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PICT103 Module 4.pptx

PICT103 Module 4.pptx - PICT103 Introduction to Criminology...

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Dr James Martin Week 4 – The Criminal Mind PICT103: Introduction to Criminology
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What individual factors influence crime? Personality? Upbringing? Emotional maturity? Age? Gender? Family background? Mental health? Personal morality/values? Intelligence? Culture? Employment status?
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Lecture outline I. Classical criminology and rational choice theory Hedonistic calculus Outline Criticisms II. Biological determinism/positivism Neuropsychology Evolutionary psychology Genetics Biosocial approaches III. Self control theory Implications
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What to do?
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Why is this important? Our understanding of why crime is caused is what forms the basis of our responses, both socially and institutionally from the criminal justice system If we get the explanation or theory wrong then our response will also be wrong It is therefore crucial that our understanding of crime causation is as robust and empirically (evidence) based as possible We need to avoid simplistic assumptions, reflexive political positions (left or right) and question so-called ‘common- sense’ perspectives
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Part I Classical criminology and rational choice
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Classical criminology Notable scholars: Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) and Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) Forms the basis for most modern criminal justice systems Rests on assumptions, including: Humans are motivated by self-interest Humans are rational and calculating of pleasure and pain Individuals have responsibility for their own actions (White 2012:55)
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Hedonistic calculus Bentham claimed that pleasure vs. pain determine all human decision- making Each decision involves a rational person weighing up the potential benefits/pleasure against costs/pain There are different types of pleasure and pain , including moral and spiritual as well as physical When benefits outweigh costs then people commit crime Expressed mathematically: pleasure > pain = crime
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