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PSYC39H3 (201)
Chapter 3

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David Nussbaum

CHAPTER 3 – Theories of Crime: Learning and Environment Psychodynamic Theories BASIC PSYCHODYNAMIC PRINCIPLES: THE ID, EGO, AND SUPEREGO - humans inherently antisocial, driven by pleasure-seeking and destructive impulses crime happens when these aren’t under control  happens because internal psychic forces fail to develop - id: personality present at birth and represents unconscious, primitive, and instinctual desires – governed by pleasure principle: seeks immediate pleasure w/ little consideration of undesirable consequences that may result if impulse is acted upon - ego: attempts to mediate between one’s primal needs and society’s demands – governed by reality principle: development coincides w/ emergence of reality-oriented thinking and allows id to function in socially acceptable ways by suppressing its impulses until appropriate situation arise - superego (challenges id drives, ego guided by this too): represents internalization of group standards (typically conveyed to child through parental care and discipline), and acts as moral regular (job over-sees choices we make)  two sub-systems 1) conscience: allows individual to distinguish between right and wrong and forces ego to inhibit id pursuits that are out of line w/ one’s morals 2) ego-ideal: represents socially acceptable standards to which we all aspire - table 3.1, p.72 – personality development occurs across five psychosexual stages  difficulties resolving conflicts w/in any stage=potential result in problems w/ personality development  problems w/ superego formation=failure to identify w/ prosocial parents interest to develop explanations of crime 1) neurotic criminal: commits crime as result of harsh superego, assumed to lead to pathological lvls of unconscious guilt=crimes meant to subconsciously invite punishment=resolve guilt 2) psychopathic personality: commit crime because of weak superego (violent offenders, egocentric, impulsive, guiltless, unempathic) 3) deviant identification: commit crime as result of deviant superego, superego standards developed but deviant PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIES OF CRIME Bowlby’s Theory of Maternal Deprivation - popular theory of how juvenile delinquency develops - young children require consistent and continuous maternal care=develop normally  disruption to mother-child relationship=many harmful and potentially irreversible longer-term effects (esp. establishing prosocial relationships)  lack abilities=not develop means to control conduct, more likely to exhibit antisocial patterns of behaviour - now seems that maternal deprivation not critical factor, damage isn’t necessarily irreversible, over predicts juvenile delinquency Unravelling Juvenile Delinquency: The Work of Glueck and Glueck - primary interests: discovering causes of crime and assessing effectiveness of correctional treatment in controlling criminal behaviour - conducted cross-sectional research, compared lives of juvenile delinquents and non-juveniles (also longitudinal) - took multidisciplinary approach to examine delinquency - attributed differences between delinquents and non-delinquents to parenting factors (superego development) - claims made were exaggerated (fail to take actual base rate of delinquency in general population)  emphasized too much on familial and biological factors - can be used to examine correlates of delinquency and non-delinquency Hirschi’s Control Theories - views humans having potential to exhibit antisocial behaviour - major question: not why ppl violate the law, but why more ppl don’t?  social control theory: because of social controls, “bond of individual to society” 1) attachment: and interest in others, most importantly parents, friends, and teachers (ego-ideal) 2) commitment: time, energy, and effort placed in conventional behaviour (ego) 3) involvement: time and energy one spends taking part in activities that are in line w/ conventional interests of society 4) belief: one’s conviction to view that ppl should obey common rules (conscience part of superego - theory might need to be reassessed  attachment to peers=conformity (only when peers not delinquent)  causal ordering important to consider  some bonds more important than others, vary across genders - updated theory: Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime: self control, internalized early in life, is primary determinant of crime  lacking self-control doesn’t mean will commit crime, opportunities to commit crime are important  over time (ppl w/ low self-control) inevitably become more deeply involved in criminal lifestyle  referred to all crime – all crime have in common: “short lived, immediately gratifying, easy, simple, and exciting”  low lvl of self-control also thought to be root of range of other social consequences (many constitute cause of crime in other theories)  believe lvl of self-control one possesses depends on quality of parenting in child’s early years  if care about them, monitor them, and discipline appropriately=self-control needed to behave in prosocial manner  role of other sources influence severely limited (assumed to establish very early in life and remains stable throughout lifespan)  received much support  pratt and Cullen important predictor, but not sole cause, only accounted for approx. 19% of variance in criminal behaviour  criticisms exist  general theory of crime is tautological, based largely on cir
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