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Lecture 19

Lecture 19

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2400
Professor
Adelle Forth
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 19- Caleb Lloyd- Exiting Crime Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - Ted Bundy and Dr. James Dobson - www.pureintimacy.org o Watch him go from prolific serial killer to ex-offender, Christian, crime- free o Completely reformed o This interview was 24 hours before execution, so it wasn’t really a miraculous conversion o Someone wrote that if he really had changed, he would have spent the last 24 hours working with the police (Anne Rule)—she said he was convincing, but not genuine o Suspicion of change—we don’t expect the most serious offenders to change in any way o But Ted Bundy is an extreme example—maybe for other offenders - Finish the sentence: “I wouldn’t mind if Col. Russell Williams moved next door if he ...” o Your typical offender isn’t necessarily someone you need to be afraid about living next to you - Age-crime curve o Surprising that we don’t talk more about change o Positive message in data—short increase in crime around 18-25, then sharp decline o Essentially seeing that by 25-35, most people stop doing crime o Average criminal career is around 6 years (some say 17 years, but there’s variation) o Not a lifetime of crime o Maximum 30 years of being active in crime (might only be one crime every three years) o **Although psychopaths tend to desist later (30-40 year time period) - How does age affect crime? o Decline in physical strength—too weak o Lost contact with antisocial peers  Differential Association theory • Associating with better people as you age o Maturation  A kind of unexplained, late puberty? o Change in social/institutional environment  Social bonds, connections to others  Steady job, loving woman o Cognitive changes/changes in subjective view of crime - Other, not so positive reasons o Learning to evade detection o Change to legal antisocial activities (ex. Burglaries to girlfriend’s stolen cheques) o Ongoing antisocial behaviour doesn’t lead to arrest - Mechanisms behind desistance o Burn out—physical ageing  Drug offenders—you have about a 7 year street life—as younger generation comes in, eliminate older people—more dangerous to be on the streets  Property offender- not as quick  50% of active people in worse condition than 5 years ago, but only 20% of desisting felt the same way (felt stronger, but giving up crimes)  **Also due to abstaining from drugs o Genius-age link  Like the age-crime curve  Scientific productivity at 18-25, drops  If you haven’t gotten productive by 35, you’ll never do so  Same for jazz musicians, authors, artists  Tech giants—founders’ ages—strong productivity from 20-32  Similar across different professions  Looked at female curves—didn’t do the same thing—some contributions made later in life  He suggested competitive effort o Evolutionary process  Competitive effort  Competing for females—some are musicians, some are criminals  Tied to reproductive success - But is it the same for everybody? o Where are the individual differences?  Doesn’t everyone burn out?  Other biological changes—neurotransmitters changing, etc. o Different trajectories in the curve  Lots of different types of curves  Adolescent-limited, and low-level chronics, and high-level chronics (psychopaths), late-onset (start after 20s)  Around 70% of offenders follow the up-down curve  50% are in process of desisting (more positive point of view)  Age of onset important predictor—people start at different times, but end at around the same time—so it affects how long criminal career lasts  Initial severity level—will be involved in crime much later  No smooth lines—criminal behaviour is very sporadic - If some offenders desist while others persist? What differentiates them? o Depression symptoms as people go through cognitive-behavioural therapy o Factors (pessimism, perfectionism, etc.)—predict depression o Tracked across 12 session treatment—risk factors didn’t actually predict who changed—strength factors (hope, social support) predicted how people changed o **Same thing should happen with criminals—risk factors would say how bad they are in criminality, but dont’ necessarily say how they’ll change - Desistance from crime can happen, unless you’re in risk o These people are putting active effort into giving up crime o Desistance can’t occur without history of crime o But early criminal history variables don’t predict what’s happening over time o Offenders themselves report different risk/desistance factors  Criminal friends get me into crime  Relationship with significant other got me out - What are the strengths? o Adult opportunities/variables  The things we see that get people out of crime usually happening around early to middle adulthood (when they desist)  Substance abuse recovery  Employment  Marriage  Shifts in thinking/beliefs  **Typical for people, criminal or not o Substance abuse  Giving up substances often key part of giving up crime  Requires a lot of strength/effort  We don’t understand how they do that, but it’s a big shift  Internal and external resources/strengths o Desistance and life factors  Employment  Marriage • Graph: people more likely to get married, less likely to be in crime • These things definitely seem to be going together—the likelihood of marriage increases at same time as likelihood of crime decreases  Marriage and desistance • Differential association o Losing contact with antisocial peers o Wife keeps you at home when friends try to drag you out • Social control theory o Stakes in conformity o If I mess up, everything will go to shit o I have a stake in conventional living o Want to stay involved for the rewards • **Quality of marital attachment** o Relationship quality is highly important o Not just any relationship o Only enduring marriages have that effect (crime actually goes up if marriage lasts 2 years, post- divorce effect)—marriage at least 5 years shows decrease • Marriage and drug use o Drug use decreases over time—married people decrease more, living with partner decrease less, single even less o Married and high satisfaction even better than low satisfaction (and both of these are better
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