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Evolutionary Theory. ▪ Uses principles of evolution to explain modern human behavior ▪ Rape ▪ “Cads and dads” theory ▪ Criticism ▪ Difficult if not impossible to test ▪ Evidence sometimes runs counter to predictions. Evolutionary Theory (2 of 2). ▪ Rape

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evolutionary theory
Evolutionary Theory

▪ Uses principles of evolution to explain modern human behavior

▪ Rape

▪ “Cads and dads” theory

▪ Criticism

▪ Difficult if not impossible to test

▪ Evidence sometimes runs counter to predictions

evolutionary theory 2 of 2
Evolutionary Theory (2 of 2)

▪ Rape

▪ Evolutionary processes allow males who are pushy and aggressive in the pursuit of sex to pass on their genes successfully.

▪ “Cads and dads” theory

▪ Alternative strategies for reproductive success

▪ Cads—pretend caregivers who really want to reproduce with as many females as possible

▪ Dads—invest time and energy to help nurture and raise offspring

summary
Summary

▪ Many biological factors appear to be related to criminal behavior:

▪ Inherited?

▪ Results of biological harms?

▪ Biological factors contribute to criminality in certain environmental circumstances.

biological theories criticisms
Biological Theories Criticisms

▪ Ignores some types of crimes

▪ White-collar

▪ Organized

▪ Political crime

▪ Focuses on aggression or antisocial behavior in children and street crime in adults

policy implications 1 of 2
Policy Implications (1 of 2)

▪ Still fear of ethical problems

▪ Biology not necessarily destiny

▪ Provide unsound justifications for the control of minority populations

▪ New eugenics

▪ Gene therapy

▪ Discrimination based on presence of biological risk indicators

policy implications 2 of 2
Policy Implications (2 of 2)

▪ The upside? Criminality as a public health problem

▪ Prenatal care for at-risk mothers

▪ Strengthen environmental counterbalances for children with biological risk indicators

psychology and crime
Psychology and Crime

▪ How does a psychologist or psychiatrist develop and understand the criminal mind?

▪ What does psychology contribute to the study of the criminal mind?

▪ What is the psychological approach to the study of crime?

psychoanalytic theory
Psychoanalytic Theory

▪ Sigmund Freud

▪ 1856–1939

▪ Psychic Determinism

  • A CIGAR IS NEVER JUST A CIGAR
freudian elements of personality
Freudian Elements of Personality

▪ Conscious vs. Unconscious Mind

▪ Id: “If it feels good, do it!”

▪ Superego: conscience—“Stealing is wrong.”

▪ Ego: psychological thermostat that regulates the wishes of the id with the social restrictions of the superego

defense mechanisms
Defense Mechanisms

▪ Used to reduce anxiety

  • REPRESSION
  • RATIONALIZATION
  • DENIAL
  • PROJECTION
freudian explanations of delinquency
Freudian Explanations of Delinquency

▪ Overactive Id

▪ Delinquent Superego

▪ Delinquent Ego

  • Crimes with “special meaning”
  • Translating psychoanalysis into rehabilitation?
    • Works for articulate adult neurotics who can talk out their problems…
policy implications of freudian theory
Policy Implications of Freudian Theory

▪ Drawbacks

▪ Almost impossible to test empirically (Cannot be directly observed and measured)

▪ Still maintains a place in psychology of criminal behavior

  • Many concepts from Freud used in modern theory
    • LOW SELF CONTROL
    • PRO-CRIMINAL ATTITUDES
principles of learning
Principles of Learning

▪ Three types of learning

▪ Classical conditioning

▪ Operant conditioning

▪ Observational (vicarious) learning

principles of learning15
Principles of Learning

▪ Positive reinforcement: increases the target behavior by rewarding the individual

▪ Negative reinforcement: increases the target behavior by removing an unpleasant stimulus

▪ Punishment: reduces the odds of the target behavior being repeated

principles of learning16
Principles of Learning

▪ Delinquency tied to parents’ failure to effectively condition their children away from bad behavior

  • Inconsistent and harsh punishment (Glueck and Glueck).

▪ Effective parenting (monitoring, punishing, and reinforcing behavior)nondeliquent children (Patterson).

▪ Parental behaviors may have few effects on the child’s long-term development (Harris).

molecular genitics and parenting
MOLECULAR GENITICS and PARENTING
  • Study: Kids can carry genes magnifying parent's influence
  • “The almost-famous 5-HTTLPR serotonin transporter-promoter gene, which governs the activity of the mood chemical serotonin in the brain and essentially comes in three varieties. About 1 in 5 children are born with a variant that, according to studies, makes them highly sensitive to the effects of neglectful, insensitive or abusive parents”
principles of learning18
Principles of Learning

GERALD PATTERSON AND FRIENDS

observational learning
Observational Learning

▪ Albert Bandura (Bobo doll experiments): most human learning is not based on trial and error (operant conditioning).

▪ Effects on criminal behaviors are difficult to determine.

media and crime
Media and Crime

▪ Does media (TV and movies) influence aggression, violence, and criminal behavior?

▪ Conducive to role modeling

▪ Perpetrators not punished

▪ Targets of violence show little pain

▪ Few long-term negative consequences

  • Some evidence (but still debate)—reducing exposure may reduce aggression
policy implications of behaviorism
Policy Implications of Behaviorism

▪ Criminals can learn pro-social behaviors to replace criminal actions.

▪ Classical Conditioning  Aversion therapy

▪ Operant Conditioning Token economy

cognitive psychology
▪ Humans’ ability to engage in complex thoughts influences behavior.

▪ Cognitions (like behaviors) can be learned.

▪ Focus on:

▪ Cognitive structure (how people think)

▪ Cognitive content (what people think)

Cognitive Psychology
cognitive structure
Cognitive Structure

▪ Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning: humans advance through predictable stages of moral reasoning

▪ Self-control

▪ Ability to empathize

▪ Ability to anticipate consequences

▪ Ability to control anger

kohlberg s stages of moral development 1 of 2
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development(1 of 2)

▪ Stage 1

▪ Right is blindly obeying those with power and authority.

▪ Emphasis is on avoiding punishment.

▪ Interests of others are not considered.

▪ Stage 2

▪ Right is furthering one’s own interests.

▪ Interests of others are important only as a way to satisfy self-interests.

▪ Stage 3

▪ Moral reasoning is motivated by loyalties to others and a desire to live up to other’s standards.

kohlberg s stages of moral development 2 of 2
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development (2 of 2)

▪ Stage 4

▪ Right is following the rules of society and maintaining important social institutions (e.g., family, community).

▪ Stage 5

▪ Moral decisions are made by weighing individual rights against legal principles and the common good.

▪ Stage 6

▪ Moral decisions are based on universal principles (e.g., human dignity, desire for justice).

▪ Principles are considered across different contexts and are independent of the law.

cognitive content
Cognitive Content

▪ Rationalizations or denials that support criminal behavior

▪ For example, a criminal thinks, “I’m not really hurting anyone.”

  • Extremely common for sex offenders

▪ Criminals are more likely to express such thoughts

  • Sociologists are often skeptical (time-ordering)
  • Psychologists: NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT

policy implications of cognitive psychology
Policy Implications of Cognitive Psychology

▪ Cognitive theory translates easily into practice.

  • Cognitive skills programs teach offenders cognitive skills like moral reasoning, anger management, or self-control.
  • Cognitive restructuring attempts to change the content of an individual’s thoughts.

▪ Combination cognitive-behavioral have track record of success

theory in action
Theory in Action

▪ Multisystematic therapy (MST)

▪ Creator Scott Henggeler and associates

▪ Reduces criminal behavior

▪ Comprehensive approach

▪ Targets many areas for change

▪ Uses many different techniques (not just cognitive-behavioral programs)

personality and crime
Personality and Crime

▪ Crime and delinquency related to the presence of some personality trait

▪ Personality trait: a characteristic of an individual that is stable over time and across different social circumstances

▪ Personality: the sum of personality traits that define a person

personality traits and crime 1 of 3
Personality Traits and Crime (1 of 3)

▪ A number of related traits combine to form super factors

▪ Several different models

▪ Five-factor model

▪ Tellegen’s personality model

▪ Recent studies use the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ)

personality traits and crime 2 of 3
Personality Traits and Crime (2 of 3)

▪ Personality dimensions in the MPQ

▪ Constraint

▪ Traditionalism

▪ Harm avoidance

▪ Control

▪ Negative emotionality

▪ Aggression

▪ Alienation

▪ Stress reaction

personality traits and crime 3 of 3
Personality Traits and Crime (3 of 3)

▪ Personality dimensions in the MPQ

▪ Positive emotionality

▪ Achievement

▪ Social potency

▪ Well-being

▪ Social closeness

criminal personality the psychopath
Criminal Personality:The Psychopath

▪ A distinct “criminal personality”

▪ One of the oldest concepts in criminology

  • “MORAL INSANITY”
antisocial personality disorder apd from dsm iv
Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) from DSM-IV

1. Disregard for the rights of others. At least three of the following:

behaves in a way that is grounds for arrest, deceitful and manipulative, impulsive, aggressive, irresponsible, lack of remorse

2. Age 18 or older

3. A history of child conduct disorder

4. Antisocial behavior not a product of schizophrenic episode

psychopath is narrower concept
“Psychopath” is narrower concept
  • Hervey Cleckley’s (1957) The Mask of Sanity
  • Key features: Manipulative, Superficial charm, Above-average intelligence, Absence of psychotic symptoms, Absence of anxiety, Lack of remorse, Failure to learn from experience, Egocentric, Lack of emotional depth
  • Other Characteristics: Trivial Sex life, Unreliable, Failure to follow a life plan, Untruthful, Suicide attempts rarely genuine, Impulsive, Antisocial behavior
hare pcl
HARE PCL
  • The Psychopathy Checklist
    • Interview
    • Measures different aspects of psychopathy (each scored on a 0-2 scale)
    • Has produced very interesting studies (difference between psychopath and non-psychopath inmates)
policy implications of personality theory
Policy Implications of Personality Theory

▪ Personality traits consistently predict delinquency and crime.

▪ Criticisms:

  • Personality traits are often portrayed as impossible to change (See, Psychopathy)
  • What causes personality traits?
intelligence and crime
Intelligence and Crime

▪ “Feeblemindedness” was once thought to be a cause of crime.

▪ What exactly is IQ and how does it relate to criminal behavior?

a brief history of intelligence testing
A Brief History of Intelligence Testing

▪ Binet started out like his peers: Measuring people’s skull size

  • Not much difference—worried about bias in the tests
  • Developed a “hodgepodge” of tests measure identify learning disabled children
    • Not meant to be a measuring device for intelligence in “normal” students
  • Translated to English, used to identify “morons” and “low grade defectives” as part of eugenics
iq and crime
IQ and Crime

▪ There is an IQ gap of 8–10 points between criminals and noncriminals, even when statistically controlled for race and social class.

▪ IQ is not a very strong indicator of criminal behavior.

  • But, it does consistently predict
iq and crime41
IQ and Crime

▪ Travis Hirschi and Michael Hindelang

▪ The Bell Curve

▪Direct effect

▪ Most criminologists find evidence of indirect effects

IQ  School, Peers, etc.  Crime

conclusion
Conclusion

▪ The common emphasis of all psychological theories is on the individual.

▪ Modern Theory

  • LEARNING
  • COGNITION and IQ
  • PERSONALITY

▪ Many psychological theories translate well into treatment programs.