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PSYC39H3 (172)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Naussbaum

PSYC39 TEXTBOOK NOTES CHAPTER ONE  The results of Canadians show that they believe that government info having moderate influence and academic contributions as having none  Criminal psych is interested in intra-individual differences that include variations in criminal conduct within an individual across time and situations, as well as inter- individual differences that are variations in criminal conduct between individuals  Forensic psychology: application of psychology to the legal system  Criminological/correctional psychology: study of criminal behaviour  Younger males are more likely to be involved in criminal behaviour, and crime decreases with increased age (called crime desistance)  Criminal behaviour refers to intentional behaviour that violates a criminal code; intentional in that it did not occur accidentally or without justification of excuse  Central eight: risk/need factors that are most important in understanding criminal behaviour  Within the group above, is the BIG FOUR, these are the major casual variables in the analysis of the criminal behaviour of individuals. Pg 11  Minor risk factors: certain variables previously considered important correlates of crime in sociological theory have proven to be relatively unimportant  Moderate risk factors: apart of the central eight but are not major correlates  The confidence interval for the minor risk factors include 0.00 which indicates that on average there is no relationship between these predictor variables and criminal behaviour  Criminogenic: the major risk factors are empirically related to criminal conduct and when reduced, lead to reductions in future re-offending  Alcohol is more related to interpersonal crimes such as assaults and homicides, whereas drugs are more related to acquisitive violence such as robbery  If criminals that are send out for parole, statutory release after two-thirds of their sentence is complete, and they commit a crime, and are sentenced to jail for less than 2 years, they will still go to federal jail  Crime severity index: tracks changes in severity of police-reported crime from year to year by taking into account not only the change in volume of a particular crime, but also the relative seriousness of that crime in comparison to others  The specific weight for any given type of offence consists of two parts; the first is the incarceration rate for that offence type. This is the proportion of people convicted of the offence who are sentenced to time in prison. Second, is the average length of the prison sentence given, in days, for the specific type of offence  Rates of being a victim of property crime increased from 75 per 1000 population to 93 per 1000 population  The shorter the sentence received by the offender, the less time available for comprehensive assessments and participation in prison-based programming prior to their return to the community  Crime increases as you go more the west and the north  Canada’s incarceration rate is 108 per 100 000  In Canada there are about 115 provincial correctional facilities and 58 federal facilities  Approximately 2.6 million reported crimes annually, the greatest proportion of which are property crimes  Pg 27 CHAPTER TWO  A theory identifies causal mechanism, and corresponding mediators and moderators underlying the phenomenon of interest, is testable and hence falsifiable via hypotheses and predictions, is based on empirical data and is modified in response to new data, possesses interdisciplinary compatibility, and respects gender, ethnicity and culture  Franz Gall was the founding father of phrenology- the relationship between the shape and size of a person’s head, and their personality, mental ability, and behaviours  Criminals possessed sloping foreheads, and twisted lips – called atavisms  Eugenics: the theory that was ultimately responsible not only for the forced sterilization of thousands of individuals deemed “unfit” to reproduce in USA during the early 20 th century, but also for the atrocities that occurred under Hitler – forced abortion, sterilization and death camps  Every human shares about 99% if their DNA sequence with the rest of the human species  Heritability coefficient: stat that represents the proportion of phenotypic variance in a given behaviour in a sample/population that can be attributed to genetic variation among individuals  If both the biological and adoptive parents have a criminal record, then 24.5% of adopted sons are likely to be criminals  Genetic effects are higher in females then males (.41 vs .38)  There is a clear link between genes and antisocial behaviour  Monoamine oxidase A is responsible for metabolizing or breaking down neurotransmitters like NE, Serotonin and DA  Over 80% of youth classified as having low MAOA activity and as being severely maltreated were classified as conduct disorder  Low0activity of MAOA when combined with early traumatic life events, exacerbates an person’s propensity toward physical aggression  The low levels of MAOA is only expressed in the presence of certain environmental cues such as childhood abuse or provocation  Testosterone is a hormone of the androgens family  Aggression actually causes testosterone levels to rise or that some additional third mediating variable is accounting for the effect  Serotonin is produced from amino acid, tryptophan. It is not produced naturally within the body but must be obtained from the diet  Cerebro-spinal fluid studies are considered the most reliable method of measuring serotonin levels  5HT levels are soo much lower in antisocial individuals, this was even greater for those under the age of 30  High levels of 5HT found in the blood are indicative of low brain serotonin levels  NE is related to increasing of HR and BP, therefore it can be correlated with aggression  Brain structure is measured through MRI and CT, whereas brain function is measured by PET and SPECT  Psychopaths have functional deficits in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe (emotion related), hippocampus, parietal lobe, and the cingulated gyrus (joins right and left hemispheres)  Manganese is known to impact 5HT and DA levels and alter the levels of MAO enzyme  distal explanations ask questions about function and adaptation for an entire species  proximal ask how the behaviour develops over an organism’s lifespan, questioning causation and development at the individual level  Life history theory: explain risk-taking and antisocial behaviour among two offender groups: the life-course persistent offender and the adolescent limited offender. Seeks to explain how various selection pressures and or adaptive problems faced by our ancestors shaped the development of the present-day psychological mechanisms responsible for directing allocation strategies  frequency dependence selection is used to explain psychopathy  homicide is explain through notion of male-male competition  parental investment and mating effort theories are used to explain gender differences in crime  Life course persistent offenders being committing antisocial acts prior to adolescence and continue well into adulthood. Male: female 10:1  Adolescent limited offenders engage in milder forms of antisociality that start at puberty and end in late adolescence or early adulthood. Male: female 1.5:1  high mating effort is correlated with risk-taking and antisocial behaviours in both genders  embodied capital: intrinsic abilities such as health, skills, strength, speed, attractiveness which translate into enhanced reproductive fitness  age catalyzes adolescent limited behaviour, low embodied capital and negative environmental cues catalyze life course persistent behaviour  frequency dependent selection: reproductive success of a particular morph relative to another morph depends on its frequency (phenotypic expression) in a given population  psychopaths are distinct from life course persistent offenders because they don’t suffer from low embodied capital and thus are not competitively disadvantaged in a reproductive sense  there is no genetic marker found for psychopathy  a man’s reputation depends largely on his ability to maintain a credible threat of violence  homicide is an evolutionary byproduct of the more compassing, evolved mechanisms of violence and aggression that occurs in response to environmental cues or threats to status/reputation  property offences reflect women’s attempts to provision themselves while violence reflects female-females competition for provisioning makes  poverty is a necessary precursor to female crime CHAPTER THREE  from a psychodynmatic perspective, humans are thought to be inherently antisocial, driven by pleasure-seeking and destructive impulses. Crime happens when these impulses aren’t controlled  the id is thought to be governed by the pleasure principle which states that it seeks immediate pleasure with little consideration of the undesirable consequences that may result if an impulse is acted upon  the ego is thought to be governed by the reality principle which states that its development coincides with the emergence of reality-oriented thinking and it allows the id to function in socially acceptable ways by suppressing the id’s impulses until appropriate situations arise  the superego is made of two sub-systems: the conscience, which allows an individual to distinguish between right and wrong and forces the ego to inhibit id pursuits that are out of line with one’s morals, and the ego-ideal, which represents the socially accepted standards to which we all aspire  people have an anal personality is the person is unable to resolve conflicts encountered in the anal stage of development  LOOK AT TABLE 3.1  The development of criminals is explained by a development of a harsh, weak or deviant superego  Neurotic criminal: individual who commits crime as a result of a harsh superego. Leads to pathological levels of unconscious guilt and criminal behaviour is meant to subconsciously invite punishment in an attempt to resolve this guilt. Normally associated with psychopathic personality  When one has a deviant superego, they identify with a deviant role model. Eg. When criminal parents have a good relationship with the son and he grows up to be a mirror image of them  Theory of maternal deprivation: young children require consistent and continuous maternal care in order for them to develop normally  The parents of delinquents had a greater incidence of emotional disturbances, mental retardation, alcoholism, and criminality , less educated, less likely to stay together and less ambitious  Hirschi’s control theory views all humans as having the potential to exhibit antisocial behaviour  Social control theory: the reason why people don’t violate the law is because of social controls or the bond of the individual to society. The four types of bond that promote socialization and conformity are attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief  Delinquent acts result when an individual’s bond to society is weak or broken  If there are strong relationships with others, then one doesn’t jeopardize these commit such acts  According to Hirschi, commitment serves the same theoretical value as the ego  Involvement: the time and energy one spends taking part in activities that are in line with the conventional interests of the society  The belief section entails with the superego part  Hirschi believed that attachment presence or absence was important, not whether the peers were involved in delinquent acts  Attachment to peers is thought to lead to conformity only when the peers are not delinquent  General theory of crime: self control, internalized early in life, is the primary determinant of crime. Emphasizes effective monitoring of children’s behaviour, recognition of deviant behaviour when it occurs, and consistent and proportionate punishment  Some psychologist believe that behaviour is learnt. It is referred to a change in pre- existing behaviour or mental processes that occurs as a result of experience  Learning theories of crime assume that there is no natural, no inherent, impulse to act antisocially  Biosocial theory of crime: crime can be explained by individual differences in the functioning of the nervous system, which impacts the degree to which people learn from environmental stimuli such as parental discipline. Believe that criminals are deficient with respect to classical conditioning or conditionability, a process he thought was important in the socialization or conscience-building process  FIGURE 3.1  Positive reinforcement: behaviour is followed by a pleasant stimulus that increases the frequency of that behaviour  Negative reinforcement: behaviour is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus therefore increasing the behaviour  Positive punishment: behaviour is followed by an aversive stimulus, therefore decreasing the behaviour  Negative punishment: behaviour is followed by the removal of a pleasant stimulus resulting in a decrease of that behaviour  For an increase or decrease in behaviour, there are three factors that must occur: immediacy is important in that the sooner the reinforcement (or punishment) follows the targeted behaviour, the more likely that behaviour will be to increase. Second, consistency is a crucial variable to consider, the more often the consequence follows the targeted behaviour, the more effect the consequence will be. Finally, the intensity of consequence is an important factor that partly determines how effective the consequence will be in increasing or decreasing behaviour  Jeffery proposed that whether someone commits crime depends on whether the individual has been reinforced for similar behaviour in the past. What matters most is if the reinforcing stimulus associated with previous criminal behaviour outweighs the aversive stimuli associated with that behaviour  The learning theories underemphasize: the role of internal processes in the learning of criminal behaviour and the important role that social context plays in the learning process, in particular learning that occurs by observing others  Differential association theory: Sutherland believed that crime could be explained by leaning in social contexts through interactions and communication, person is influenced by the norms present in the particular groups to which one belongs  Differential association theory can be described as:  Criminal behaviour is learnt  Criminal behaviour is leaned in interaction with other person in a process of communication  Principal part of the leaning of criminal behaviour occurs within intimate personal groups  When criminal behaviour is learned, the learning includes techniques of committing the crime and the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalization and attitudes  The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal code as favourable or unfavourable  Person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favourable to violations of the law over definitions unfavourable to violations of the law  Differential associations vary in freq, duration, intensity and priority  Process of learning criminal behaviour by association within criminal and anticriminal patterns involves mechanisms that are involved in any other learning  Criminal behaviour is an expression of general needs and values, it isn’t explained by those general needs and values since non-criminals behaviour is an expression of the same needs and values  Differential association-reinforcement theory: criminal behaviour is learned through a process of operant conditioning  Vicarious learning depends on what we think about what we see and hear  Common argument is that social learning theory places too much weight on antisocial peer associations while ignoring other potentially important sources of reinforcement for antisocial behaviour  Personal, interpersonal, and community-reinforcement theory (PIC-R): incorporates ideas on the role of socialization in the development of antisocial attitudes, self-control in resisting temptations in the immediate situation, classical/operant conditioning in shaping criminal and non-criminal behaviour, and observational learning, especially in the context of peer groups, as a way of picking up on the many rewards and costs that can be associated with crime  Criminal behaviour is to be under the control of both antecedent and consequent events  Four sources are viewed as important: the individual, other peoples, the act itself, and other aspects of the situation  The SES influence behaviour by establishing the fundamental reward and cost contingencies that are in effect within various social settings and communities CHAPTER FOUR  There are two things to make Canada safer: greater rehab and greater punishment  Custody classification: method by which incarcerated offenders are assigned to security level, Canadian assessm
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