CRIM 105 Study Guide - Winter 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - Substance Abuse, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety

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CRIM 105
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Psychological Explanations of Crime and Deviance
Lecture 1: Introducing the Study of Crime from a Psychological Perspective
What is Human Nature?
At our most basic, are we social, helpful, protective, and caring, recognizing that what
is best for ourselves is to work together, sacrifice some of our individual freedoms,
and ensure peaceful co-existence?
Or
Are we naturally hedonistic, self-serving, and violent, able to be controlled only by
force or the threat of force in order to maintain social groups that function for the
betterment of some?
Or
Are we born blank slates, absorbing knowledge from our surroundings and other
humans, a product of those forces to which we are exposed?
What are the Different Perspectives on Human Nature?
The explanations of crime and deviance stem from perspectives about
human nature.
Conformist Perspective
-the human is born wanting to do what is right
-what is right is socially defined and therefore, what is right is based
on group values
Non-conformist Perspective
-the human is born undisciplined and hedonistic
-without controls in place, humans would only do what is in the best
interests of the individual
Learning Perspective
-the human is born neutral
-all behaviour is learned through either participation or conditioning
from the social environment
What Should You Know About Crime and Deviance?
-Crime is any behaviour that violates criminal law
-Deviance is behaviour that violates a social norm
-Crime and deviance are dependent on time, place, and circumstance
-A behaviour that is deviant may not be criminal
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-A behaviour that is criminal may not be deviant
What is Criminology?
The study of crime
It seeks the answer or answers to many questions:
-Why do people commit crimes (break rules)?
-Why are certain behaviours criminal while others are not?
-What are the characteristics of those who commit crime?
-What are the characteristics of places where crime occurs?
-Can the criminal be changed or stopped? How?
Criminological Theory
A theory is a set of interrelated concepts, definitions, and propositions that present a
systematic view of phenomena. It specifies relationships between variables. Its
purpose is to explain and predict the phenomena.
The theories presented in this course will seek to identify the causal factors for
criminal behaviour and explain how those factors cause crime.
By understanding what causes crime and how, these theories can suggest ways to
predict crime, and ideally to prevent crime or change someone who exhibits criminal
behaviour to become more prosocial.
Starting with the Classical View
-People have
free will
-They will choose to maximize their pleasure and minimize their pain
-People commit crime to achieve some type of pleasure
-To prevent crime, there needs to be punishment to counter the perceptions of
gain
-Punishment should be certain, swift, and severe enough to affect the
calculation for crime
-If people are aware of certain, swift, and severe punishments, they will be
deterred from crime
Who Commits Crime?
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