An Integrative Look at Criminal Behavior
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

An Integrative Look at Criminal Behavior

on

  • 185 views

Notes on section 2.3 of my IB HL psychology textbook

Notes on section 2.3 of my IB HL psychology textbook

Statistics

Views

Total Views
185
Views on SlideShare
185
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

An Integrative Look at Criminal Behavior An Integrative Look at Criminal Behavior Presentation Transcript

  • An integrative look at criminal behavior On All Levels
  • Risk Factors • Origins of criminal behavior are complex • Result from a combination of risk factors – Biological and environmental factors • Risk factors interact and aggravate one another • The more risk factors present = higher likelihood of criminal behavior
  • Biological Level of Analysis
  • Biological Level of Analysis • Various biological factors can contribute to criminality • Factors such as: – Genetics – Brain abnormalities – Nuerochemical imbalances
  • Genetics • Christiansen (1977) studied 3586 sets of Danish twins • Found that there may be some genetic factors in criminal behavior…but concordance rates are very low • Other factors may play a more important role
  • Limitation of Twin Studies • Monozygotic twins are often treated more similarly than dizygotic twins are
  • Hutchins and Mednick Adoption Study • 32.6% of sons had a criminal record w/ both a a biological and adoptive father with criminal records • 21.4% if only his biological father had a criminal record • 11.5% if only adopted father had record • Shows importance of environmental factors in combination with genetic factors in determining behavior
  • Limitations of Adoption Studies • Children are often placed in an environment that is similar to their original environment • Some children adopted years after birth – No control of length of time with birth-family
  • Limitations of Genetic Arguments for Criminal Behavior • The term “criminal behavior” itself – Crimes can range from murder to jaywalking to tax evasion • A gene for “crime” probably doesn’t exist • Genetic theorists have a difficult time explaining why criminal behavior tends to change over a lifespan – Peak criminal behavior at age 20 – Decline after 30
  • The Brain • Looks at interrelationship between emotions and decision making • Emotions are controlled by the brain’s limbic system • Decision making takes place in frontal lobe
  • Blair et al. (1999) • Impairment of pathways between the amygdala and frontol lobe in the brain • Makes it difficult to moderate emotional reactions – Effects how the individual interacts with others • Never appropriately develops empathy or guilt • Acts more impulsively
  • Frontal Brain Hypothesis • Theory that a malfunctioning relationship between the frontal cortex and limbic system may cause criminal behavior • Brain damage may cause behavioral problems – Antisocial behavior • Hypothesis does not explain all criminal behavior
  • Neurotransmitters and Hormones • Explains the significant gender difference in crime • In 2004: – 90.1% of murderers were male – 82.1% of violent criminals were male • Low levels of serotonin have been linked to antisocial and impulsive behavior – Men generally have lower levels • Often higher testosterone levels = more aggressive criminals
  • Biological Factors • These factors alone are not enough to cause violence – With the exception of severe brain damage • These factors must be combined with cognitive and social factors as well
  • Cognitive Level of Analysis
  • Yochelson and Samenow (1976) • Criminal thinking has cognitive distortions (errors in thinking) – Blaming others for their own failures – Super-optimism (extremely unrealistic) – Unable to accept mistakes when proven wrong – Reducing/limiting significance of a behavior – Exaggerating accomplishments and abilities
  • Cornish and Clark (1987) • Rational Choice Theory: Criminal behavior is the outcome of a reasoned decision-making process • Assumes that criminals seek to benefit from the crimes they commit • If benefits > costs, they carry out the crime
  • Bennett and Wright (1984) • 3 factors affecting decision to commit crime: – Risk (chance of getting caught) – Financial reward – Ease of entry • Supports the theory that a clear decision- making process underlies criminal activity • Limitation: can’t ask successful burglars—only the ones who are caught!
  • Sociocultrual Level of Analysis
  • Sociocultural Level of Analysis • Considers how society and culture affects our behavior • Factors: – Social and cultural expectations – Economic and political realties that exist where we live
  • Poverty • Messner (1988): instead of focusing on differences in income, we need to look at structural poverty – Single-parent families, low levels of education, high infant mortality rates, low social mobility • Income levels alone does indicate crime
  • Unemployment • Correlation between rates of unemployment and rates of crime – Unemployment can damage self-esteem – Feels that life is meaningless – Change in status – Boredom/free time!
  • Social factors + Biological factors • Poverty brings higher stress on the mother of a developing child – Affects the fetus – Can impair brain function
  • Labels • Self-fulfilling prophecy: When we are given a label we often live up to that expectation • Jahoda (1954): Ashanti people feel day of the week a child is born on predicts temperament • Wednesdays are supposed to be aggressive and problematic; Mondays are calm and peaceful – High number of arrests for boys born Wednesday – Low number for Monday
  • Three Levels Combined • Biological factors may affect an individual’s thought process • Thought processes may affect his/her social development • Socio-economic status could have an effect on the health of an expectant mother, and thus the development of the child