WDW205 Lecture 5

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Woodsworth College Courses
Jim Davies

WDW205 Lecture 5 10/15/2012 Biology, Psychology and Crime Test Info: - know particular trends - Studying findings, what are the findings that support and bring the theory into questions - Policy implications, short answers: can be in point form: Week 1, 5 questions, Week 2, 6 questions, Week 3, 5 questions, Week 4, 7 questions, Week 5, 7 questions Psychological Theories - Attempts to understand the psychological processes that motivate crime - a focus on individual mental functioning o Psychodynamic / psychoanalytic o Behavioral o Cognitive The Psychoanalytic Perspective - Focus on early childhood experiences. o Major destructions can have a profound impact on behavior - Contributions of Sigmund Freud - The preconscious, conscious and unconscious mind. - The ID, Ego and Superego - Developmental stages (oral stage, anal stage and genital stage). o Any destructions can impact developmental stages - Neuroses (afraid to lose control) o Feelings of guilt at an early stage may result in committing physical crime - Psychotics (have lost control). o Stuck at the ID stage of develops, the drive for desires o Lack of self control, lack of apathy, can act in a criminal behavior without feeling guilt - Freud and guilt - Case by case analysis; psychodynamic Theories Influenced by Freud - Alfred Adler (Inferiority Complex) the idea because of early hood destructions, one would want to over come this inferiority - Erik Erikson (Identity Crisis) who am I - August Aichorn (latent delinquency) poorly developed conscious mind, ego or superego, lack of self control and apathy leading to criminality Behavior Theories - Human behavior is learned - Focus on rewards and punishments - Crime is not necessarily abnormal or immature • Crime can be perfectly normal - Children learn from adult role models - if they observe parental crime and violence in their youth, they are more likely to repeat this behavior Three Main Influences - Family - Immediate neighborhood – peers - The media (exposure) • The vast majority of our population is exposed to extremely violent media over the past week • If violence was caused by media exposure we should become a much more violence society then crime dropping • Violent media is much more accessible, but more safer • Certain members of our society may be more vulnerable to media violence than others (those who spend/grow up with the television with the absence of parental discretion) What Triggers Violence? - An event that heightens arousal - Aggressive skills • Experience - Expected positive outcomes • Reward - Pro-violence attitudes or beliefs • Learned behaviors and attitudes, therefore learn criminal behavior Cognitive Theories - Focus on mental functioning and the way people mentally represent the world around them. - Moral and Intellectual Development Theory (psychopathology). • All individuals go through different stages, a low level of moral development is controlled by the fear of punishment • Not to engage in crime because it is morally right, free of violence, thus higher level of reasoning • The lower your state the more likely hood you are to engage in crime • Social environments and how you are shaped - Personality and Crime (psychopathology). - IQ and Crime. • People with low IQs are not able to reason their way out of violent applications • IQ is related to success in legitimate society Biosocial and Psychological theories: policy options - A focus on the individual criminal. Each case is unique – social influences are de-emphasized. - Rise of the “treatment” industry (medical specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, drug treatment experts, councilors, etc.). - The intensive use of pharmaceuticals. Criticism of Biosocial and Psychological Theories - Race and social class bias - a focus on violent and sexual crimes. Can’t adequately explain other forms of criminality - Ignores social factors that might explain crime - Cant account for changes in crime over time and place - Problems with research methods (small sample sizes, lack of proper control variables, etc) Economics, Social Strain and Crime The Class-Crime Relationship - is there an empirical relationship between social class and crime? - Does the type of data used- police data, survey data, prison data etc., explain the class-crime relationship?
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