CRIM1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Child Protection, Panel Data, Griffith University

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27 Jun 2018
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Lecture 5: Psychological Factors & Criminal Behaviour (free will vs determinism)
IQ – the old and new stuff"
Personality – does it predict criminality?"
Personality disorders & psychopathy"
Impulsivity "
Mental illness"
Predictions of criminality"
Feeblemindedness, IQ & Crime
Henry Goddard (1914) (American Engineer) used the newly developed Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
He assumed ‘feeblemindedness’ was below 75 & found that a majority of inmates were
‘feebleminded’ "
Argued there is a link between feeblemindedness and criminality, and the solution is to
institutionalize low IQ oenders AND prevent reproduction (eugenics)"
NOTE: Goddard’s later study of army draftees indicated high levels of ‘feeblemindedness.’
Goddard then changed his mind, saying that other factors must be considered"
Conclusion: “Feeblemindedness” might be remedied by education
Where did “IQ” come from?
Binet received his law degree in 1878 - Self-taught in psychology"
Colleague was Theodore Simon (1873-1961)"
Subsequently studied natural sciences at the Sorbonne"
Professionally isolated"
Horrified when he found out his IQ test was being used in the US as part of the eugenics
movement"
Binet and Simon’s definition of intelligence "
“"It seems to us that in intelligence there is a fundamental faculty, the alteration or the lack of
which, is of the utmost importance for practical life. This faculty is judgment, otherwise called
good sense, practical sense, initiative, the faculty of adapting one's self to circumstances. A
person may be a moron or an imbecile if he is lacking in judgment; but with good judgment he
can never be either. Indeed the rest of the intellectual faculties seem of little importance in
comparison with judgment" "
Stanford Binet IQ Test (SB)
The best and most popular intelligent test is a Cognitive ability assessment used to measure
intelligence (IQ)"
The Stanford-Binet measures five factors of cognitive ability: "
1. Fluid Reasoning, 2. Knowledge, 3. Quantitative Reasoning, 4. Visual-Spatial Processing, and 5.
Working Memory. "
Each of these factors is tested in two separate domains, verbal and nonverbal."
The test includes 60 questions and it is scored automatically after 40 minutes."
27 Dimensions of the Contemporary IQ Test, including "
"Le Regard" - coordination in the movement of the head and the eyes which is associated with
the act of vision"
Prehension Provoked by a Tactile Stimulus"
Prehension Provoked by a Visual Perception"
Immediate Comparison of Two Lines of Unequal Lengths "
Naming of Designated Objects"
Verbal Knowledge of Pictures"
Recognition of Food"
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Execution of Simple Commands and Imitation of Simple Gestures"
Quest of Food Complicated by a Slight Mechanical Diculty (ie wrapped lolly)"
Synthesis of Three Words in One Sentence"
Five Weights to be Placed in Order "
Resemblances of Several Known Objects Given from Memory"
Comparison of Lengths"
Drawing a Design from Memory"
Verbal Definition of Known Objects"
Ways of Interpreting IQ "
Innate: IQ measures some form of ability, and ability is inherited and stable over the life course. "
Culturally relative: IQ measures qualities related to the dominant culture "
Environment relative: IQ measures general abilities that are influenced by environment"
Does low IQ CAUSE delinquency? NO."
Travis Hirschi and Michael J Hindelang
- Criticized the many theories of delinquency that implicitly or explicitly use IQ as a crucial
theoretical explanatory variable of delinquency"
- Hirschi and Hindelang showed that IQ does NOT have a direct impact on CAUSING delinquency"
- The causal eect of IQ on delinquency is mediated through a host of school variables (access
to school)"
-The indirect IQ eect on delinquency is independent of class and race"
Hirschi’s early 1960s work: Social Bond Theory -> Social Control, with 4 elements (Attachment, Commitment,
Involvement, Belief)"
Hirschi and Hindelang were colleagues at the State University of New York in Albany (upstate New York) – self reported
delinquency project"
Hirschi had previously been at UC Davis, where he met Michael Gottfredson (son of Don Gottfredson) – they later wrote
a General Theory of Crime, focusing on self control and age"
Hindelang was at Albany when Rob Sampson and John Laub were there, heavily influenced them"
Mercer’s Critique of IQ: Cultural Bias
180 Latino and 180 non-Latinos in Riverside, California"
8 socio-cultural variables including: Mother’s participation in formal organisations, living in
segregated neighbourhoods, home language level, socio economic status (including education
and occupation), urbanisation, mother’s achievement, home ownership, intact biological family)"
Results: taking cultural factors into account, there is no relationship between IQ and delinquency"
Herrnstein and Murray: (discredited)"
he average genetic IQ of the United States is declining, owing to the tendency of the more
intelligent to have fewer children than the less intelligent"
Stephen Jay Gould:
“the book contains no new arguments and presents no compelling data to support its
anachronistic social Darwinism… the authors omit facts, misuse statistical methods, and seem
unwilling to admit the consequence of their own words"
The (James) Flynn Eect – RISING IQ over time (a New Zealander)"
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Intellectual Disability and the CJS
Those with intellectual deficits -- IQ less than 79 -- are over-represented as oenders Australian
prisons "
(may be caught more often, may not have the intellectual ability to get away from crime)"
Estimates: as many as 25% of people appearing in court for criminal oences may have
intellectual deficits "
Summary of ‘IQ & Crime’
Be very careful interpreting IQ tests"
IQ tests fail to factor in environmental and cultural factors"
There is no DIRECT relationship between IQ and delinquency"
School factors and opportunities are the most important explanatory factor"
Personality- Does it predict Criminality? Personality disorders & psychopathy
Personality is the set of emotional & behavioural attributes that remain relatively stable in
individuals as they move from situation to situation. "
Aspects of personality linked to crime (in theory): impulsivity, extroversion/charisma, low self-
control, lack of acceptance of authority, amorality "
Debates for years that dierentiate personality traits and personality disorders – no consensus"
Personality Traits (PTs, also called dispositions) -
habitual patterns of behaviour, thought, and emotion.
PTs are relatively stable over time, differ across
individuals and influence behaviour
Cardinal traits - dominate and shape a person's
behaviour - ruling passions such as a need for money,
fame etc.
Central traits - (e.g. honesty) characteristics found in
some degree in every person
Secondary traits - seen only in certain circumstances ie
likes or dislikes that a very close friend may know
Traits are often on a spectrum (e.g. extraversion vs
introversion
Personality Disorders (PDs) -
deeply ingrained and enduring
behaviour patterns
PDs manifest themselves as
inflexible responses to a broad
range of personal and social
situations
Represent extreme or significant
deviations from the way the
average individual in a given
culture perceives, thinks, feels
and relates to others
They are seen as developmental
conditions, appearing in
childhood or adolescence and
continue into adulthood
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Document Summary

Lecture 5: psychological factors & criminal behaviour (free will vs determinism) Henry goddard (1914) (american engineer) used the newly developed intelligence quotient (iq). He assumed feeblemindedness" was below 75 & found that a majority of inmates were. Argued there is a link between feeblemindedness and criminality, and the solution is to institutionalize low iq o enders and prevent reproduction (eugenics) Note: goddard"s later study of army draftees indicated high levels of feeblemindedness. ". Goddard then changed his mind, saying that other factors must be considered. Binet received his law degree in 1878 - self-taught in psychology. Horri ed when he found out his iq test was being used in the us as part of the eugenics movement. "it seems to us that in intelligence there is a fundamental faculty, the alteration or the lack of which, is of the utmost importance for practical life.

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