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Individual differences. Psychology of Crime. Individual differences. Age Gender Ethnicity. Age. Statistically delinquency peaks at 16-17 years of age, then declines.

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individual differences

Individual differences

Psychology of Crime

individual differences1
Individual differences
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
slide3
Age
  • Statistically delinquency peaks at 16-17 years of age, then declines.
  • However, the vast majority of offences are minor ones. A random sample of around 1,500 13-16-year-old London boys found that 70% had stolen from a shop (quoted in Moir and Jessel, 1995).
slide4
Age
  • Aggressive individuals are rejected by their peers and end up with other aggressive individuals (Pepler and Slaby, 1994).
  • Alternatively, rejected children seek out and associate with other children with similar views on life (Cairns and Cairns, 1991). 
two areas of research interest
two areas of research interest:
  • The existence of specific causes for juvenile delinquency like Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Conduct Disorder (CD)
  • Whether juvenile delinquency persists in offending as adults.
slide6
ADHD
  • ADHD revolves around three principles: inattention,. impulsivity and hyperactivity.
  • A physiological explanation is an under-aroused frontal cortex.
  • Another explanation could be that ADHD is a convenient social label for difficult children.
conduct disorders
conduct disorders
  • This includes behaviours like stealing, fire-starting and running away from home as a teenager.
  • It is estimated that 9% of American males under eighteen show this behaviour (Farrington, 1991).
farrington d p 1996
Farrington, D.P. (1996)
  • The Development of Offending and Antisocial Behaviour from Childhood to Adulthood.
results farrington 1996
Results (Farrington 1996)
  • By the age of 32, 37 per cent of the males had committed criminal offences. The peak age was 17. Nearly three quarters of those convicted as juveniles were reconvicted between the ages of 17 and 24, and nearly half of the juvenile offenders were reconvicted between the ages of 25 and 32.
results farrington 19961
Results (Farrington 1996)
  • Offending was very much concentrated in families. Just 4 per cent of the 400 families accounted for 50 per cent of all convictions of all family members.
  • The worst offenders tended to be from large-sized, multi-problem families.
results farrington 19962
Results (Farrington 1996)

Most juvenile and young adult offences occurred with other people, but this co-offending declined with age. Co-offending with brothers was not uncommon when the siblings were close in age but co-offending with fathers (or mothers) was very rare.

results farrington 19963
Results (Farrington 1996)
  • The most common crimes in late teens were burglary, shoplifting, theft of and from vehicles, and vandalism. All of these declined in the twenties, but theft from work increased
  • Self reports showed that 96 per cent of the males had committed at least one crime that might have led to conviction, so criminal behaviour was not deviant.
predictors of crime at age 8 10
Predictors of crime at age 8—10:
  • Antisocial child behaviour including troublesomeness, dishonesty and aggression.
  • Hyperactivity-impulsivity-attention deficit.
  • Low intelligence and poor school attainment.
  • Family criminality.
  • Family poverty, including low family income, large family size and poor housing.
  • Poor parental child-rearing techniques, poor supervision, parental conflict and separation from parents.
gender
Gender
  • The most evident indicator of crime is being male, on a ratio of 9:1 (which has remained constant for many decades).
lombroso ferrero 1895
Lombroso & Ferrero, 1895
  • Lombroso believed that women were evolutionarily inferior to men, a lower form of life.
  • Having hypothesized that the criminal male was an evolutionary throwback, his ideas about women made it difficult for him to account for their relative lack of offending.
lombroso ferrero 18951
Lombroso & Ferrero, 1895
  • He suggested that the ‘natural’ female criminal was so physically unattractive that natural selection had operated to make her unlikely to breed.
  • Those who remained were among the few not ‘neutralised by maternity’ and were likely to be even more horrific and monstrous than their male counterparts
freud
Freud
  • The exceptional female who does offend is seen as suffering from extreme penis envy and, in a desire to be a man, takes an aggressive, non-conforming attitude that may result in criminal behaviour.
dennis and erdos
Dennis and Erdos
  • Dennis and Erdos have argued that young men, particularly in areas of high unemployment, are in a state of permanent boyhood and never grow up ('Wot U Lookin' At', 1993).
box 1987
Box (1987)
  • Box (1987) explains female crime in terms of poverty and unemployment. Women’s usual response to lack of opportunity and school failure, he argues, is to blame themselves rather than society so they are less likely to turn to crime.
violence by women is increasing
Violence by women is increasing.
  • When Auburn University sociologist Penelope Hanke, Ph.D., reviewed records from an Alabama prison from 1929 to 1985, she discovered that 95% of the cases where women murdered strangers occurred after 1970, along with 60% of slayings of friends and relatives.
domestic violence
Domestic Violence
  • Murray Straus, (1975;1985)
  • total of 8,145 married and cohabiting couples
  • 12.4% of women have assaulted their spouses, compared to 12.2% of men.
  • When it comes to severe assaults, the numbers were 4.6% for women and 5% for men. 
domestic violence1
Domestic Violence
  • Irene Frieze, Ph.D.
  • college students.
  • 58% of women had assaulted their dates, compared to 55% of men.
  • The men don't take the violence seriously
domestic violence2
Domestic Violence
  • Straus admits that when it comes to the most brutal domestic assaults, the domain is still men's--they commit six times the number women do.
violence on the street
Violence on the Street
  • The statistics show that arrests of women for violent crimes increased 90% between 1985 and 1994, compared to 43% for men.
  • Only in the case of murder did men widen their lead: a 13% rise for men compared to a 4% drop for women.
sentencing bias
Sentencing bias
  • A Florida-based study showed that men were 23% more likely to be imprisoned than women who committed the same crime.
social learning theory
Social Learning Theory
  • Albert Bandura conducted a series of experiments in which children watched adult models hitting inflatable Bobo dolls
  • The children were then offered the opportunity to imitate the behaviour.
social learning theory1
Social Learning Theory
  • Under normal circumstances, the boys knocked down the dolls far more often than the girls did.
  • when the models got rewarded for knocking down the Bobos, the boys and girls became almost equally aggressive.
socialisation
socialisation
  • Sutherland 1939
  • boys are more likely to become delinquent than girls because they are less strictly controlled and are taught to be aggressive and active risk seekers
  • Evaluation - Now girls are being encouraged by the media, etc to be violent - could explain rise in female crime.
physiological
physiological
  • In a 1980 study (quoted in Moir and Jessel, 1995) of 50 violent female London prisoners, 44% of their crimes had been committed during paramenstruum (four days before menstruation). This is often called 'premenstrual tension' (PMT)
  • Only 3% to 4% of women are affected
ethnicity and crime
Ethnicity and crime
  • UK Home Office figures show that more Afro Caribbean youths are arrested as a percentage of the Afro-Caribbean population compared to white youths (for example, in London in 1984 52% of the arrests for street robbery were of Afro-Caribbeans, while non-whites only make up 14% of the London population).
ethnicity and crime1
Ethnicity and crime
  • Feldman (1993) points out that if there is a generalizable difference, then it is that Afro-Caribbeans commit more single 'casual' (opportunist) offences while whites are 'high-rate offenders'.
  • But 'white collar' crimes are 'white crimes' because non-whites are not usually in the position to commit them.
percentage in prison
Percentage in Prison

In Prison

In Population

Green represents ethnic minorities

percentage in prison1
Percentage in Prison
  • Ethnic minorities represent 10.3% of the English prison population, compared with 6.93% of the population aged 16—24 years, and 5.5% of the total population (Home Office, 1991).
stop and search
stop-and-search
  • police stop-and-search powers have been shown to be used disproportionately against young black males (NACRO, 1997)
  • but Wilbanks (1987) believes the differential in imprisonment rates is actually the result of higher crime rates among black people
sentencing
Sentencing
  • Crawford (2000) explored the effects of race on over 1,100 habitual female offenders in Florida
  • African-American women were given harsher sentences than their white counterparts.
sentencing1
Sentencing
  • Similarly, when crime seriousness, crime type and prior record are controlled for, black males receive harsher sentences than white males do (Crawford et al., 1998).
commentary
Commentary
  • Almost all of this research is again concentrated on males. Rice (1990) calls this 'macho centric' (male centred), and it ignores the experiences of black females.
evaluation key points
Evaluation key points:
  • For top marks you need statistics of frequency of occurrence of crimes
  • for evaluation consider, weaknesses of biological explanations for age and gender and ethnicity.
  • Again most research is correlational or longitudinal. No Cause & Effect.
homework question
Homework Question
  • a Outline one study of individual or cultural differences in criminal behaviour. (6)
  • b Evaluate reductionist approaches to explaining criminal behaviour. (10)