Psychological - Psychological / Genetic Theories The above...

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Psychological / Genetic Theories The above examples broadly outline the basic theoretical drift of biological theories of deviance. Genetic theories of deviance, on the other hand, tend to argue that there is a direct causal connection between such things as an individual's genetic make-up and predisposition’s towards types of behaviour that are likely to be defined as deviant or criminal in any society. Hans Eysenck , for example, has proposed that there is a connection between " extrovert personalities " and criminal behaviour. According to Eysenck, extroverts are personality types who "act impulsively. ..crave excitement. ..take risks" and so forth. Such genetic theorists do not necessarily claim that an individual's genes cause criminal behaviour, as such. Rather, they argue that such personality types are more predisposed to behave in ways that lay them open to criminal sanctions. Thus, the extrovert personality could quite easily find ways of behaving that are quite socially-acceptable (such as in the business world, for example, where the extrovert entrepreneur may well be an admired figure). Extrovert personalities, therefore, involve a genetic imperative (that is, a command that has to be obeyed) that forces people to behave in particular ways - "risk taking" by cutting corners, going after the things they desire in ways that may infringe moral and legal codes of conduct and so forth. This idea of “not always playing by society’s rules” may bring the extrovert into conflict with social norms / laws. Criminality, in this sense, is seen as a combination of genetically-determined personality type and socially-created definitions of crime and deviance. A number of problems are apparent with the above: 1. In the first place, genetic explanations of human behaviour are simply unproven hypotheses , where the onus is upon the theorist to demonstrate empirically (that is, using factual evidence) the nature of the relationship between genes and behaviour.
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Psychological - Psychological / Genetic Theories The above...

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