chapter 3 - Chapter 3: Psychology of Crime I. Introduction...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 3: Psychology of Crime I. Introduction Despite recent decreases in serious crime, rates of violent crime are still high Fear of crime is heightened due to media Juveniles responsible for a quarter of violent crimes Crime sometimes occurs in environments that are expected to be safe Warning signs before school shootings Megan’s Law: law enforcement authorities required to notify communities when convicted sex offenders move into their neighborhoods Crime control: more police, more courts, more prisons, more executions, curfews, gun control, anticrime bills? Must first understand causes o Criminology: study of crime and criminal behavior II. Theories of Crime as Explanations of Criminal Behavior Classical school of criminology: emphasized free will, hedonism, flaws in the social contract to explain criminal conduct Lawbreaking occurs when people choose wrong over right o Choose crime when gains through crime outweigh losses Positivist school of criminology: instead of focusing on free will, emphasize factors they believe determine criminal behavior o Crude science Ecological theorists: emphasize physical characteristics of criminals, strong biological predisposition to crime Modern theorists: legacy of positivist tradition Criminologists focus on frightening crimes – violent, aggressive – and on men Criminological theories to explain aggressive crimes: o Sociological theories: crime results from social or cultural forces external to any specific individual o Biological theories: genetic influences, neuropsychological abnormalities, biochemical irregularities o Psychological theories: crime results from unique personality attributes o Social-psychological theories: crime is learned Control theory: people will behave antisocially unless they learn not to offend Learning theory: individuals directly acquire specific criminal behaviors through learning Social labeling theory: stigma of being branded as a deviant can engender or underscore that belief within the individual III. Sociological Theories of Crime Structural explanations: dysfunctional social arrangements thwart people’s efforts toward legitimate attainments and result in their breaking the law
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
o Certain groups of people suffer fundamental inequalities in opportunities to achieve the goals valued by society o Anomie: feeling of normlessness preceding suicide and crime, results from lack of moral or social obligations o People in lower socioeconomic subcultures want to succeed but are unable to do so legitimately Leads to frustration and crime Often youthful crime and gangs Doing badly in school leads kids to believe the only well-paying job they will have is drug dealing o Limitations to differential opportunity theory: Seriously delinquent youth display these differences as early as elementary school Lower class youth do not necessarily find lack of success in school
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 10/22/2008 for the course PSYCH 2650 taught by Professor Dunning, d during the Fall '07 term at Cornell.

Page1 / 9

chapter 3 - Chapter 3: Psychology of Crime I. Introduction...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online