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Lecture 2

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Carleton University
PSYC 3402
Julie Blais

Know strength and limitations of theories for exams Study on “conditionability” by Rayne Will have to describe someone like Kip Kinkel’s behavior using one of the 3 theories Lecture 2 Assignment - Four documents: • Assignment Instructions (general purpose; specific formatting) • Dangerous Offender Assessment (first part of the offender profile – assume that you have written it) • Outline of Risk Assessment Report (headings for your assignment; specific instructions) • Reference Instructions (examples of references for lectures and textbook) What makes a good theory? - Agood theory of criminal behavior: • Parsimony  Something very clear and simple • Makes causative statements + identifies mediators and moderators  Good theory needs to be able to change (dynamic)  What is going to predict criminal behavior in the future  Mediators explains the relationship, and a moderators changes the relationship • Empirically based + accommodates new data • Falsifiable  It can be testable • Interdisciplinary compatibility • Respect for gender, ethnicity, and culture Historical theories - Franz Gall • Phrenology  If you touch a skull, it tells you about the underlying brain structure • Assumption: size of the “bumps” and “grooves” of the brain are indicative of the size of the brain regions underneath  Ex: destructiveness = bulge above the ear - Charles Darwin • The voyage of the Beagle • Natural selection: interaction with different environments (those that survive are those that best adapt to their environment) • Origin of Species • Descent of Man - Cesare Lombroso • Criminal Man • Some people are born with strong, innate predispositions to behave antisocially • Homo delinquens vs. homo sapiens  If you accept that human beings evolved from a lesser being then it is clear to say that some are not as evolved as others, and criminals thus are less evolved, we are further evolved than criminals • Physical abnormalities  Flattened nose, large ears, fat twisted lips, sloping forehead  Lesser evolved human beings • Lombroso’s taxonomy of criminals: (DON’T NEED TO KNOW THIS FOR EXAM) 1. Professional (crime as a trade) 2. Juridical (crime as impulsivity) 3. Passion (crime as intense love) 4. Criminaloids (crime due to bad examples) 5. Born criminal (crime as predisposition) - Francis Galton • Psychology of individual differences (variability and adaptation) • Pioneered that idea that tests could be used to measure differences between individuals • Focus was on intelligence • Eugenics  Having a better race/class of human beings by weeding out the bad • Founder of 'nature' vs. 'nurture'.  He believed environment had nothing to do with characteristics. Created words: direction and scatter plot • His belief that a higher class = had higher genes = was faulty Twin studies today - In a more recent analysis (Raine, 1993) summarizing 13 studies, 51.5% of MZ twins are concordant for crime and 20.6% of DZ twins - Conclusion at present is that heredity does play a role in (primarily non-violent) criminality but so does environment (adoption studies) Historical theories continued - William Herbert Sheldon Jr. • Proposed link between physical characteristics and personality (constitutional psychology) • Proposed 3 somatotypes:  Endomorph (fat and soft)  Mesomorph (muscular and hard) (more likely to be criminal)  Ectomorph (thin and fragile) • In 1939 Sheldon started examining link between delinquency and physique • Predicted that mesomorphs would be related to delinquency both because of their muscularity and need for adventure  Typical college man (4-4-4)  Delinquents tended to be heavily mesomorphic (and some endomorphs) Criticism of “psychology” - Psychology was criticized for: • Positivism  Only interested in what we can measure and see • Individualism  Identifying personal characteristics. Criticized for blaming the individual • Biologism  Phrenology and stuff relied too much on biology • Determinism  Looking for a simplistic cause to explain everything... ignoring human agency • Reductionism  Ignored society as a whole... Reduce to physical and ignore all other variables - Because of the criticism of psychology, a lot of sociologists came and looked at macro level Class-based sociological theory - Social class of origin is the main factor in the explanation of criminal behavior - Conflict theories/Marxist theories • Society is made up of competing groups (lower, middle, upper)  Assume that lower class commit more crime than upper and middle • Crime is inevitable when competing for resources and power • Crime is “created” by the dominant group to:  Restrict lower classes  Provide rationale for exercising control - Strain theories (Merton) • Also called “anomie” • Some societal groups have restricted access to material success (experience strain) • Resort to illegitimate means • Social location is the cause of crime • Conventional ambition expressed via innovation - Subculture theories • Focus is on young, urban, lower-class men (committing all of the crime) • Conformity to the social situation in which they find themselves • Devalue conventional routes to success and value hedonism and destruction • Criminal behavior = conformity  Part of an unconventional group and in pursuit of own values that don’t match ours Summary: sociology - Sociological theories: • Place the person’s status in the socio-economic structure as MAIN cause for criminal activity • Major assumption: people from lower class commit more crime than those of middle or upper class Why psychology? - Two goals: • Study human behavior and experience, discovering (replicable) patterns that permit generalizations • Understand individuals and what makes each unique - CJS imposes sanctions on the individual (not groups) Historical theories continued - Sigmund Freud • Psychodynamic perspectives  Personality is primarily unconscious  Personality develops in stages  Early experiences: usually emphasized • Psychoanalytic theory  Freud’s psychodynamic perspective • Freud’s structures of personality:  External environment: the immediate situation of action  Id: instincts (entirely unconscious)  Pleasure principle (no contact with reality)  Wants what it wants, and wants it now  Ego: deals with demands of reality (partly conscious)  Reality principle (bringing pleasure within the norms of society)  Says: buy girl dinner before sex... lol  Superego: deals with morality (social conscience)  Don’t approach a girl just because you want sex. Everything is an internal struggle Freud’s stages of development - Oral pleasure centers on the mouth (first 18 months) • Improper breast feeding. Explains smokers - Anal greatest pleasure involves the anus of the anus’eliminative functions (18-36 months) • Fixation with own feces. Sexually deviant interest. ‘Dirty potty humor’. - Phallic pleasure focuses on the genitals (3-6 years) • Wanting the opposite sex parent. Oedipus complex/Electra complex - Latency child represses all interest in sexuality (6-puberty) • Make friends with others. Might bond strongly to parents if not. - Genital the source of sexual pleasure becomes someone outside of the family (adolescence and adulthood) • Find an opposite sex partner to have a healthy sexual relationship Development of structures - Freudian theory postulates that the proper development of personality structures depends on warmth, care, and attention IN COMBINATION with supervision, direct training, and direct modeling (this is healthy) - Skill developmentAND moral development - Environmental barriers to unhealthy development: • Extreme neglect and abuse • Extreme permissiveness and unconditional warmth • Moral training without warmth Traditional psychodynamic theory Psychoanalysis and criminal behavior - Development of the SUPEREGO: • Harsh  Intense superego. So intensely guilty they want to be punished.  Environment barriers: moral training without warmth • Weak  Weak superego never developed properly. Low empathy. Little emotion. Care only about self. Commit crime because they want to.  Environment barriers: extreme neglect and abuse • Deviant  Superego develops based on what they see/are exposed to. Model self after a criminal. Associate with a deviant model.  Environment barriers: extreme permissiveness and unconditional warmth Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation - John Bowlby - Criminal behavior is a consequence of early separation from caregivers (6 months – 3 years) - Separation prevents effective social development from taking place - Without effective social development, individual experiences long term problems in positive social relationships (lack of socialization/conscience) - Bowlby (1944) studied 44 juvenile thieves and a matched control group of non- delinquent children - Results: • 39% of delinquent group had experienced complete separation from mother for 6 months or more in first 5 years of life • 5% of children in non-delinquent group experienced this - Some limited empirical support, but: • Methodological issues (ex: matching of experimental and control groups) • Children form attachments with more than one adult (ex: grandparent) • What about children who were maternally deprived but did not become delinquents? • How do we measure someone’s conscience (or ego, or id)? Glueck and Glueck (1950) - Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck - Proposed a “tentative causal formula” for crime and delinquency - Based on empirical data collected using cross-sectional and longitudinal methodology - Focus was on personalAND environmental variables - Experiment: • 500 delinquent boys and 500 non-delinquent boys • Matched on age, race, type of neighborhood, intelligence • Social, psychological, and biological information for each boy from interviews with the boys, their parents, and their teachers - Mesomorph energetic and physical - Delinquent have higher mesomorph, restlessness, inattention, and lower self-control - Antisocial attitudes (first 4) - More traditional psychodynamic variables (last 6) - Primary cause of delinquency was parenting factors: • “The development of a mentally hygienic and properly oriented superego (conscience) must have been greatly hampered by the kind of parental ideals, attitudes, temperaments, and behavior found to play such a major role on the family stage of the delinquents” (Glueck and Glueck 1950, p. 281) - Reasonable support, but: • Causal ordering of variables (do they precede delinquency?) • Methodological weaknesses (ex: base rate needed for a causal model) • Omission of key variables in their explanation: anti-social associates and misconduct in school Hirschi’s control theory - An attempt to explain what controls peoples’behavior and why they choose to conform to conventional norms - 4 social bonds that promote conformity: • Attachment to prosocial others • Commitment to conventional pursuit • Involvement in conventional pursuit • Belief in validity of the law - The stronger these bonds the less likely one is to become involved in crime - Criticisms: • Causal ordering (ex: delinquency and school attachment) • Attachment to peers can lead to crime • Some bonds (ex: attachment) more important than others • Power of certain bonds varies across age and gender General theory of crime - Gottfredson and Hirschi’s theory: • Theory to
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