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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


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


Male sex hormonss


The principal male hormone

Premenstrual syndrome (Pms)

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


The study of brain activity

Conduct disorder

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

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. (ADHD)

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


Chemical compounds that influence or activate brain functions

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 enviormental stimulation may lead to aggressive, violent behavior patterns.

Contaigion effect

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

Psychodynamic theory

Theory, originated by frued, that the human personality is controlled by unconscious mental process that develop early in childhood and involve interaction of id, ego and, super ego


The primitive part of peoples mental makeup, present at birth, that represents unconscious biological drive for food, sex, and other lifesustaining 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 peoples actions within the boundaries if social convention.


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

Attachment theory

Bowlbys theory that being able to form an emotional bond to another person is an important aspect of mental health throughout the life span.

Behavior theory

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

Social learning theory

The view that people learn to be aggressive by observing others acting aggresivley to achieve some goal or being rewarded for violent acts.

Behavior modeling

The process of learning behavior by observing others.aggressive models may be parents, criminals in neighborhood, or charachters on television or in movies

Cognitive theory

Psychological perspective that focuses on the mental processes by which people percieve and represent the world around them and solve problems.

Information - processing theory

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


The reasonably stable patterns of behavior, including thoughts and emotions, that distinquish 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 revered 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.

Nurture theory

The view that intelligence is not inherited but is largely a product of engulfment. Low iq scores do no cause crime but may result from the same enviormental factors

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 often loses her or his temper, often argues with adults, and often.activley 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 deppression

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

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