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PSYC39H3 (177)


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David Nussbaum

PSYC39 –Psychology and Law: Lecture 4 Theories of Crime: Learning and Environment (Chapter 3) Monday, October 1, 2012 Theories  Psychodynamic theories (inner drives of individuals)  Learning theories (conditioning)  Social learning theories (social setting) Psychodynamic Theories of Crime Basic Psychodynamic Concepts  Humans are inherently anti-social; driven by pleasure-seeking and destructive impulses  Crime occurs when impulses are not adequately controlled Personality Systems  Id: pleasure principle; present at birth; represents primitive, instinctual desires  Ego: reality principle; suppresses id’s impulses, allows people to function in socially acceptable ways  Superego: conscience and ego-ideal; moral regulator; internalizes group standards Personality Development  Freud: psychosexual stages (oral, anal, phallic, latent, genital)  Problems in superego formation affect one’s behaviour  3 Hypothesized Sources of Criminal Behaviour: 1. Harsh superego: guilt; criminal behaviour as a way to invite punishment Does this make sense??? 2. Weak superego: failure to regulate the id Circularity? 3. Deviant superego: superego standards reflect deviant identification How does that happen? Bowlby’s Theory of Maternal Deprivation  Children need maternal care to develop normally OK  Lack of maternal care  the child does not develop means to control his conduct o Limited empirical support for this theory Juvenile Delinquency (Glueck and Glueck)  Parenting key in superego development  Delinquent families:  Negative parenting variables: o Lack of warmth, Emotional disturbances, Greater carelessness in supervision of children  Prediction of juvenile delinquency based on physical, attitudinal, psychological, socio-cultural data Hirschi’s Control Theories  Social Bond Theory: o People with well developed social bonds do not violate the law o Social bonds promote conformity o Types of social bonds:  Attachment  Commitment  Involvement  Belief Gottfredson & Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime  Level of self-control is determination of crime  Low self-control + opportunities to commit crimes  propensity to criminal behaviour  Level of self-control depends on quality of parenting in early years Learning Theories and Crime Classic Conditioning  Stimulus  response  Associative learning o Conditioning as a factor shaping human behaviour Eysenck’s Biosocial Theory of Crime  Individual differences in functioning of nervous system  Different degree of learning from environmental stimuli  Antisocial individuals are deficient in classical conditioning  (“conditionability”)  Conscience as set of classically conditioned emotional responses Operant Conditioning  Thorndyke’s “Law of effect”: o Behaviours followed by positive consequences will recur with greater frequency o Behaviours not followed by positive consequences will recur less frequently  Criminal behaviour is determined by its environmental consequences (reinforcements and punishments)  Factors impacting reinforcement/punishment effectiveness:  immediacy, consistency, intensity  What are the Definitions/Differences between: o Positive Reinforcement o Negative Reinforcement o Punishment  Different Types of Reinforcement and Punishment (and Their Associated Behavioural Outcomes) Stimulus Added Subtracted Pleasant Positive reinforcement Negative punishment Stimulus (behaviour increases) (behaviour decreases) Valence Aversive P
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