For non clinical
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What do Narcs tend to be?
More aggressive and angry
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What happens if someone challenges a Narc?
then they will humiliate them, they know they’re better than them and can beat them
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Donnellan et al (2005)
Children with low self esteem reported more delinquent behaviours including fighting
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Trzesniewski et al
Low SE correlated with high scores on a trait aggression scale among college studets
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Clinical theories sugget?
Multiple types of narcissits that differ in their level of SE
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What is a covert narcissist?
Relatively low SE, socially avoidant, self absorbed, shy and introverted
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What is an overt narcissits?
much higher SE, self assured, extraverted, dominant, antisocial and aggressive interpersonal orientation
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Bushman et al (2009) studies 1 and 2
SE and Narcissism interacted, such that after a threat to ego, if participants scored high in Narcissism and SE, their aggression levels were highest (overt narcissism). If they scored low in SE, their aggression was lowest (covert narcissism).
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What happens once narcissism is controlled?
there were no effects of SE on aggression
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What was found?
Higher self esteem leads to higher agression from higher narcisists
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What was the 3rd experiment?
A quasi-experimental field study was conducted
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What was the experiment?
Participants were students. They were exposed to feedback on a real submitted essay by another student. They then had to assess the feedback, knowing that their feedback evaluation would account for 10% of the evaluator’s essay grade
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They also completed in NPI, measures?
Of SE and indicated how humiliated they felt by the feedback (measure of ego threat)
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What are the psychological factors?
Proactive/reactive aggression
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Who assessed it?
Raine et al (2006)
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What is the meaning of reactive?
Affect driven in response to threat/provocation: Miller and Lynam
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What is it linked to?
Impulsive aggression and sensation seeking and psychopathy
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What is the meaning of proactive?
Associated with parental substance abuse and psychopathy
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What is trait aggression?
Buss and Perry developed the aggression questionnaire, predicts who will act physically and verbally aggressively and who has propesity to anger and have hostile thoughts
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What is it associated with?
reduced perceptions of an aggressors behaviour
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What is it linked with?
low A and high N
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What is physical aggression, anger and hostility linked with?
Sexual jealousy, impulsivity and dominance
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What is the sensitivity to aggressive triggers
The extent to which individuals perceive events as being aggression triggering influences the likelihood of them behaving aggressively
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What do individuals differ in?
The context to which they are triggered to act aggressively in response to fustrations or provocations
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What does this influence?
Individuals perceive events to be provoking
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What are the measurement?
Situational triggers of aggressive response (STAR) scale -22 items assessing fustration and provocation sensitivity
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Lawrence and Hodgkins (2008)
Adults (200 average age 21, 50% male), CCTV clips of Male assault on female following female remonstration; Female assault on female following female remonstration; Male assault on male following male remonstration
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What were they asked to do?
Asked to judge behaviour of the people on screen
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What was found?
Those sensitive to provocation perceived more provocation from the victim, the effect remained even when general trait aggression was controlled
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What is fustration sensitivity related to
Cognitive and emotional aggression
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What is provocation sensitivity is related to>
overt trait aggression
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Lawrence and Hutchinson (2013)
Adults completed STAR scale, took part in a reaction time competitive task with another partner linked computer in another room
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What could the fastest reaction time do?
Blast the other via headphones on select the noise level (0-9)
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What did the fastest reaction time?
Won 50 pounds
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What was the motivation to be?
Fast, no motivation for blasting partner
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what happened in this study?
The was no partner, the partner's pattern of responding were pre set, the participant won 1st trial
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What did the participant receive?
Low blasts from opponent across next 40 trials on losing trials, the received high blasts across final 40 trials on losing trials, participants lost half the time
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Those high in SP
Gave the same blasts as low SP participants when unprovoked, gave higher blasts when provoked. small increase in first block and large increase in second block
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What else happened?
They delivered more maximum blasts to the partner and delivered maximum blasts earlier in the game
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What was found for no effect?
Sensitivity to fustration
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Impulsivity definition
It refers to speed of reaction rather than strength of reaction (over reaction)
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What was related to the serotonergic system?
both impulsivity and aggression
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What are the 5 factors?
Impulsivity, aggression, depression, suicidality and axiety
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What is Antisocial personality disorder?
Failure to plan ahead, irritability, reckless disregard for safety of self or other, consistent irresponsibility
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Attributions: Bennet et al
3 main activities involved in reaction aggressive acts, the interpretation of events, the retrieval and evaluation of alternative behaviours and the actual behaviour
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Hubbard et al?
Hostile attributions on directly observed reactive aggression in dyads, when boys judged the behaviour of their peer to be intentional and hostile, there were more likely to act aggressively in turn
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Berkowitz (1974)
Fustration, anger and cue, aggression
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What is it associated with?
Behaviourist ideas
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What is the weapon's effect
Stage 1: Electric shocks to induce anger in mock test Stage 2: Subject responds to confederate (using shocks) in presence or absence of weapons.
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What are the results?
If not angered, weapons had no effect, if angered more shocks given in presence of weapons
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Reactive Vs instrumental aggression, anger mostly associated with reactive,
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Tigger, emotions (anger) and cognitions (attributions)
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Anderson and Bushman?
General aaggression model
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What does lack of controlling impulsivity lead to?
Danger and mistakes
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Moffitt et al?
Examined 1037 children from birth to 32 years (96% retention)
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What was the first answer?
Those with better self control had better outcomes at 32 years old
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What was answer 2?
those with increased self control had better outcomes at 32 years old
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What was answer 3?
Those with lower SC make early ‘mistakes’ (early smoking, teenage unplanned pregnancy, leaving school early) that do ensnare them in harmful lifestyles. Specifically, the more snares – the poorer health, less wealth, more criminal convictions.
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But direct effect of ?
Self control on outcomes remained significant
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What was answer 4?
Preschool SC predicts outcomes at 32 years
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What is the definition of violence


Most psychologists define violence as an extreme form of aggression that has severe physical harm as its goal (Anderson & Bushman, 2002; Bushman & Huesmann, 2010 Huesmann & Taylor, 2006).

Card 3


Anderson and Bushman(2002)


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Card 4


What is it?


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What are the sex differences in crime?


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