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PSYC 3402 (135)
Lecture

Textbook chapter 7 summary

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3402
Professor
Ralph Serin
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 7: violent offending: General violence and Homicide Defining Aggression and Violence  Human aggression has been defined as “any behavior directed towards another individual that is carried out with the immediate intent to cause harm.  Violence has been defined as “aggression that has extreme harm as its goal (ex: death)”. Prevalence of Violence  Violent crime account for approximately one in eight criminal incidents in Canada.  Robbery is often considered a violent offence because it involves at the very least an implied threat of violence.  Of all Canadian provinces, PEI had the lowest rate of robbery in 2007 and Manitoba had the highest.  Violent crime by youth (aged 12-17) has increased fairly steadily over the past 20 years.  General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization: reflects reports from the Canadian population aged 15 and older on their criminal victimization.  The reporting rates were highest for robbery, followed by physical assaults and sexual assaults. Victim Characteristics  Men were more likely to experience non-sexual violence than women, whereas women were more likely to experience sexual violence than men.  Excluding spousal violence, approximately half of violent crimes reported were committed by someone known to the victim (ex: friend, acquaintance).  Some characteristics associated with higher rates of violent victimization are being young, being single, often going out in the evening, and living in cities.  Violent victimization was considerably higher among 15-24 year old than older people in Canada. Hostile versus Instrumental Violence  Hostile Aggression: is an impulsive reaction to some real or perceived provocation or threat. o Example: an example is when a man who comes home early from work to find his wife in bed with another man, flies into a rage, and assaults the other man.  Instrumental aggression: which is premeditated and aimed at achieving some secondary goal. o Example: a man plans to rob another man leaving a bank. He demands the victim’s wallet. The victim refuses and the robber pushes him against a wall and punches him in the head and stomach a few times, again ordering him to hand over the wallet. Once he has the wallet, he leaves the victim alone. Explaining Violence Social Learning Theory  Theory of crime that suggests that people commit crime not only as a result of direct reinforcement for criminal behavior through a process of operant condition but also through vicarious reinforcement by observing others being rewarded for their criminal behavior.  Reinforcement increases the likelihood that a given behavior will occur, whereas punishment decreased the likelihood of its occurrence.  Bandura argues that people learn not only from direct experience, but also from observing the behavior of others and the outcomes of others’ behavior. General Aggression Model (GAM)  GAM is an integration of a number of smaller, more specific theories of aggressive behavior.  Shown in Figure 7.6 (pg:211) the GAM describes the processes involved in any one episode among an ongoing series of episodes of a social encounter. Risk Assessment Approaches  Unstructured clinical judgment: involves arriving at an estimate of risk based on the assessor’s own idiosyncratic decisions about what factors to consider and how to combine these factors.  Empirical actuarial instruments: the selection and combination of items are derived from their observed statistical relationship with recidivism. And tables liking scores to expected recidivism rates are provided  Mechanical instruments: the selection and combination of items are derived from theory or reviews of the empirical literature and no tables are provided  Structured professional judgment: incorporates features of both unstructured clinical judgment and actuarial approach. Instruments Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG)  VRAG: is an empirical actuarial risk-assessment instrument designed to estimate risk for violent recidivism. HCR- 20 Violence Risk Assessment Scheme  HCR-20: is a structured professional judgment instrument designed to assess risk for violence.  Consists of ten historical items, five clinical items, and five risk management items.  The historical items, which are static and reflect the past, include previous violence, young age at first violent incident, relationship instability, employment problems, major mental illness, psychopathy, early maladjustment, personality disorder, and prior supervision failure.  The clinical items, which are dynamic and reflect current functioning, include lack of insight, negative attitudes, active symptoms of major mental illness, impulsivity, and unresponsive to treatment.  The risk management items, which concern future circumstances that may be encountered in the institution or community that could increase or decrease risk, include feasibility of plans, exposure to destabilizers, lack of persona support, and stress. Self- Appraisal Questionnaire (SAQ)  SAQ: is a self report empirical actuarial risk-assessment instrument developed to estimate risk of violent and non-violent recidivism.  The SAQ consists of 67 self-report items that are grouped into 6 subscale
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