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PSY100H1 (1,804)
Chapter 1

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University of Toronto St. George
David Nussbaum

Chapter 1: Crime in Canada Introduction  media depictions of crime may influence public opinion w/ respect to issues such as likelihood of being victim of crime, most prevalent types of crime The Influence of the Media  James Wallace's 2008 story “ Even inmates eat better than seniors in nursing homes” increased the meal per diem to $5.46 in senior long-term facilities --> prisoners receive meals worth more than $10 per day  in 2008 the Toronto Star published series highlighting complexity of crime & criminal justice issues in Canada  criminal justice issues receive considerable media scrutiny, sensational crimes revive front-page billing  research indicates 44% of Cdns believe more money should be spent on the criminal justice system  researchers surveyed 4500 Cdns regarding their perceptions of crime: --> results show gov't info as having moderate influence & academic contributions as having none, tv news having most= indicates the importance of media for Cdns Current Context  Psychology is interested in intra-individual differences- variations in criminal conduct within an individual across time & situations  inter-individual differences- variations in criminal conduct between individuals  psychology: focuses on individuals, whereas sociology: focuses more on groups  uses analogy of microscope= psychology involves a much higher level of magnification in order to see things (about crime) tht are not apparent from diff view  forensic psychology:refers to any application of psychology to the legal system  In U.K psychological study of criminal behvaiour is referred to as criminological psychology  In U.S and Canada, the area would be described as correctional psychology  sociological explanations regarding such factors as age, gender & social class provide some insight into groups of individuals --> e.g younger males more likely to be involved in criminal behvaiour (not always true)  Criminal behaviour: intentional behvaiour that, when detected, is sanctioned by courts as breach of society's established rules  crime desistance: the cessation of criminal behvaiour, most often described as process of change rather than an instantaneous event  Psychology attempts to refine our understanding of criminal behvaiour by considering individual variation in order to account for heterogeneity & provide differentiated assessment & intervention  Psychological understanding is derived from recognizing variability of criminal behvaiour between individuals as well as within an individual over time & across situations  prominent psychological depiction of interplay among factors influencing criminality referred to as Personal, Interpersonal and Community-Reinforcement model (PIC-R): --> this model posits tht criminal behvaiour reflects the “immediate situation” in tht factors (e.g temptations, inhibitors, stressors) combine to influence a decision to engage in criminal behvaiour --> it is model of criminal behvaiour tht recognizes the influence of both historical & immediate factors  Cognitive Social Learning Theory of Crime: Alearning theory of crime tht attends to both social & cognitive factors as well as behvaiour Definition of Crime  McGuire (2004) describes variety of factors tht have been used to define crime & explain when certain behaviours maybe be viewed as criminal  individual’s motivation, opportunity, politics, social convention & context  types of definitions: --> legal refers to acts prohibited by the state tht are punishable under the law --> moral refers to the violation of norms of religion & morality tht are punishable by supreme beings --> social refers to the violation of certain norms & customs tht are punishable by community --> psychological refers to acts tht are rewarding to the perpetrator but harmful to others  there is consistency across countries regarding what is viewed as criminal  Criminal behaviour: refers to intentional behaviour tht violates a criminal code; intentional in tht it did not occur accidentally or without justification of excuse  immigrants to Cda may behave in a manner consistent w/ cultural norms of their native country, but such behvaiour may be illegal in their newly adopted home (e.g age of consent for sexual intercourse) Determinants of Crime  determinants of crime have often been described as distal (i.e historical) & proximal (i.e immediate, situational)  from psychology's perspective, it is of interest to identify those factors tht are most strongly associated w/ criminality in order tht assessments are developed to reflect these domains & tht interventions are derived to address (ie. Change, modify, diminish) them & reduce future re- offending  Meta-analytic reviews are less biased cause they provide quantitive estimate of the importance of the results rather than a narrative interpretation by the author --> this method of reviewing studies & aggregating findings in terms of effect sizes (i.e strength of the association between independent variables such as substance abuse & dependent variable such as criminal behvaiour) –now considered standard for reviewing literature Box 1.1- Statistical Info for Understanding Research  meta-analysis is one way to synthesize information which uses statistics to aggregate the results of individual studies & develop one averaged effect size for all the studies combined  meta-analysis give some studies more weight than others  effect size provide information about magnitude of the difference (can also be tested for significance)  studies involving two dichotomous variable & a dichotomous variable, effect sizes aer typically reported as the area under receiver operating characteristic curve (Area Under the Curve [AUC] for Receiver Operating Characteristic [ROC]), a Cohen's d correlation, or the B1 coefficient from logistic regression  meta-analysis--> useful b/c aggregated effect size provides quantitative summary of a large body of research  in meta-analysis however, formulae can be used to convert info from one effect size measure into another --> this allows u to directly compare individual studies tht used other measures  the conclusions of the meta-analysis are only strong as the quality of the individual studies tht were aggregated Measuring PredictiveAccuracy  Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis is technique for measuring accuracy of risk assessments examining false positive & true positives across decision thresholds First and Second Order Correlates of Criminal Conduct  Central Eight: the eight most strongly identified through meta-analysis -->important in understanding criminal behvaiour  Big Four: the four most strongly correlated risk factors, as identified through meta-analysis --> major causal variables in the analysis of the criminal behvaiour of individuals  minor risk factors: risk factors with very weak association w/ criminal behvaiour  major(first order correlates); minor (second order)  Moderate risk factors: risk factors w/ demonstrated correlation w/ criminal behaviour  static risk factors: risk factors with demonstrated correlation w/ criminal behaviour, but which cannot change over time or with intervention  dynamic risk factors: risk factors tht can change, unlike static factors, with such change related to reduced criminal behvaiour  Central Eight, reflected in PIC-R, yielded more robust correlations than other factors  major risk factors are often termed criminogenic in tht they are empirically related to criminal conduct & when reduced, lead to reductions in future re-offending --> for this reason, criminogenic needs typically inform treatment refferals --> criminogenic needs/factors: changeable risk factors tht, when reduced, result in reduced criminal behvaiour. Sometimes referred to as dynamic risk factors Impact of Risk and Need Model of Criminal Conduct  young offender services confirmed tht all provinces except Quebec utilize form of risk & need assessment modelled after major risk factors  adult assessments in provincial corrections also reflect the Level of Science Inventory-Revised (LSI-R)  provincial correction: jail & probation services for youth & adults, the latter who receive sentences of less than two years  federal correctional system, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), uses an Offender Intake Assessment based on the Wisconsin
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