Psychology of Crime
September 21, 2012
Week 2, Friday
Lack of attachment:
attachment: quality of relationship between parent and child. Child's view. “Can I go to my mom with
problems or will she disappear?”
Basic trust comes from attachment with mom and dad
Empathy does too, and to be able to regulate one's behaviour
MaryAinsworth: Strange situation- youtube link on slides.
Lack of attachment:
Secure: Child feels secure in parents presence, distressed when parent leaves but delighted by their
return (best outcome later on)
(anxious/ambivalent) Child is very distressed by seperation but may be indifferent or hostile when
Avoidant: Child is indifferent about both separation and return, avoids parent.
Attachment is important because it's their first strong intimate relationship that they have and that they
learn to trust other people, using that skill in later life as well.
Stalkers tend to have insecure relationships with parents when younger, and are afraid to let a person go
due to unreliable parenting.
Empathy two dimensions
Emotional response, feelings of concern, desire to alleviate distress.
Ability to experience another person's emotions “step into someone else's shoes”
*Deficiencies closely linked to antisocial behaviour.
Cannot feel the victims pain.
ability to cognitively understand another person's emotions.
Able to reason what someone would feel in a particular situation.
Cognitive empathy is not related to criminal behaviour.
Ted bundy was very good at this- fake injury and ask woman to help load groceries into his car, when
they helped- he would hit them over the head and put them in his car.
He did not have affective empathy. (affective empathy is related to anti-social behaviour) “Roots of Empathy” Training in Classrooms
Usually for grade one, they bring a baby into the class, and have the kids relate to the baby and try to
take the perspective of the child.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ test)
Delinquents as a group score lower on standard IQ tests.
As IQ decreases, probability of misconduct increases.
Average IQ is 100, as you decrease from 100 you're more likely to be delinquent.
Indirect link to crime:
Low IQ --> poor school performance, negative attitudes --> school failure, peer rejection -->
IQ test does not equal pure intelligence.
Influenced by social, educational, cultural experiences.
Generally reflective of a white cultural that isAmerican. Not everyone has that same cultural
experiences as the authors. Many are at disadvantages when they take the test.
Interpretation of IQ scores.
Delinquents have limited experiences in mainstream society, ineffective parenting, restricted cognitive
and language development, poor school experience.
Not necessarily that they are unintelligent.
Topics on IQ tests: (valued pieces of knowledge- What matters?)
Redden Simon's “Rap” Test
Multiple choice test of vocabulary items typical of street language in 1986, In Des Moines, Iowa.
12 item version.
Street people averaged 8/12.
college students averaged 2.
exposure to the knowledge to what's being tested is important to excel.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder- very hostile child- constantly defying rules.Arguing with adults all the
time. Resentful and they blame others for their own mistakes. Very negative and hostile child.
ADHD- diagnosed based on three elements: inattention- easily distracted. Impulsivity- and also
excessive motor activity- fidgeting and can't sit still.
Conduct Disorder- a child that engages in persistent misbehaviour that is serious. Stealing, cruelty,
fighting, lying, fire-setting, cruel to other children, lies chronically, fights with other children.
Signs may occur as early as age 3.
consistent behaviour growing into adulthood.
35-40% develop APD as adults.
CD is a youth diagnosis- no adults are diagnosed with this.
Anti social personality disorder is what adults are diagnosed with.
CD: Often Mislabeled- as learning disability orADHD.
Peer rejection, aggressive, do not develop social skills.
Migrate to other kids with the same attributes, and that magnifies bad behaviours. Developmental pathways to criminality
Views the life course of all humans as following a trajectory involving exposure to risk factors. More
risk factors in a persons past means they have a higher likelihood to engage in anti-social /criminal
Risk factors found to be common in the background of offenders: school failure, rejection, child abuse.
Coercion Theory: Gerald Patterson
Family social learning environment is key predictor of early delinquency.
Importance of basic training in the home, lack of parenting skills, inept in socializing their child,
managing child behaviour.
Faulty interaction pattern between parent and child.
Coercive managment practices(yelling, screaming threatening child- child engages in that behaviour
back towards the parent), poor and