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1. Rational Choice Theory has roots in the ____ school of criminology developed by the Italian social thinker, Cesare Beccaria


2. Rational Choice Theory has roots in the Positivist School of Criminology

Stand a good chance of being caught or punished

3. Which of the following prompted an offender to decide to forgo crime?


4. The 'high' of successfully executing illegal activities

failed to find evidence that an execution produces an immediate decline in the murder rate

5. Research on immediate impact of well-publicized executions

Community Deterioration

6. Social Ecology School of Criminology associates crime rates and the need for police services to

Trait Theory

1. _____ reflects view that criminality is the product of abnormal biological or physical traits


2. Biological explanations of crime re-emerged in early ___ with sociobiology by Edmund O. Wilson


3. Evidence exists that indicates low levels of brain chemical compounds called ____ are associated with violent behavior


4. The 'Twinkie defense' attention to view that biochemical conditions can affect social behavior

Arousal Theory

5. According to ____ for a variety of genetic and environmental reasons, brains function differently in response to environmental stimuli

Conduct Disorder

6. Many ADHD kids suffer from ___ and engage in aggressive and antisocial behavior in childhood

Social Classes

1. ________ are segments of the population whose members have a relatively similar portion of desirable belongings, and who share attitudes, values and norms

Social Disorganization Theory

2. Which theory focuses on the urban conditions, such as high unemployment and school dropout rates to explain crime?

Cultural Transmission

3. Sub-cultural values are handed down from one generation to the next in a process called


4. General Strain Theory is not purely a structural theory because it focuses on how life events influence behavior


5. The family-crime relationship is significant across racial, ethnic and gender lines

Culturally defined goals and socially approved means for obtaining them

6. What two elements of culture interact to produce anomie and/or anomic conditions?


1. Social Control Theory suggests that people learn techniques and attitudes of crime from close relationships with criminal peers

More likely to use illicit drugs and be more aggressive as they mature

2. Adolescents who do not receive affection from their parents during childhood are

Loyalty to

3. When examining the relationship between delinquent peers and fear of punishment, _____ delinquent peers may outweigh the fear of punishment


4. The process of _____ refers to moving in and out of delinquency or shifting between conventional and deviant values

Denial of the victim

5. Criminals sometimes neutralize wrongdoings by maintaining that the crime victim "had it coming." This is an example of which technique of neutralization?

Delinquency may lead to weakened bonds, not vice versa

6. Which of the following issues has been raised regarding the validity of social control theory?

Labeling theory recognizes that criminality is a disease or pathological behavior

7. Which of the following statements does NOT reflect labeling theory?

Increased effect of media and demystifying the law

1. Which of the following is NOT a basic concern of critical criminologists?

Political concept designed to protect the power of the upper class

2. According to critical theorists, crime is a

State (organized) Crime

3. ___ describes the anti-social behaviors that arise from efforts to maintain governmental power or to uphold the race, class and gender advantages of those who support the government


4. According to this type of critical theory, the poor may or may not commit more crimes than the rich, but the poor are certainly arrested and punished more often


5. Instrumental theorists consider it essential to ____ law and justice - that is, to unmask its true purpose

Encouraging crime rather than preventing it

6. Peacemaking criminologists view the efforts as the state to punish and control crime as

Eleanor and Sheldon Glueck

1. The integrative methodology in the early research of ___ formed the basis of today's developmental approach


2. Latent trait theories hold that human development is controlled by a "master trait" present at birth or soon after

Early onset of antisocial behavior predicts more serious criminality

3. Why is early onset an important factor in crime?

At birth or soon after

4. According to latent trait theory, when does a latent trait appear?

A latent trait

5. According to Wilson and Herrnstein's crime and human nature view, a criminal incident occurs when an individual chooses criminal over conventional behavior. What factor influences that choice?

Rational Choice Theory

The view that crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act

Classical Criminology

A theory of crime suggesting that criminal behavior is a matter of personal choice, made after the individual considers its costs and benefits, and that the criminal behavior reflects the needs of the offender

Founder of Classical Criminology

Cesare Beccaria

Gary Becker and James Wilson

Rational Choice Guys

Offense-Specific Crime

A crime in which the offender reacts selectively to the characteristics of a particular criminal act

Offender-Specific Crime

A crime in which offenders evaluate their skills, motives, needs and fears before deciding to commit the criminal act

Where they occur, the characteristics of the target, and learned criminal techniques

Rational Choice theory says the decision to commit crime is structured by


A relatively new and fresh piece of electronic equipment is highly desired by burglars


Drug dealers are violent street thugs


Neighborhood watch programs are a waste of time

Awareness Space

Familiarity with the area to have an escape route


Criminal behavior is essentially harmful and dysfunctional

Market Related, Status Based, Personalistic

Targets are chosen by crime based on one of these three things:


The excitement or exhilaration of successfully executing illegal activities in dangerous situations

Seductions of Crime

The situational inducements or immediate benefits that draw offenders into law violations

Situational Crime Prevention

A method of crime prevention that seeks to eliminate or reduce particular crimes in specific settings

Defensible Space

The principle that crime can be prevented or displaced by modifying the physical environment to reduce the opportunity that individuals have to commit crime


It's possible to reduce drunk driving by installing on cars a locking device that prevents drunk drivers from starting their cars

Crime Discouragers

People who serve as guardians of property or people, grouped as guardians, handlers or managers


An effect that occurs when efforts to prevent one crime unintentionally prevents another


An effect that occurs when crime control efforts targeting a particular locale help reduce crime in surrounding areas and populations


An effect that occurs when crime control efforts simply move, or redirect, offenders to less heavily guarded alternative targets


An effect that occurs when crime reduction programs produce a short-term positive effect, but benefits dissipate as criminals adjust to new conditions


An effect that occurs when criminals try new offenses that had previously avoided because situational crime prevention programs neutralized their crime of choice

General Deterrence

A crime control policy that depends on the fear of criminal penalties, convincing the potential law violator that the pains associated with crime outweigh its benefits


Adding police on the street has no effect on crime rates

General Deterrence Factors

Certainty of punishment, severity of punishment, swiftness of punishment

Critiques of General Deterrence

Rationality, System Effectiveness, Deterrability

Specific Deterrence

The view that criminal sanctions should be so powerful that offenders will never repeat their criminal acts (not clear cut that it is effective)


The more you punish people, the less likely they are to commit crimes


Confinement in jail or prison


Repetition of criminal behavior

Incapacitation Effect

The view that placing offenders behind bars during their prime crime years reduces their opportunity to commit crime and helps lower the crime rate


Locking up millions of criminals can bring down the crime rate

Trait Theory

The view that criminality is a product of abnormal biological or psychological traits


The view that human behavior is motivated by inborn biological urges to survive and preserve the species (Trait Theory)

Cesare Lombroso

Founder of Trait Theory


You are what you eat! Eating healthy can reduce antisocial behaviors


It may be because of their hormones that men exhibit more violent behavior than women


A condition that occurs when glucose (sugar) in the blood falls below levels necessary for normal and efficient brain functioning


Male sex hormones


The principal male hormone

Premenstrual Syndrome

Condition, postulated by some theorists, wherein several days before and during menstruation, excessive amounts of female sex hormones stimulate antisocial, aggressive behavior


The image of the brain-damaged villain going on a violent rampage is more likely to occur in horror films than in real life


The study of brain activity

Conduct Disorder

A pattern of repetitive behavior in which the rights of other or social norms are violated


A developmentally inappropriate lack of attention, along with impulsivity and hyperactivity


Chemical compounds that influence or activate brain functions


The acorn does not fall from the tree; that is, the children of deviant parents are more likely than other kids to be antisocial themselves

Arousal Theory

The view that people seek to maintain a preferred level of arousal but vary in how they process sensory input. A need for high levels of environmental stimulation may lead to aggressive, violent behavior patterns (Trait Theory)

Monozygotic (identical)

Studies show that this type of twin behavior have detected a significant relationship between the criminal activities

Contagion Effect

People become deviant when they are influenced by others with whom they are in close contact

Dizygotic (fraternal)

Studies show that this type of twin behavior have detected a much lower association between criminal activities


The behavior of identical twins is eerily similar, but if they live apart all their lives without knowing each other, they are likely to be quite different

Genetic Theory

Holds that violence-producing traits are passed from generation to generation (Trait Theory)

Evolutionary Theory

Holds that instinctual drives control behavior, the urge to procreate influences male violence (Trait Theory)

Neurological Theory

Criminals and delinquents often suffer brain impairment and ADHD and minimal brain dysfunction are related to antisocial behavior (Trait Theory)

Biochemical Theory

Crime, especially violence, is a function of diet, vitamin intake, hormonal imbalance or food allergies (Trait Theory)

Psychodynamic Theory

Theory, originated by Freud, that the human personality is controlled by unconscious mental processes that develop early in childhood and involve the interaction of id, ego and superego (Trait Theory)


The primitive part of people's mental makeup, present at birth, that represents unconscious biological drives for food, sex and other life-sustaining necessities. The ID seeks instant gratification without concern for the rights of others


The part of the personality developed in early childhood that helps control the ID and keep people's actions within the boundaries of social convention


Incorporation within the personality of the moral standards and values of parents, community and significant others

Attachment Theory

Bowlby's theory that being able to form an emotional bond to another person is an important aspect of mental health throughout the life span (Trait Theory)

Behavior Theory

The view that all human behavior is learned through a process of social reinforcement, rewards and punishment (Trait Theory)

Social Learning Theory

The view that people learn to be aggressive by observing others acting aggressively to achieve some goal or being rewarded for violent acts, Bandura (Trait Theory)

Psychological Trait View

Focuses on associations among intelligence, personality, learning and criminal behavior

Critiques of sociobiology trait theory

Racist, regional differences not accounted for

Behavior Modeling

The process of learning behavior (notably, aggression) by observing others. Aggressive models may be parents, criminals in the neighborhood or characters on TV or movies (Trait Theory)


Watching violent TV shows makes kids behave more violently

Cognitive Theory

Psychological perspective that focuses on the mental processes by which people perceive and represent the world around them and solve problems (Trait Theory)

Information-Processing Theory

Theory that focuses on how people process, store, encode, retrieve and manipulate information to make decisions and solve problems (Trait Theory)


The reasonably stable patterns of behavior, including thoughts and emotions, that distinguish one person from another

Antisocial Personality

Combination of traits, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, hedonism, and inability to empathize with others, that make a person prone to deviant behavior and violence; also referred to as sociopathic or psychopathic personality

Nature Theory

The view that intelligence is largely determined genetically and that low intelligence is linked to criminal behavior (Trait Theory)

Nurture Theory

The view that intelligence is not inherited but is largely a product of environment. Low IQ scores do not cause crime but may result from the same environmental factors (Trait Theory)

Mood Disorder

A condition in which the prevailing emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior, during which a child loses her or his temper, often argues with adults, and often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules


A severe disorder marked by hearing nonexistent voices, seeing hallucinations, and exhibiting inappropriate responses

Bipolar Disorder

An emotional disturbance in which moods alternate between periods of wild elation and deep aggression

Primary Prevention Programs

Programs, such as substance abuse clinics and mental health associations, that seek to treat personal problems before they manifest themselves as crime

Secondary Prevention Programs

Programs that provide treatment, such as psychological counseling to youths and adults after they have violated the law


Gangs are local groups that defend their turf from outsiders

Stratified Society

People grouped according to economic or social class; characterized by the unequal distribution of wealth, power and prestige

Social Class

Segment of the population whose members are at a relatively similar economic level and who share attitudes, values, norms and an identifiable lifestyle


There are very few truly poor people in the United States, the wealthiest country on Earth

Culture of Poverty

A separate lower-class culture, characterized by apathy, cynicism, helplessness and mistrust of social institutions such as schools, government agencies and the police that is passed from one generation to the next


The lowest social stratum in any country, whose members lack the education and skills needed to function successfully in modern society


Political, social and economic programs such as affirmative action have erased the economic gulf between whites and minorities

Social Structure Theory

The view that disadvantaged economic class position is a primary cause of crime, Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay

Social Disorganization Theory

Branch of social structure theory that focuses on the breakdown in inner-city neighborhoods of institutions such as the family, school and employment

Strain Theory

Branch of social structure theory that sees crime as a function of the conflict between people's goals and the means available to obtain them


The anger, frustration and resentment experienced by people who believe they cannot achieve their goals through legitimate means

Cultural Deviance Theory

Branch of social structure theory that sees strain and social disorganization together resulting in a unique lower-class culture that conflicts with conventional social norms


A set of values, beliefs and traditions unique to a particular social class or group within a larger society

Cultural Transmission

Process whereby values, beliefs and traditions are handed down from one generation to the next

Transitional Neighborhood

An area undergoing a shift in population and structure, usually from middle-class residential to lower-class mixed-use


People living in lower-class neighborhoods mistrust the government and believe that government programs are part of a plot to destroy their communities

Factors associated with Social Disorganization

Community disorder, Community fear, Siege Mentality, Community Change, Poverty Concentration

Concentration Effect

As working and middle class families flee inner city poverty ridden areas, the most disadvantaged population is consolidated in urban ghettos

Collective Efficacy

Social control exerted by cohesive communities and based on mutual trust, including intervention in the supervision of children and maintenance of public order

Three forms of Collective Efficacy

Informal social control (approval by peers & family), Institutional social control (school and church) and Public social control (police or outside help)

Anomie Theory

The view that anomie (without norms) results when socially defined goals (such as wealth and power) are universally mandated but access to legitimate means (such as education and job opportunities) is stratified by class and status, Robert Merton (Social Structure Theory)

Social Adaptations to Anomie

Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, Rebellion


Crime rates always go down in a healthy economy

Institutional Anomie Theory

The view that anomie pervades US culture because the drive for material wealth dominates and undermines social and community values

American Dream

The goal of accumulating material goods and wealth through individual competition; the process of being socialized to pursue material success and to believe it is achievable

Relative Deprivation

Envy, mistrust and aggression resulting from perceptions of economic and social inequality (Judith and Peter Blau)

General Strain Theory

The view that multiple sources of strain interact with an individual's emotional traits and responses to produce criminality

Negative Affective States

Anger, frustration and adverse emotions produced by a variety of sources of strain

Focal Concerns

Values, such as toughness, street smarts, trouble, smartness, excitement, fate and autonomy, that have evolved specifically to fit conditions in lower-class environments and are in conflict with the dominant culture (Miller)

Delinquent Subculture

A value system adopted by lower-class youths that is directly opposed to that of larger society (can be gangs) (Cohen)

Status Frustration

A form of culture conflict experienced by lower-class youths because social conditions prevent them from achieving success as defined by the larger society

Middle-Class Measuring Rods

The standards by which authority figures, such as teachers and employers, evaluate lower class youngsters and often prejudge them negatively

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