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Psychology (9,695)
PSYC39H3 (201)
Chapter 1

PSYC39 Chapter 1.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC39H3
Professor
David Nussbaum
Semester
Fall

Description
PSYC39 Chapter 1 -media depictions of crime influence public opinion. -when surveyed about their perceptions of crime, Canadians rated government information as having a moderate influence and academic contributions as having none. >Shows the importance of media for Canadians -InTRA-individual differences: differences in criminal conduct within an individ across time and situations -InTER-individual differences: differences in criminal conduct b/w individ. >focused on in sociology -psychology focuses on individ, sociology focuses on groups -forensic psychology: any application of psych to the legal system. >issues of risk assessment and expert testimony. Guides legal decision-making -correctional psychologists conduct crisis management and individ and group psychotherapy with general population inmates and with offenders that have mental disorders/substance abuse -socio explanations that regard factors like age, gender, social class give some insight into groups of individ >i.e “younger males are more likely to be involved in criminal behaviour” -at the “macro” level, the objective is to understand crime as a large-scale social phenomenon (strain theory) >as the perspective narrows, importance of socialization and influence of community, family and peer groups becomes of greater interest (differential association theory) >even narrower focus, looks at patterns of individ behave, first over time and situation and then in terms of the influence of psychological factors like thoughts, feelings and attitudes -small percentage of offenders maintain criminal activity into adulthood. This phenomenon of decreased criminal activity is called crime desistance -psychology attempts to refine understanding of criminal behave by considering individ variation in order to account for heterogeneity and provide differentiated assessment and intervention. >this type of assessment is derived from recognizing the variability of criminal behav b/w individ and within an individ over time. -Personal, Interpersonal and Community Reinforcement Model (PIC-R): psychological depiction of the interplay among factors that influence criminality. >this model says that criminal behave reflects the immediate situation in that factors (like temptations, facilitators, stressors) combine to influence a decision to engage in that behaviour. >this decision is influenced even more by attitudes supportive of the crime like a history of criminal behaviour and the balance of cost vs rewards for the crime. >highlights contributions of community (family, socioeconomic factors) interpersonal (family/child relations, neglect, abuse), personal (gender, age) and consequences (whether criminal behave is rewarded) >recognizes influence of historical and immediate factors in an individ coming to the decision to commit a crime. >cognitive social learning theory of crime. -There are a variety of factors that have been used to define crime and explain when certain behave may be used as criminal >like an individ’s motivations, opportunity, social convention -there are many definitions of crime, hard to get a perfect description -the definitions usually include legal, moral, social and psychological explanations >legal: acts prohibited by the state and are punishable by law >moral: violations of norms of religion/morality that are punishable by supreme beings >social: violation of norms/customs punishable by the community >psychological: acts that are rewarding to perpetrator but harmful to others -there is a consistency across countries regarding what is viewed as a criminal. In particular, robbery, theft and incest were all viewed to be criminal Criminal Behaviour: intentional behaviour that violates a criminal code; intentional in that it did not occur accidently or without justification of excuse -definition of a crime is important in that the specific description will influence prevalence >the definition must concede that there are inter-cultural variations regarding normative and acceptable behaviour and that acceptable norms can change over time within a culture (like abortion laws in Canada) -immigrants to Canada may behave in a manner that’s consistent with the norms of their country but might be illegal in their new home. (e.x age of consent for sex) -Determinants of crime can be distal (historical) or proximal (immediate, situational). -a useful strategy to empirically identify determinants of crime is through meta- analysis. They are les biased bc that they provide a quantitative estimate of the importance of the results. >uses statistics to aggregate the results of individ studies and develop one averaged effect size for all the studies combined >effect sizes provide info about the magnitude of the diff **TABLE 1.1 pg 11** -Work by Andrews & colleagues ranks variables to be related to criminal behav >Central Eight risk/need factors most important in understanding criminal behav. >embedded in this are the Big Four: major casual variables in the analysis criminal behav of individ. -minor risk factors: variables previously considered important -major risk factors are first order correlates of crime. -Moderate Risk factors: those that are part of the Central Eight but are not major correlates. >Some risk factors (like antisocial history) are static (they cannot change) >others (like antisocial cognition and substance abuse) can change so they’re called dynamic risk factors -the more robust co-variation with criminal behav is from variables embedded within a cognitive social learning theory of crime >to reduce criminal behav, treatments must attend to the factors that are most highly correlated
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