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SOC 2700 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Cesare Lombroso, Physiognomy, Somatotype And Constitutional Psychology

Course Code
SOC 2700
Scott Brandon
Study Guide

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Sample Test Question Answers
1. Many researchers believe that crime is a part of human nature Researchers such as
Cesare Lombroso help the theory of a "criminal man". He suggested that crime is part of
who we are. How we look and hat gender we are shows what crime we will commit.
Lombroso believes that people are "born" criminal. An example of Lombroso's theory
would be assuming a man and/or woman is criminal because they have a tattoo. The
idea that we are born criminal also ties into the evolutionary theory and "survival of the
fittest". As a race we do what we need to to survive. Also, the facial features born
criminal theory was developed by John Lataver. He proposed that certain facial features
such as a beard or pointy nose make people look criminal. If they have these certain
features, they are assumed to be bad people.
2. The origins of the theories of crime, specifically biological theories come from the
evolutionary theory and the idea of "survival of the fittest". There are many different
biological theories of crime. Cesare Lombroso suggested the "theory of the criminal
man". This theory looks at behaviours. The physiognomy theory by John Lavater
involves specifically the features of the face to judge moral character. The phrenology
they by Franz Gall proposes that the shape of the skull shapes the brain function of the
person. Certain crevices or curves may be considered bad. As well Sheldon's theory
closely follows by dealing with skull size as a factor. Sheldon also came up with the
theory of somatotypes. mesomorph, ectomorph and endomorph are all definitions of
certain body types. In psychology, psychoanalysis and the ideas of "problems of the
unconscience" play a role. There is also a theory of personality studies. Color tests help
to identify criminal like anti-social behaviour. As well, Eugenics developed by Galton
also contributes to psychological theory. The study of Eugenics used IQ scores to
reflect behaviour. For example, Goddard tested soldiers on their ID and addressed the
question of hereditary disorders. There are many reasons why internal explanations are
important. In some cases crime is committed because it is beyond the persons control.
This way of thinking protects the people who do have something biologically or
psychologically wrong with them. This way of thinking however does not just let the
people go for what they have done but helps place them in a punishment that suits their
problem such as a psychiatric hospital for the mentally ill. Another huge factor in the
importance of this idea is prediction. This allows us to predict through hereditary lineage
who may become criminal. For example, if someones father is a serial killer the child
may have the same psychological trait and become a serial killer.
3. Classical criminology is based on a utilitarian philosophy. it says that as humans we
have the free will to choose. It approaches crime supposing that we have complete
control over our mind and we know what is right and wrong. The positivist criminology is
based on internal and external factors. This concept has a lot to do with science. Comte
came up with this school of criminology. This considered biological and psychological
explanations of crime and says it si not necessarily the persons fault. They cannot help
it, it is a disorder. Classical theory influences the explanation of crime by strictly saying it
is in fact that single persons fault. They are 100 percent responsible for their crimes
and no one nor did anything cause them to do it. It also sees punishment as a greater
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