OCR GCSE Psychology Unit 2 - Criminal Behaviour.

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  • Created by: Maz
  • Created on: 06-06-13 09:16
What is criminal behaviour?
A behaviour that involves the conscious breaking of rules, which includes lasws within society but should also include behaviour that is anti-social and has a negative impact on people within society.
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What are 3 problems with defining crime?
Common behaviours (like littering) are still criminal but are considered petty if tried for, mitigating factors like mental health can make it difficult to define as they may not have been fully conscious and the age of criminal responsibility.
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What are the 3 ways in which crime is measured?
Official statistics, offender surveys and victim surveys.
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What are official statistics?
A way of measuring crime using police records of the number of recorded crimes across different forces.
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What are offender surveys?
When a representative sample is asked to complete a survey about whether they have committed crimes.
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What are victim surveys?
When a representative sample of the target population is asked to complete a survey about whether they have been a victim of crime.
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What is the problem with using official statistics as a way of measuring crime?
Police only keep a record of recorded crimes and not reported crimes, so more crimes may be committed than we actually realise.
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What is the problem with using victim surveys as a way of measuring crime?
People may be unaware that they have been a victim of crime and some crimes, like ****, are less likely to be reported.
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What is the problem with offender surveys as a way of measuring crime?
People do not always want to say that they have committed a crime and some maybe unaware that they have committed a crime (like litterers).
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What is the criminal personality?
A person with a criminal personality is someone who has a collection of traits that makes them different from other law abiding citizens. This collection of of traits seems to form a risk factor that makes it more likely the person will commit crime.
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What are the common characteristics of the criminal personality?
Impulsiveness, pleasure-seeking, self-importance and lacking guilty feelings.
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What is the core theory of criminal behaviour?
The biological theory.
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What does the biological theory of criminal behaviour claim?
That criminal behaviour is a result of physical processes within the person that makes them more likely to commit a crime. It is a product of nature.
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What is heritability in terms of the biological theory of criminal behaviour?
That criminal behaviour is inherited, meaning a person is already genetically programmed through their DNA to make them behave in anti-social ways.
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How is heritability able to explain the idea of "criminal families"?
If we have inherited a "criminal gene" from our family then it is expected for behaviour to run in families.
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What is brain dysfunction in terms of the biological theory of criminal behaviour?
The idea that the brain is not operating a normal. Criminal behaviour is seen as abnormal so the theory suggests that the brains of criminals are abnormal.
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Which areas of the brain are seen to be abnormal in criminals?
The pre-frontal cortex, the limbic system, the amygdala and the corpus callosum.
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What is wrong with the pre-frontal cortex of a criminal according to the biological theory?
It is underactive in some criminals. It is the part of the brain where associations between fear and anti-social behaviour are formed. Some don't form this association so this is why criminals are seen to be impulsive.
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What happens in the limbic system of the brain in general and of a criminal?
It is the area that controls aggressive and sexual behaviour. Scans show increased activity in this area in criminals. Aggression is a common trait of criminals and so this is evidence to this theory.
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What is the amygdala and what does it have to do with criminal behaviour?
The amygdala is part of the limbic system that controls emotions, eg response to sympathy. Research shows it doesn't operate normally in brains of psychopaths, linking with criminals lacking guilty feelings.
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What are facial features in terms of the biological theory?
If there is a gene for criminal behaviour then this same gene could affect a criminal's appearance. Some psychologists argue that criminals look physically different to non-criminals. The originated in the Victorian era.
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What are some facial features linked with criminals according to the biological theory of criminal behaviour?
Asymmetrical faces, high cheekbones and glassy eyes.
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What are the criticisms of the biological theory of criminal behaviour?
The idea of a criminal gene is too spimplistic, brain dysfunction is unreliable (may not be genetic), using facial features to determine criminals is morally wrong and unreliable and accepting biological causes could lead to extreme solutions.
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What is the alternative theory of criminal behaviour?
The social learning theory?
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What does the social learning theory of criminal behaviour say?
That we learn criminal behaviour by observing others committing crime and then imitating ourselves.
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Who do we observe these criminal behaviours from?
People known as models who are important to us: the 3 Ss= status, similar and significance.
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How does seeing parents/family members committing crime make us more likely to commit crime?
These models are significant to us in our lives. This is a explanation of criminal families.
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How might vicarious reinforcement increase the likelihood of someone committing a crime?
We may be more likely to imitate criminal behaviour that we see being rewarded. Ways of being vicariously reinforces include seeing someone keeping/using stolen goods or gaining respect from others.
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How does the social learning theory of criminal behaviour explain cultural trends in crime?
Gang culture, which is specific to certain areas (eg postcode wars). A member of a gang observing another member committing a crime may be more likely to commit a crime as the model is similar to them (in age/gender/background)
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What is the core study of criminal behaviour?
Mednick et al.
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What was the aim of Mednick et al's study?
To investigate whether it is nature or nurture that plays a part in criminal behaviour.
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What type of study did Mednick et al use?
Adoption studies.
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Where was the study carried out?
Denmark.
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What was the main procedure of the study?
They accessed the criminal records of over 4000 males born between 1924 and 1947. They compared these records with the criminal records of their biological and adoptive parents.
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What did the results of Mednick et al's study show?
That 25% of males with both adoptive and biological parents who had committed a crime also committed crime compared to 14% who committed crime but neither had adoptive or biological parents convicted (biology and learning both factors).
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(continuation) What did the results of Mednick et al's study show?
20% who had biological parents with a criminal record but not adoptive parents also committed crime compared to 14% who committed crime and had adoptive parents with a criminal record but not biological parents.
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What did Mednick et al conclude?
That there was a strong genetic component to criminal behaviour. However, environment wasn't ruled out as this is why adoptee with both criminal parent had the highest chance of convictions.
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What are 4 evaluative points for Mednick et al's study?
Gender bias, culture bias, temporal bias and contamination effect.
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What is the application of criminal behaviour?
Crime reduction.
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What are four areas that help to reduce crime?
Prison, punishment, prevention and rehabilitation.
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How has punishment been used to reduce crime?
Used in the following ways: prison, fines, suspended sentences and probation. Based on operant conditioning so if criminal behaviour is followed by an unpleasant consequence (ie prison) the likelihood of the behaviour being repeated is reduced.
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How has rehabilitation been used to reduce crime?
The offender learns to change their behaviour so they don't re-offend. For example, drug addiction courses use group sessions where the addic can see other similar models to themselves who had also given up drugs (SLT).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are 3 problems with defining crime?

Back

Common behaviours (like littering) are still criminal but are considered petty if tried for, mitigating factors like mental health can make it difficult to define as they may not have been fully conscious and the age of criminal responsibility.

Card 3

Front

What are the 3 ways in which crime is measured?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are official statistics?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are offender surveys?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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Comments

MrsMacLean

A very comprehensive set of revision cards for GCSE OCR Psychology students!

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