Theories of crime - Psychology

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Define crime
an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and punishable by law
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What features did early criminiologists suggest criminals had?
Sloping forehad, Prominant eyes, Large ears, High cheekbones, Protruding chin and jawline.
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What did LOMBROSO (1876) believe criminals were?
Primative 'throwbacks' and were born criminals as they were not fully decended from apes.
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Somatypes- What did SHELDON (1942) link together?
Peoples body types and whether they were a criminal. The tree types were; Endomorphs, Mesomorphs, and Ectomorphs
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According to SHELDON what is an Endomorph?
Fat and soft, Social and relaxed, Wide hips with fat spread across upper body arms and thighs, slim ankles and wrists
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According to SHELDON what is a Mesomorph?
Muscular and aggressive, Broad shoulders and Narrow hips, Couragous and enthusiastic, Indifferent about what others think
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According to SHELDON what is a Ectomorph?
Thin and fragile, Introverted and restrained, narrow shoulders and hips, high forehead, very little fat.
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What are the three main theories?
Biological, Social and Psychological
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BIOLOGICAL - Runs in the family. What did OSBORN and WEST find out about fathers and sons?
13% of sons with non criminal fathers have a criminal conviction wheras 20% of sons with criminal fathers have a conviction
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BIOLOGICAL- What did FARRINGTON study and suggest?
Studies 3 generations of relatives, found that id one had been arrested there was a high probability that another genaration had been arrested.
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BIOLOGICAL - Criminal genes - What did RETZ et al find an association between?
A variant of 5-HTTLPR gene and violent behaviour. People are more likely to be violent if they have this gene
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BIOLOGICAL - Hormones - What did DABBS et al find male prisoners have higher levels of?
male prisoners convicted of violent crimes have higher testosterone levels.
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BIOLOGICAL - Neurotransmitters - What did VIRKKUNEN et al find ?
Violent offenders have a low seratonin turnover this leads to aggression in animals (VALZELLI)
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BIOLOGICAL - Brain Damage - What did RAINE et al do and find?
Did PET scans of living violent killers and found that there are links between violent offenders and prefrontal cortex damage.
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SOCIAL - Self fulfilling prophecy - What is this? What does it lead to?
Stereotyping can lead to the observed changing their behaviour, false beliefs helf by the observer can make the observed behave in a way that confirms expectations and reinforces the stereotype.
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SOCIAL - Define Recidivism
once labelled as a criminal the individuals self concept is changed producing further criminal behaviour.
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SOCIAL - What did ROSENTHAL and JACOBSON (1968) do / find out?
They tested children in an elementary school and told the teachers that some of the children scored above average when they did not. At the end of the year those children who were seen as above average had improved faster.
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SOCIAL - Strain Theory - What is this?
People from low income groups have little oppertunity to legitimately achieve their goals such as gaining; wealth, power, prestige, material pssessions. Crime can help get these
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SOCIAL - Social Disorganisation Theory - What is it?
Urban conditions affect crime rates, such as; Unemployment levels, School drop out rates, Single parent families, and low income
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PSYCHOLOGICAL - Social learning theory - Who devised this?
Bandura (1977) His experiment sugested that children whose parents are criminals are also likely to be surrounded by similar role models
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PSYCOLOGICAL - What is direct reinforcement?
Gains from theft
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PSYCOLOGICAL - WHat is Vicarious reinforcement?
Seeing others benefit from behaviours
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PSYCOLOGICAL - What is internal motivation?
Copying those around them that are of a higher status
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PSYCOLOGICAL -How does low self esteem come into it?
People with low self esteem are more likely to imitate criminal behaviour of those around them
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PSYCOLOGICAL - Cognitive Development - What did KOHLBERG (1958) develop?
Theorised that there were three levels of moral reasoning and that the inability to progress through all of these stages may lead to inadequate morals and delinquency
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PSYCOLOGICAL - KOHLBERG - What is stage one?
Middle childhood- this is the preconventional level and morals are based on rewards and punishments from parents
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PSYCOLOGICAL - KOHLBERG - What is stage two?
End of middle childhood- Conventional level, moral reasoning is based on the family and other people that you look up to
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PSYCOLOGICAL - KOHLBERG - What is stage three?
Adulthood - post conventional level, you value the laws of the social system but do what you judge to be right
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PSYCOLOGICAL - The psychodynamic approach - Moral behaviour is controlled by the what, which consisits of?
Controlled by the Superego which consists of the conscience and the ego ideal
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PSYCOLOGICAL -What is the conscience?
Rules imposed by parents, guilt. It represents the punishing parent
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PSYCOLOGICAL - What is the Ego ideal?
Moral values, pride. Represents the rewarding parent
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PSYCOLOGICAL- Psychodynamic App - Criminal behaviour occurs if the superego is ...
over or under developed
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PSYCOLOGICAL- Psychodynamic App - What happens if the superego is underdeveloped?
sexual crime, urges are not controlled
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PSYCOLOGICAL- Psychodynamic App - What happens if the superego is overdeveloped?
Commit crime to get a punishment, to reduce guilt and anxiety, leave clues
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PSYCOLOGICAL - Maternal Deprivation - What did BOWLBY (1951) theorise?
That separation from the primary care giver can lead to delinquency and a lack of social conscience
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PSYCOLOGICAL- Maternal Deprivation - What did BOWLBY call this disaffected state?
Affectionless Psycopathy - due to disturbed attachment bonds
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PSYCOLOGICAL- Psychoticism - What did EYSENCK create? Why?
A personality test as impulsivity or psychoticism have been linked to criminality
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PSYCOLOGICAL- Psychoticism - What three personality aspects did EYSENCK's test measure?
Psychoticism , Extraversion and Neuroticism. He theorised that high P's are likely to be criminals
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What is the Anterior cingulate cortex ?
the area of the brain involved in emotion and reward
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What is serotonin?
a neurotransmitter linked to sleep, depression , agression and eating behaviour
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What is self concept?
All the attitudes we currently hold about ourselves
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What are Monzygotic twins?
from a single egg
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What are Dizygotic twins?
from two eggs
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Card 2

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What features did early criminiologists suggest criminals had?

Back

Sloping forehad, Prominant eyes, Large ears, High cheekbones, Protruding chin and jawline.

Card 3

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What did LOMBROSO (1876) believe criminals were?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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Somatypes- What did SHELDON (1942) link together?

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Card 5

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According to SHELDON what is an Endomorph?

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