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Chapter 3 Psychology of Crime

Chapter 3 Psychology of Crime - Chapter 3 Psychology of...

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Chapter 3 Psychology of Crime Criminology: The study of crime and criminal behavior Theories of Crime as Explanations of Criminal Behavior Classical school of criminology: The point of view that evolved in the 1700s and 1800s, emphasizing the role of free will and cost/benefit analysis in determining criminal behavior. Punishment should fit the crime, led to the 8 th Amendment ban against “cruel and unusual punishment” Positivist school of criminology: A school of thought characterized by the view that criminal behavior by a person was determined, rather than a product of free will. Sought to understand crime through the scientific method Punishment should fit the criminal rather than the crime, position for rehabilitation. Ecological theorist: A group of criminologist who believed that crime was caused primarily by a combination of social, environmental, and cultural factors. Not as influential as the Italian positivist Sociological theories: crime results from social or cultural forces that are external to any specific individual, exist prior to any criminal act, and emerge from social class, political, ecological, or physical structures affecting large groups of people Little empirical evidence that this independently causes crime Biological theories: stress genetic influences, neuropsychological abnormalities, and biochemical irregularities. Little empirical evidence that this independently causes crime Psychological theories: crime results from personality attributes that are uniquely possessed, or possessed to a special degree, by the potential criminal.
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Social-psychological theories: bridge the gap between the environmentalism of sociology and the individualism of psychology or biological theories.
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