Crime Causation

Crime Causation - Psychology and Law Crime Causation Why...

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Unformatted text preview: Psychology and Law Crime Causation Why study crime causation? Prevention Understanding Psychological peace of mind Determine just punishment Rehabilitation How to study crime causation? Ask criminals Ask criminals and non­criminals Archival data Participant observation Kaplan & Nelson: On being Kaplan Useful Useful Person­centered versus societal­centered questions Law of the hammer Becker: Whose side are we on? Fact Violent crime in the U.S. is 10 to 20 times higher than in European countries What clues does this give us to crime causation? Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore Classical School of Criminology Cesare Beccaria, Italian Jeremy Bentham, British “lawbreaking occurs when people, faced with a choice between right and wrong, freely choose to behave wrongly” Gains outweigh losses Punishment should fit the crime Positivist School Emphasizes factors that cause or determine criminal behavior Not free will Cesare Lombroso, physiogamy, atavism Punishment should fit the criminal, not the crime Sociological Theories Structural Theory #1: Differential opportunity Cloward & Ohlin Criminals want the goods of society but cannot get them legally/no legal opportunities Limits: Not clear lower class wants to be middle class/ crimes committed by folks with every opportunity, also Structural theory #2 Cohen, Delinquent Boys Goals of middle class are seen as unattainable, and therefore repudiated through destructive vandalism Reaction formation, vigorously rejecting middle class values Crimes negativistic and malicious Reject peers who strive for middle class goals Subcultural explanations Emphasize discrepancy in norms for different groups Walter Miller, Theory of Focal Concerns Ends valued in lower class: Trouble, toughness, smartness, excitement, fate, and autonomy Scared Straight example Biological Theories Lombroso, head shape Sheldon, body shape: endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph (skinny) Dan Olweus, Norway, Bullies: physically strong, family ok with aggression, hot temper Genetic Twin studies Family studies Problems with biological studies Labeling/expectations Ignore social problems Results could be used to support racism, sexism, other types of prejudice Importance of biological studies If that’s where the answer really is, we need to look there Can’t just look for research answers we like 1992 NIH conference at U of Maryland Postponded until 1995 with private funding Family studies Henry Goddard, Kallilak family Richard Dugdale, Juke family Weaknesses in method: genes and environment are confounded Twin Studies Why study twins? Monozygotic (MZ) vs dizygotic (DZ) twins, Tom Bouchard Weakness Share environment Low incidence of serious crime means you need very large number of twins Twin results Johannes Lange, 1929, German, MZ concordance 77%, DZ 12% Kranz, 1936, MZ 66%, DZ (same sex) 54%, DZ (opposite sex) 14% Christiansen, 1977, 3586 pairs, MZ 50%, DZ 21% (same sex) Christiansen, meta­analysis, 1977b, MZ 69%, DZ 33% Adoption Studies Sarnoff Mednick, Denmark, 14427 adoptees, biological parents who were chronic offenders had sons 3 times more likely to be criminal than biological parents with no convictions Cloninger, Sigvardsson, Bohman & von Knorring (1982) adopted men with criminal biological parents 4 times rate of criminal behavior as those with noncriminal biological parents Effect seen in sons because women rates too low 5 Possible routes for genetic Possible effects to operate effects Constitutional predisposition Neuropsychological abnormalities, especially in subcortical regions of the right brain (amygdala, hippocampus,thalamus, midbrain), could lead to more violent temperment Autonomic nervous system (ANS) differences, especially low levels of ANS arousal (ice water in veins) Continued Physiological differences (e.g., high testosterone, increased insulin, low levels of serotonin) Personality and temperment differences (low control, low empathy, irritable, easily frustrated) Psychological theories of crime Psychoanalytic, impulsive need for punishment to alleviate guilt from unresolved Oedipal complex Criminal thinking patterns, see world differently, Prison study Personality defect/ Psychopathy, Antisocial Personality Disorder/overlap with biological aspects? Social Psychological Theories Control Hirschi (attachment, commitment, involvement, belief) Reckles (containment theory) social pressure controls crime Learning Theories Classical, Pavlov, leads to Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory Operant, Skinner, sees crime reinforced Social Learning, Bandura, vicarious learning (from family, subculture, media) Constitutional Learning Theory, Wilson & Herrnstein, 1985 Constitutional Learning Theory Constitutional cont. cont. Most influential and controversial now Multiple component theory based on gains and losses Conditioning creates conscience Time discounting leads to delayed gratification Equity/ getting what others get Constitutional factors(gender, IQ, physiological arousal, impulsivity) CLT continued again Emphasizes family and early school Teach attachment, long term horizon, and strong conscience Botched study of daycare Social Labeling Self­fulfilling Prophecy Primary and secondary deviance Scioto Village, CFC, CFM, NA, NX ...
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