Study Guides (248,215)
Canada (121,406)
Sociology (974)

Soc 2266A - Class notes for FINAL 2013 (Classes 4-12)

44 Pages
Unlock Document

Sociology 2266A/B
Paul- Philippe Pare

Class 4 - Psychology, Personality Disorders, Psychopaths, and Crime: Part 1 Introduction • Three hypotheses - Criminals are ordinary people who make different choices: The classical view - Criminals are ordinary people who face different personal/social problems: The sociological approach to crime - Criminals are different from ordinary people: Psychological criminology - Psychological criminology focuses on the third hypothesis Psychoanalytic Theory • Evolved from Freud’s work • Personality composed of three forces - Id: primitive biological urges; selfish gratifications - Ego: rationality & decision-making; mediator between the Id and the Superego - Superego: ethics and morality, the “conscience” • Id = demon speaking, Superego = the angel and the ego is the person making the decision • Causal process: Criminal behaviors occur when the Id is more dominant than the ego and the superego in a person’s mind, they focus more on their selfish needs. Thus, the ego and superego are unable to control the aggressive, selfish instincts of the Id. • Limitations - More of a story than a scientific theory since it’s very difficult to test empirically, because many of the underlying psychological processes are unconscious. How do we know if this theory is true or metaphor or if it’s just a story. Can’t count it as a scientific theory of crime - At the current time, the psychoanalytic perspective on crime has more the status of an interesting story from the early days of psychology than a scientific theory of crime Theories of Moral Development • Basic Principle: in order to understand criminal behavior, we need to understand how individuals develop or fail to develop a sense of morality and responsibility • Early theorists: French psychologist Jean Piaget; followed by Kohlberg • Moral reasoning is developed in stages, and different people develop at different pace or sometimes they’ll be stuck at one stage - Egocentrism: unable to understand the viewpoints of others, especially young children and that reality isn’t real and that it’s just around them ◦ Stage 1: Obey power in order to avoid punishment ◦ Stage 2: Take care of yourself, let other people take care of themselves: there’s an acknowledgement that there are other people but ultimately everybody is responsible for their own self - Cooperation with others: understand social expectations ◦ Stage 3: Show concerns for others, “putting yourself in the other’s shoes” ◦ Stage 4: Understand the needs for rules serving common good and welfare ex) a person who hates paying taxes but still pays it because they know it’s necessary for society - Universal principles: understand what is best for all and not just for themselves (few people reach that stage) ◦ Stage 5: Understand the individual and social rights (vs. rules) for all members of a society: ◦ Stage 6: Rights, and obligations to principles, that apply to all mankind (equality, justice, freedom, etc.) ◦ Most people are in stage 3 or 4 but few are in 5 or 6 • Causal process: individuals who develop to higher stages of moral reasoning will be better able to restrain themselves from committing crimes. Those who fail to develop to the higher stages will be more vulnerable to the temptations of crime • Empirically supported: yes - Negative relationship between indicators of moral development and delinquency • Limitations: - Tautological theory (Circular argument where something is explained by itself. ex) You commit crime because you a criminal personality). Since most crimes are immoral behaviors, it is not very surprising moral development is a predictor - Need to explain why people vary in their ability to develop morally - Theory has a “left wing” agenda (politically loaded): people who believe in conservative values will tend to score lower than those who believe in socialism or similar ideas. People who are conservative will only be able to reach level 4 and liberals will reach stage 6 Class 5 - Psychology, Personality Disorders, Psychopaths, and Crime: Part 2 Classic Social Learning Theory • Classic Social learning theory posits that criminal and violent behaviors are learned through modeling (imitating the behavior of other people that we see) • Causal process: people learn criminal behaviors when they observe others committing crimes leading to positive outcomes; not just observing other committing crime, it also leads to a positive outcome..if it leads to a negative outcome you’ll learn not to do it - Glorification, “getting away with it” (ex; parents told you that shoplifting is bad and that you get caught but if you see your friends do it but get away with it is like a positive outcome), monetary rewards (joining gangs, the regular people make money slow while compared to gang members they make money faster), peer support (care what our friends think, like peer pressure) • Three major sources of social learning (according to Bandura) - The family; if they’re involved in criminal activity it has a stronger affect on us than random people - Peers; more influenced than by our friends and not by random people - Symbolic modeling (e.g. violence on TV); if you find it interesting it might also affect your behavior • Empirically supported: not clear because there is a correlations but they doubt it’s a causal one. The argument of self selection is a big problem of that theory - Ex 1. Positive relationship between watching violent programs on TV and violent behavior; if we do a basic correlation people who watch more violence on tv also engage in more violence themselves and say that there is evidence of that relationship - Ex 2. Positive relationship between the delinquency of an individual and the delinquency of his/her peers; people who have deviant friends are more likely to be deviant themselves • Limitations - Self selection effects: violent people like violent TV programs - it’s not the tv that made them violence it’s their own violent personality that made them watch it; delinquent kids like to spend time with other delinquent kids - it’s not your peer that made you deviant it’s the fact that you were looking for deviant people to hang out with - Assumption of the passive imitator; it takes away the free will and agency of other people. If we think our conception of human is just imitation, then it’s a little simplistic understanding. Introduction to Personality Disorders • Definition:Apersonality disorder is characterized by the chronic use of mechanisms of coping in an inappropriate, stereotyped, and maladaptive manner. Personality disorders are enduring and persistent styles of behavior and thought, not typical episodes. - they do it all the time over and over again. If it’s once in a blue moon it doesn’t mean they have a personality disorder, it must be consistent. ex) This person is always paranoid, or avoidance • There are 10 personality disorders according to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 5) • Personality disorders are NOT mental illnesses (although they sometimes share similarities); people who have personality disorders are not mentally ill they’re just a little bit weird and awkward, they’re still normally functioning behavior • People with personality disorders are often unaware of the situation. - They don’t understand that they have them and see their view of the world in a different way Personality Disorders and Crime Manifestations Criminogenic? Paranoid Suspicion and mistrust of others; Feel victimized; quick to retaliate; feel like people are out there to “defensive” violence (feel justified get them to take their revenge against that person); for some cases. If they been wronged accidentally they’re quick to take their revenge Schizoid Socially isolated; limited “Lone wolf” criminality (will emotional expression (they tend to commit the crime by themselves); be cold and that you don’t see low social control (less likely to their emotions and it’s difficult for care about what people think about them to make friends) their reputation) Schizotypal Schizoid + some delusions “Lone wolf” criminality; low (believe things that are just not social control; weird deviance true and believe in supernatural (carry weapons and when they’re activity) arrested and the police asks for their reasons is to fight vampires or zombie invasion) Antisocial Disregard of others; aggressive; Predisposed for crime in general; manipulative - have the crime is the logical answer to most personality make up to be a of your problems criminal. It’s a strength an a limitation in this personality disorder. It’s limited because it’s tautological Borderline Impulsive; unstable mood; Impulsive crimes; conflicts with unpredictable emotions - others (difficult to deal with these emotionality is up and down. people); self-destructive behaviors Bipolar is longer periods but (it’s not uncommon for them to do borderline is on the same day a lot of drugs, alcohol or engage in activities that are self- destructive) Manifestations Criminogenic? Histrionic Extreme emotionality and Deviance involving manipulation attention seeking; often charming or seduction; not particularly and sexually seductive violent but we could see a relationship with crime that involves with manipulation of people to seduction Narcissistic Grandiosity; self-absorption; need White collar crime (position of for recognition (they don’t do it to power); disregard for victims (only show, they feel good from all that they’re important) energy)- everything is about them and think that other people are lesser of them Avoidant Sense of inadequacy; extreme Not really sensitivity; fear of social interaction because of criticism Dependent Submissive; dislike taking Not really; crimes of conformity responsibilities - they like to (follower) they might not want to follow a partner and that they just but they’re just conforming follow the decisions Obsessive- Rigid world views - follow a strict Not really - they’ll most likely Compulsive schedule and that they need respect the rules by the book structure; over-adherence to rules • Empirically supported: yes - Overall, the antisocial personality has the strongest relationship with offering, particularly for chronic offenders (frequent, serious, long term criminality). - The other personalities disorders are also frequent among offenders, including combinations of PD (e.g. a borderline paranoid violent offender; a narcissistic histrionic makes a good corporate criminal) • Limitations - Sometimes tautological argument (i.e. antisocial) - we explain crime with itself - The measurement of PD; labeling issues; what is normal and what is not?According to whom? There is a judgement involved - The personality disorders should be understood in the context of the environment and the social realities that shaped it; many psychologists don’t do a good enough job of saying where it comes from and that sociologist will have to think about why and think of the social context and environment to see the view of their world Psychopathy and Psychopaths • Psychopathy is related to the antisocial personality, but it is a more serious personality disorder (according to Hare and other psychopathy scholars) - Only a subsample of people with an antisocial personality qualify as “psychopaths”; 3% might be anti-social and then 1% of the anti social are fullfledged psychopath • While psychopathy is a psychological theory of crime, it involves social and biological roots • Alternative view: Psychopath and the antisocial personality are the same (i.e. “psychopaths” have an antisocial personality combined with narcissistic, borderline, and histrionic). No real division and that it includes psychopath and the psychopath are have other qualities to them as well Psychopathy and Psychopaths: Hare’s Checklist - If we were doing this for real, the way the checklist works is that there are 20 items. 0 is coded not true, 1 the person is like that but is minor threat, 2 is a major threat.Analysis and add up the number. Score 28 or more that’s the clinical threshold where the person can be named a psychopath. 1. Superficial Charm; psychopaths are very good talkers and charming, they’re interesting and captivating. Good at charming people. The idea is that it’s just a game and that they want something at the end. 2. Grandiose sense of self;Abit of narcissistic and they think of themselves as so special and that they belong to the 1% of the psychopath. Very self-confident and think of themselves as better, smarter and better looking and that they’re amazing. 3. Need for stimulation / prone to boredom; Get bored really easily, that’s why they’re always active and commit crime. Enjoy life in the fast lane. 4. Pathological lying; The truth and lie is irrelevant, they just care about getting whatever they wanted at the end. Social world is constructed with lying to people to get whatever they want. 5. Manipulative - Differs from #4 by the act of exploiting others they don’t just lie to people they use the lie to exploit them. ◦ ex) go sees the good looking girlfriend when he wants sex and sees the woman when he wants money. They’re both being exploited by that person - it’s not just a lie it’s a lie with the purpose of exploitation 6. Lack of remorse or guilt - Toward victims they don’t feel guilty and don’t have much of a conscious and blame it on the victim instead. 7.Shallow affect - Fake emotions or emotional coldness; it’s just a show ex) goes to a funeral they might not actually care but it’s strategic for them to cry and look sad and that they just fake it. They don’t fake anger and that it’s not for show 8.Callous / lack of empathy - Toward other people in general (vs. #6); They don’t care about people in general and that life is about them and that to them the other people are just there 9.Parasitic lifestyle - it doesn’t contribute to society, they don’t like having an honest job and doing something useful for money - Living off other people; always find a way to get money from other people like parents, s/ o, they don’t like working as much and that it’s easier for them to just mooch than working for money - Living off criminal earnings; stealing is easier than actually working. 10.Poor self control - Get angry easily and is more intense than other people, impatient - they don’t like waiting in line 11.Promiscuous sexuality - High sex drive, multiple partners, unfaithful; they like to have a fun life and that they like to sleep with many partners and to chase around. Sex is a game and is like an entertainment. - Use sexuality as a tool to manipulate (female psychopaths); to use to get what they want. Sex is like money and that they negotiate what they want ex) wants a promotion, offer sex for the promotion. Using sexuality as a bargaining chip to get whatever they want. 12.Early behavioral problems - Before age 13 (truancy, bullying, cheating, school problems) 13.Lack of realistic long term goals - Live for the present moment and try to maximize the fun at that moment, careless about the future 14.Impulsivity - act without thinking, or if they think than it’s really quick. From their view point it’s efficient and just go with their feeling. They’re very efficient in jumping on opportunities to do things. 15.Irresponsibility - Failure to honor obligations, commitments, contracts for them it means nothing, if there’s an advantage for them then they’ll do it but if there isn’t then they won’t do it. They can give you their world but it’s meaningless. 16.Failure to take responsibility for own actions - Denial of responsibility, blame others. They put the responsibility on the other people ex) if I was able to break in, then you should put a new lock on the door 17.Unstable, short-term marital relationships - don’t respect contract and commitment, it’s never for long or stable 18.Juvenile delinquency - Between age 13 - 18; it’s another sign that it’s on their way to be a psychopath. It’s not having one of those problems, it’s the clustering of all the items into the same person 19.Revocation of conditional release - Disregard for rules of criminal justice system, including probationary release rules 20.Criminal versatility - commit a lot of different crimes and that they’re involved in all types of things • Why do we include deviant behavior in a concept that is supposed to predict deviant behavior? Are we cheating? • Theoretically: Yes, this is cheating. If your goal was to develop a full fledge of crime, you shouldn’t have the measure of crime in it. • Hare’s checklist, however, is a clinical tool, not a theoretical measure it’s just a clinical tool that people can use in everyday practice and diagnose people - The goal is to help with the clinical diagnostic of psychopathy with real life offenders, and looking at prior deviant behavior improves the quality of this diagnostic Psychopathy and Psychopaths • Causal process: because of the nature of psychopathy, people with this type of personality are by definition “predisposed” for a life of crime. Many of these items make you very prone to committing crime • Empirically supported: yes - Strong relationship between psychopathy and crime; particularly for chronic offenders (frequent, serious, long term criminality). People who are involved on the long term - Psychopaths are seriously overrepresented in the incarcerated population ◦ They are about 1% of the general population, but over 20% of the incarcerated population and that they’re not that successful since most of the psychopaths don’t have the discipline to make it to the higher position • Limitations - Tautological - The measurement of Psychopathy; labeling issues: what is normal and what is not? According to whom? Saying that somebody is psychopath is a form of judgement. Is it just powerful people who are able to give a label to this person. - Psychopathy should be understood in the context of the environment and the social realities that shaped it; it doesn’t happen out of no where, there is a reason of why with a combination of biological disposition and also if they had a rough life - Evolutionary perspective: Psychopathy was probably a positive trait providing a reproductive advantage in earlier societies.Alexander the Great was probably a psychopath, as were many successful warriors and leaders • Other interesting facts - Psychopaths tend to have average or above average IQ; in order to be that manipulative or charming, you do need to be somewhat smart since it takes a bit of work - Current research indicate that psychopathy emerges from the interaction of biological factors and social factors; combination of both like when both are present ◦ Biological factors: inadequate functioning of the frontal lobes of the brain (where you do the long term planning and thinking about the future and being careful, but psychopaths have a deficiency in the brain and that the future they don’t care about), high thresholds for stimulation (why is it that they find everyday life boring and why do they need drugs and sex, there is a biological underpinning to it and that their system doesn’t react to civilization compared to other people) ◦ Social factors: early experiences of abuse and neglect, unstable family, poor parenting like maybe there were violence. Rarely see psychopaths with a perfect life. - Psychopaths react less to both positive and negative stimulations (Under-active autonomic nervous system) ◦ Ordinary pleasures or activities bore them; they need more than that ex) reading a book with a glass of wine, psychopaths find it boring. Having sex with the person 10 times, they’ll start to get bored with them ◦ They are not scared by situations that would scare most people; ex) they’ll try to avoid going to prison but they’re not scared of it. Intelligence and Crime • Evidence indicates that intelligence and crime and negatively linked • On average, incarcerated offenders have a IQ of 92 vs. 100 for the general population • Causal process: people with low intelligence 1.Have more difficulties understanding the long term consequences of their acts 2.Have more difficulties integrating modern society (e.g. unsuccessful in school, in the workplace), which make them more vulnerable to the temptations of crime • Empirically supported: yes - The evidence, however, suggests that a large proportion of the “intelligence” effect is indirect ◦ Low intelligence (leads to other problems in life)→ other problems → crime • Limitations: - The measurement of “true” intelligence; your IQ doesn’t tell the whole story - Street crimes vs. Elite crimes; most of the research is based on street crime and white collar crime, you have to be pretty smart. Need to differentiate since the relationship could be opposite. - The criminal justice process: offenders with high intelligence are more likely to avoid being detected and charged, which lead to an overrepresentation of offenders with low intelligence in the CJ system Mental Illness and Crime - Personality disorder and mental illness are not the same. • Many offenders suffer from a variety of mental illnesses: schizophrenia, paranoia, addictions, depression, delusion, suicidal tendency, etc that are frequent among offenders • Causal process: mental illnesses can 1.Motivate crime as a way to cope with the illness; self medication like there are some offenders that their reason for using drugs or drinking and that it’s just a way of self medication and that they don’t want to take prescription pills, instead they’ll do their own way. 2.Decrease social integration, which make individuals with mental illnesses more vulnerable to the temptations of crime; people tend to lose their friends and that even family members find it more difficult to deal with them.And make the temptation of crime more interesting 3.Affect the perceptions of the offender to the point of not being responsible for his/her crimes; insanity defense and that the mental illness is so serious that they don’t know what they’re doing and that they don’t recognize the difference between right and wrong 4.Lead to other personal and social problems, which in turn lead to crime (e.g. homelessness, unstable employment history) • Empirically supported: yes - The prevalence of serious mental illnesses is often 5-10 times higher in incarcerated offender populations than in the general population • Limitations - Some mental illnesses might be seen as correlates rather than causes of crime - Institutional incentives to diagnose mental illness (over-diagnosis): ◦ Leniency in sentencing; able to convince the judge that you suffer from a mental illness ◦ Access to prescription drugs; because prison is boring and that they have to influence the security guards that they have a problem - The definition and measurement of mental illnesses are often a problem and that it can sometimes be legitimate: ◦ Ex 1: Depression vs. feeling depressed/moody like they have a good reason to act that for a bit ◦ Ex 2: Paranoia vs. legitimate concerns about enemies Class 8 - Biology and Predispositions to Crime Body Types and Crime • Some evidence suggests that body types are correlated with offending • Logic: Behavior is partly determined by physical abilities and limitations. Personality and body types are also believed to be linked (more controversial) • Three basic body types - you then can link it to criminal behavior and that it could be correlated to criminal behavior - Endomorph: soft and round, overweight - Mesomorph: athletic and muscular, larger bones - Ectomorph: thin and fragile, lean, smaller bones • Empirically supported: weak support, there’s a correlation - Some evidence that offenders are more likely to have mesomorph bodies than non offenders, it can give you an advantage when it comes to committing a crime • Limitations - Relationship probably involves basic rational choice: big people hit little people - Old theory. Does not receive much scholarly attention today, only talked about for the historical component, it’s not used as a major framework to understand crime Brain damage/malformation and Crime • Specific brain structures are directly involved with aggressiveness in human and many animals • When these brain structures are compromised by tumors, diseases, trauma, or malformations, verbal and physical aggressions are more likely (as well as many other behavioral and psychological problems); if your brain isn’t healthy you’re in big trouble, not only in terms of criminality but also normal behaviors The Brain • Prefrontal cortex: Provides ability to plan, reason, concentrate, and adjust behavior. Linked with violent behavior and psychopathy. Could explain why some offenders are impulsive and careless about the future • Amygdala: Involved with feelings of fear and other emotions; reward learning. Linked with anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia. Could explain why some offenders are not afraid of sanctions, like most of us for the idea of going to prison would be scary but for some people they just don’t care because they just don’t care and you wonder why and it could be linked with their amygdala Brain damage/malformation and Crime • Sources of brain damage - Environmental pollutants; like in the water if there is lead, some of the toxic metals in the environment it could be linked to mental problems...take a longer time - Aging;Alzheimer, memory problem - Accidents; More automatic ex) car accident like you get into a serious one and you hit your head pretty hard and that you’re no longer the same person, and that hey don’t have the same personality and become more violent, alcoholic, etc - Heavy and prolonged alcohol/drug use; serious chronic drunk alcoholic like you wake up in the morning and start drinking and by the end of the night it’s done, and you do this everyday over a long period of time - Random process; sometimes it’s just bad luck and that sometimes they have a healthy lifestyle and everything and then all of a sudden you have a random stroke and then everything’s gone • Empirically supported: yes - very well documented evidence, since you can do experiments with rats and mice and like mess up their brains to see what changes could be made • Limitation - Rare cause. Most offenders do not suffer from brain damage/malformation. It’s a good theory for a sub group of offenders. Heredity and Crime • Many studies indicate that criminals often have close relatives who are also criminals - Biological or social link? Somebody who’s a pure believer in sociology will argue that it’s all socialization and that you learn it from your parents and siblings and has nothing to do with biology. But some people will test it with twins for the biological part. If it wasn’t biological then there shouldn’t be any difference for twins. • Twin studies are useful to tease out biological vs social effects - Monozygotic (identical) twins: 100% same genes - Dizygotic (fraternal) twins: 50% same genes on average • Monozygotic twins are more similar in their criminal behaviors than dizygotic twins, suggesting the importance of genetic make-up above and beyond socialization. But it doesn’t mean that socialization doesn’t matter, it does matter but biology suggests that the genes play some role in it. • Adoption studies are also useful to assess the effect of genes on criminal behavior: % of adopted sons convicted of crime Biological parents: Biological parents: non- criminals criminals Adoptive Parents: 24.5 14.7 criminals Adoptive Parents: non- 20.0 13.5 criminals Note: 20.0 is higher than the other, so your biological behavior have more of an impact than the adoptive who aren’t non-criminals and it shows that biology does matter and that socialization isn’t the main thing. Biology matters above and beyond socialization Prenatal Factors • The developing fetus, and fetus’brain more specifically, is fragile and vulnerable to the mother’s experiences • Prior evidence on “Brain damage and crime” and “heredity and crime” could in part be understood in terms of prenatal factors • Prenatal risk factors (in the mother’s life); the day they were born they already had some handicap because of the absorbent from these factors. When we see a pattern that could be genetic, we have to take in account for the prenatal factors like what was she doing when she was pregnant. - Alcohol or drug abuse - Smoking - Malnutrition - Experiences of violence/abuse - Severe psychological stress Chromosomes and Crime • At conception, each human being receives 23 chromosomes from each parents, for a total of 46 • Normal men have an XY chromosome structure and normal women have an XX chromosome structure • Abnormalities in the chromosome structure are linked to problems such as: - Sterility/infertility; abnormal chromosome structure where they can’t reproduce themselves - Low intelligence - Various diseases and malformations - Characteristics of the other sex (e.g. men with breasts) - Criminal propensity?? • Empirically supported: weak support - Some evidence XYY “super-male” are more involved in crime than other men (XY) - XYY men also tend to be taller, less intelligent and more prone to mental illnesses than XY men • Limitations - Less than 1% of the male population have a XYY chromosome structure. Rare cause. - Some recent studies failed to observed a relationship between the XYY chromosome structure and criminal behaviors when other correlates are controlled ◦if we just look at the correlation with XYY ⟷crime are correlated, but when you add covariates then the ⟷ disappears, and that other factors are more important after Testosterone and Crime • While men and women both have testosterone, men have higher levels; women still have it, it’s just not the same rate of testosterone like how it is in men • Among men, those with higher testosterone tend to be more masculine (e.g. muscular, deep voice, strong sexual drive) • High testosterone levels are also associated with higher competitiveness and aggressiveness; both men and women but especially men with high level of testosterone in their blood are more aggressive and competitive and they tend to be good and successful that involve in competition and aggressiveness like sports • Studies with male adolescent and adult offenders show a positive relationship between testosterone levels and crime • This said, successful athletes, businessmen, others in competitive situations also tend to have higher levels of testosterone and that it’s not always related to being involved in crime but it’s still a chance • The evidence of a relationship is more limited for women, but some studies suggest it also has some effects - Incarcerated women study (qualitative data) - high testosterone: more verbally abusive, more ready to fight - low testosterone: more sneaky and more manipulative Direct vs. Indirect Biological Effects • Some theories posit a direct effect of biological factors on crime (e.g. severe brain damage) - Biological factors is directly associated with (→) Crime ◦ ex) if you make them angry and then they’ll lash out which is direct • Most theories are better understood as an indirect effect of biological factors on crime - Biological factors influences other stuff in the other people’s life and then it leads to crime→ X → Crime • Possible variables X - Difficulties at school; having problem in school and criminality like high school drop outs are more likely to be actively criminal compared to the people who do well in school - Difficulties on the job market; any form of biological disposition will lead to difficulty on the job market - Low verbal abilities and social alienation; social skills are important and people who don’t have good social skills will have a difficult life and that they’ll be socially isolated and alienated - Alcoholism and drug addictions; once you’re on that wagon you’re in trouble, since the rest of your life will become complicated including criminality Biological - Social Interactive Effects • Synonym: Sociobiology • Main idea: biological factors and social factors can become more criminogenic when they interact with each other rather than the simple addition of their total effects - ex) Pr (Delinquency) = b0 + b1(testosterone →biological) + b2 (poor parenting→ social) +b3 (testosterone x poor parenting) + e - b0 is the base rate in society like some could be delinquent which is 0, b if it’s higher for testosterone, b2 people who aren’t raised well from their parents and don’t learn how to act in society, b3 but this could not just be the parents fault, but it could also be the testosterone since b3 is just a combination, e is error and that you can’t control for all of them at 100%. It’s just not a simple addition from one to another it’s just a multiplicative effect • The evidence is increasing in favor of sociobiology. Very exciting research area for the future. This could be used to explain anything and not just crime Why is psychological and biological criminology controversial in sociobiology? • Rivalry between the fields; they want to hear that it’s all about them and that they just cheer for their own team • Political correctness; on average sociology is more politically correct than the other two, since in sociology we put the blame on society and say that it’s unfair • Sociology: Something is wrong with society • Psychology and biology: something is wrong with the offender • Concerns about the use of research findings to promote eugenics (individual selection and you try to perfect humanity by saying that some people are more likely to have children than other people, and that people with negative traits we shall castrate or kill them and then just keeping the perfect genes so that our world can get better), racism, sexism, etc.; especially with biology Class 9 - Rational choice, Economics, bounded rationality, and Crime - From the actor perspective theirs still a point for it and that they’re still trying to accomplish something. The Economic Perspective - misconception that it’s always involved with money, but that’s not true. • Economics: the science of incentives anything that has to do with incentives and making a behavior more or less attractive is incentive, and that money is a big incentive but it’s not the only one and that it’s anything that you like. • Economic theory is useful to study any kind of behaviors, including seemingly “irrational” behaviors (e.g. selection of sexual partners, drug addiction, suicide). The goal is to understand the hidden rationality behind these behaviors ex) Cocaine has a high value in their life ex) dating that somebody like if there’s incentive to it and that emotions isn’t just a rational reaction. • Incentives are probabilistic. They do not affect everyone the same. For example, if the price of cocaine goes down, some people will use more, but not everyone will become a cocaine user • Similarly rational choice theory implies that people behave rationally on average, not that everybody behave rationally all the time. ex) If most people are rational most of the time, then it’ll be supported but if you put the threshold too high than there’s no theory for society. • Economic theory posits that individuals try to maximized their outcome based on perceived rewards and costs of behaviors, including perceived rewards and costs of alternative behaviors • Therefore, an economic understanding of crime involves not only the perceived rewards and costs of criminal activities, but also the perceived rewards and costs of non-criminal activities. You decide to commit crime by also thinking what it’ll bring you and cost you, compared to other options like getting a job, going to school, getting married, etc. It’s also about the rewards and costs of non-criminal activity and compare it and go for the one that you perceive to be most attractive. The Economic Perspective on Crime: Incentives for non-criminalActivities • Rewards - Earn legal income; making money without breaking the law - More predictable lifestyle; not everybody likes action and that a lot of people are happier in a stable, comfortable, predictable environment, and that they love routine - Engage in long term goals; Want to get an education, married, etc, and that you need stability. If you seek criminal activity then it’s risky and not allowing you to engage in those goals. - Engage in everyday pleasures; there are other activities that aren’t illegal, and a lot of people are satisfied with that lifestyle - Relatively safe; on average, it’s fairly safe and that they’d usually die of their natural age if they’re not crazy with their life when younger - Moral reward?; idea that you can look at yourself in the mirror at the morning/evening and think that you’re a positive citizen of your society • Costs - Legal income too low for desired lifestyle; some people want to be rock stars and being big players and that not everybody is okay with making 12-15/ per hr - Boring everyday routine; the price of predictability and that it’s always the same and not exciting and that it’s like you’re slowly killing yourself with that routine - Requires discipline and sacrifice; and that not everybody wants that, like they want to eat their cake today and not 20 yrs from now and live life at that moment and in the fast lane. • There are costs for living the mainstream life but also many rewards, and that they believe that the rewards are more better than costs and just accept it. The Economic Perspective on Crime: Incentives for CriminalActivities • Rewards - Earn illegal income: “fast money”; would earn more compared to mainstream activities, like you can make 5x more money compared to somebody working a normal shift for the whole day, since you can get money fast and easy and you don’t even have to pay taxes - Intense lifestyle; opposite of boredom and want to live life in the fast lane - Use force or fraud to “get what you want”; like ex) if you want to have sex with a women and she says no, then you can just rape her. THey don’t have problem using those, they just don’t take no for an answer - Requires little discipline or sacrifice; little bit of skills involved to commit a burglary and take a car, but ti’s nothing compared to like going to med school or get a phd. Don’t have to put a lot in the long term, and that you don’t have to put much for discipline or sacrifice. • Costs - Negative label; bad reputation and that if you commit it over and over, then you’ll develop that label as being a bad reputation - Stressful and dangerous; it’s actually a stressful life and that you have to be on your feet all the time, and that you’re more likely to get hurt easily than the average person - Difficult to invest in long term goals; too much chaos and risk like prison, taking a beating, etc - Legal sanctions; even the best ones get caught, like you go to prison, pay a fine, criminal record where you can’t leave the country, etc.And that these consequences compound like the first time they’ll go easy on you but the more you do it the harsher the penalty - Health consequences of the intense lifestyle; your body can only take so much of living the fast lane, until you start to lose it and go downhill and that you look completely different when comparing to a short lifespan - Moral cost?; They might think that they’re not a very good person and that there might be a psychological affect when thinking about themselves Cornish and Clarke’s “Crime as a Rational Choice” • The decisions to commit crime 1.General decision to begin: Initial involvement model; committing crime for the first time 2.Specific decision to commit a particular criminal act: Event model; once you decide, which one are you going to commit and how 3.Decision to recidivate: Continuing involvement model; once you did it for the first time, you’ll want to do it again especially if it was successful 4.General decision to stop: Desistance model; decide to when to stop • General decision to become a criminal: initial involvement model • Similar to the economic theory presented earlier with the rewards and cost of behavior but it also includes other facilitators • Also includes specific incentives and facilitators: - Easy criminal opportunities; one of the big pressure is that it’s because there’s just an easy opportunity to do so. Since not many decide that they want to do it just liek that, it’s usually from peer pressure. Opportunity is in front of them and it’s easy. - Peer pressure; usually more stronger when it’s younger than adults, since there’s just pressure from the peer and its kinda like doing it because you want to fit in - Alcohol and drug consumption; people who commit crime for the first time, they’re not always sober and that usually they’re always high or drunk when they’re committing that event - Urgent (desperate) need for money; some circumstances like where you need money and need it fast, and that crime is usually the answer. Sometimes they miscalculate and that they need money in a desperate manner. • The decision to burglarize a specific home: Event model • Selecting the best neighborhood - Is the neighborhood easily accessible? Like planning how to get to that location with public transportation, walking distance, etc - Is there a lot of police patrol or a neighborhood watch? - Is the potential loot worth the effort? - Is the neighborhood familiar or unfamiliar? offenders have a preference for familiar environment and that it’s usually committed really near to where they’re from and that they don’t like uncertainty for the first time • Selecting the best home - Are the people living there away? Makes life easier if you don’t come face to face with a victim, and usually pick a house where it’s empty...big factor - Is the loot easy to carry and sell? cash is the best, and that items that are unique but worth a lot of money is going to be hard to sell like Napoleon. Jewelry, computers, phones are the easier ones. - Is there a dog, an alarm system, a close neighbor? - Is there an easy entry point (e.g. patio door)? • The “event model” can be used for a variety of crimes; burglary is an example. It’s usually a series of decisions • Decision to recidivate (doing multiple times)and commit more burglaries: continuing involvement model; made some money, proud of themselves and that they decide they want to do it again - Increased professionalism: develop skills and knowledge: better planning; more lucrative loots (the more you do it, the more you get from it); learn to reduce risks (learn from your mistakes); more criminal contacts..just getting better, like the more they do it the better and that it becomes easier, smarter, make more money, etc. - Lifestyle changes: enjoy living off burglaries; enjoy “life in the fast lane”; develop rationalizations for crime like if they make it obvious or not to want to be broken in or not - Peer group changes: spend more time with criminal friends; labeled as criminal; spend less time with noncriminal friends; quarrels with family/loved ones • General decision to stop: Desistance model; nobody sticks with it forever, and that there’s a point where it’s enough is enough - Internal events: incarceration; fear/stress (not as brave as you used to be, and that you’re getting older); injury (physical injury like you could’ve broke a leg or hurt yourself or almost gotten killed, etc. Makes you rethink your life); irregular income (responsible for your next paycheck and that sometimes you make a lot and sometimes you don’t); fewer criminal contacts (the same way they came, the same way they can disappear like your network diminishes) - External events: marriage(meeting them the right person can change their lifestyle choices); parenthood; ultimatum from loved ones (like your parents could say they never want to talk to you again if you keep on doing it and that it makes people think about their decisions); aging - Legitimate alternatives: become satisfied with a legitimate job that you’re actually happy with. - Illegitimate alternatives: move to other forms of criminality (e.g. from burglary to fencing [somebody who will buy and sell the stolen goods which is like a fence, and that it’s a little bit safer and a good transition but still illegal]) Can rational choice explain violence? • H1: Violence as irrational behavior (not totally false and that if we take the time to rationalize things then it could reach a goal oriented) - Many scholars believe that violence is the result of irrational emotions: frustration, anger, hopelessness, psychological strain, etc • H2: Violence as instrumental behavior (rational) - The evidence, however, points toward instrumentally (there’s a goal) in violence ◦ Power and control: gain compliance of others; one reason of violence is to force people and to get what you want. Ultimately goal is to steal the money, not to kill the clerk and that you use power to get what you want ◦ Identity: save face; a lot of violence happens because one offends somebody else, and that the insult can be petty but losing face in society is something really bad like for your ego, reputation, etc. It’s rare to see a fight just happen like that, there has to be an exchange of insults before it actually happens. ◦ Retribution: self-help/revenge/restore justice; ◦ Thrill-seeking: violence as excitement / the adrenaline rush; like something exciting about violence and that it makes them feel good • Why criminals kill other criminals? - Sample of 444 homicides involving criminals both as victims and offenders - Three principal motives ◦ Police informant: killing the informant before he/she talks or in retaliation for talking. The victim of the homicide was going to rat on you or to get even. ◦ Transactional conflicts: killing related to conflicts about the division of criminal profits (including theft of criminal profits); don’t always agree on sharing the loot and that it could lead to somebody getting shot. So like disagreement. ◦ Competition: killing related to the division of territories and clients for “market” criminality (e.g. drugs, illegal gambling, protection racket, prostitution); don’t like other people getting on their market, they don’t like to share and that one way to not have to share is killing the competition Pure rationality vs. Bounded rationality • Common criticism of rational choice perspective: “In real life, nobody is as rational as the rational choice theory suggests” • Answer: we need to differentiate between Pure (or perfect) rationality and Bounded (or limited) rationality that they have human flaws and will make mistakes • The evidence indicates that crimes (and human behavior in general) are better understood with Bounded rationality than Pure rationality • Pure (perfect) rationality; only real in the textbook but not in the real world like for economics. Nobody is as good as that, even the smartest person in the world - The actor has access to all the relevant information - The actor has all the time needed to make a decision - The actor is able to assess short term and long term rewards and costs equally well - The actor never miscalculates, always mathematically the right one for when making a decision - The actor decision is not influenced by external factors: emotions, fatigue, intoxication, peer-pressure, etc • Bounded (limited) rationality: real world - The actor has limited access to some of the relevant information, and often to bad information as well; trying to make a decision but it’s a decision that is limited and bad information and that you still have to make a decision - The actor must sometimes make decision very quickly; true for criminality , also for like bar fights, etc and that you can’t decide on it forever.Also opportunity like if a person doens’t have their focus on their bag, you can take it now than later! - The actor often understands short term rewards and costs better than long term; only see the affect for long term but not short term, and that it’s difficult to think about the long term than the short term costs/benefits. Crime usually has short term rewards but long term costs. - The actor sometimes miscalculates; even wiht your best intention, you’re wrong - The actor decision is often influenced by external factors: emotions, fatigue, intoxication, peer-pressure, etc - In short, the actor is still rational, but with human flaws and problems Deterrence Studies • Rational choice theory has major implication for deterrence: if criminals are rational, they should be deterred by increasing the costs of crime • Deterrence is controversial topic - Preference for prevention/rehabilitation vs. punishment • Two relevant variables - Certainty of punishment (++); making the likely hood of being caught more likely a stronger effect than the severity of punishment. Making it more likely that they’re going to get caught. Certainity of punishment is more important than severity - Severity of punishment (?) • Types of deterrence; absolute it is more important than marginal deterrence. - Absolute (++); absolute is the overall effect of the CJS as compared to living in the jungle. CJS as a whole is better than to have nothing. - Marginal (-); small variation to the current system like the small variation that the average offenders can’t perceive ex) like adding 10 cops to th
More Less

Related notes for Sociology 2266A/B

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.