WDW205 Lecture 4

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Woodsworth College Courses
Jim Davies

WDW205 Lecture 4 10/01/2012 Biology, Psychology and Crime Biological Theories - Looking for particular traits increase the likelihood that one will be involved in crime o Looking at probabilities Foundations - Positivism (scientific method and empirical research) o Looking an individuals destiny is the outcome of ones individual trait - Cesare Lombroso (atavistic anomalies) o Individuals who engage in crime has not evolved to what regular human beings has o Studied prisoners, individuals who engage in crime shared similar traits, lean, tall, a lot of hair… etc.  Not a reliable source , too simplistic  Predetermination is still very popular today The Core Principles of Biosocial Theories - Genetic make-up contributes significantly to human behavior. Humans are not created equal - A focus on brain functioning and mental processes. Learning, mood and behavioral motivation are influenced by biochemistry and cellular interaction o What enhances or inhibits an individual - Instinct influences behavior. There is an innate human drive to possess and control others. o Evolution instincts, human beings are animals like any other animal o We have certain drives and instincts, impacts how we behavior o Drive for power and control over others Biochemical Factors and Crime - Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies. o Prisons with young offenders are controlling the diet intake o Shown a decline (positive relationship) between controlling the diet and discipline incidents over x amount of time - Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) o Depression mood swings, headaches anger management - Male hormone levels (the testosterone effect). High levels of testosterone: 1) lowers resting arousal levels; 2) lowers brain seizure levels; 3) right-ward shift in neocortical functioning and also the left side of the brain (empathy, love, understanding, artist traits) o High testosterone impacts the capacity and likelihood that you will engage in violent act o Those with higher levels of testosterone need more stimuli o Negative impact on human reasoning o Living, witness and not necessarily engaging in a violent act may increase ones testosterone level - Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) o Women are more likely to engage in violent during their premenstrual syndrome o Violent acts or engaging in violent can trigger the menstrual cycle - Allergies o Hay fever - Environmental Contaminants (lead, mercury, etc.) - Alcohol and drug use (the disinhibition effect) o About 80% of murders, high amounts of alcohol or drugs were in the system o Domestic assault, 80-90% high amounts of alcohol or drug were in the system o Alcohol has a higher correlation to violent acts Two explanations:  disinhibition effect: causes to do things that we would not normally do, fighting engaging in violence, intimacy o This explanation is not true among all cultures around the world, for example, elsewhere the consumption of alcohol leads to a much more peaceful environment o We can l
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