Theories of Crime

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Biological theories suggest what?
That criminals are born, so crime is shaped by nature and not nurture.
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What did early biological research link crime to?
Innate head and body shape.
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What does more recent biological research suggest?
Certain genes including NOS1 create a tendency to violence and risk taking.
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How many adopted sons with a criminal record have a biological parent who is criminal?
12%
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How many adopted sons with a criminal record have an adoptive parent who is criminal?
7%
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Who suggested that a child born with genes creating an extroverted or psychotic personality is more likely to become a criminal than a child born with a different personality?
Eysenck
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What did Eysenck found criminals scored more highly on than non criminals?
Extrovertism
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What other factor can lead to criminal behaviour as suggested by biological theory?
Innate brain structure and hormones
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What scans show criminals have structurally different brains to non criminals?
MRI scans
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What do criminals tend to have high levels of?
Testosterone
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What do psychological theories suggest?
Nurture determines criminality rather than nature.
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What is social learning theory based on?
Bandura's Bobo doll studies
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What does SLT suggest children learn to be criminals through?
Observation and imitation of criminal role models.
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What type of reinforcement helps a child learn to steal after seeing a parent rewarded for criminal behaviour?
Vicarious reinforcement
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What explanation also suggests nurture in criminal behaviour?
Social explanations
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What type of conditions make a child more likely to become a criminal more than another child?
Deprived family conditions
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What type of family is crime linked to?
Poor and unemployed families.
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What part of an upbringing causes an increased link to crime?
Harsh physical discipline and little supervision.
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What can a home be full of that leads to crime?
Conflict
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How many children in the home help lead to crime?
4+
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In these families there is little control over whether a child watches what?
Violent and/or **** films.
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What's an example of deprived family conditions leading to crime?
The Doncaster brothers
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Who's recent work supports biological theory?
Raine et al
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What happened in Raine et al's research?
Teenagers diagnosed with conduct disorder on the DSM had MRI brain scans and these scans were compared to those of normal children.
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What does conduct disorder often do?
Makes children go on to be chronic offenders
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What did the brain scans find?
The amygdala and insula were smaller in the teenagers with conduct disorder.
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What areas of the brain are responsible for emotions and empathy?
The amygdala and insula
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What did Raine also find?
That children at age 3 who later went on to be criminals showed a lack of fear conditioning.
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What does Raine's research suggest?
Biological theory may help to explain the aggression and lack of guilt often linked to criminal behaviour.
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Why is biological theory applauded in methodological terms?
It is based on scientific research which is high in reliability.
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What does the use of control groups of non-criminals enable?
Comparisons to be made
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Why might research be low in external validity?
It is done under strict lab conditions.
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Who supports psychological theory?
Williams
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What did Williams find?
Aggression in children in a Canadian town doubled after TV was introduced.
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Who supports social theory?
Farrington
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What boys did Farrington use?
411 white WC boys born in 1946
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What did Farrington find?
40% of the boys had criminal records at age 48
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How many of the boys became chronic offenders?
7%
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What were the chronic offenders usually like?
Convicted before 21, had a criminal parent, impulsive personalities, a young mother, an unstable, poor, large family and bad grades.
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Why is psychological/social theory high in validity?
It involves in depth interviews with supporting studies based on correlations
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What is a disadvantage of psychological/social theory?
Supporting studies are based on correlations but this does not prove there is a casual link.
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What is a weakness of the biological view?
It is deterministic.
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Why are there ethical issues with the biological view?
Brian Dugan is a psychopath with a faulty amygdala, how should he be sentenced?
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Card 2

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What did early biological research link crime to?

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Innate head and body shape.

Card 3

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What does more recent biological research suggest?

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Card 4

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How many adopted sons with a criminal record have a biological parent who is criminal?

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Card 5

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How many adopted sons with a criminal record have an adoptive parent who is criminal?

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