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OCR GCSE Psychology: Criminal Psychology
Terms in this set (66)
name the 5 types of criminal offences
- drug related
- anti- social
what are violent offences?
Aggressive crimes resulting in physical harm or death to the victim
what are drug related offences?
Crimes involving trading in or using illegal substances
what are acquisitive offences?
Crimes where capital or belongings are acquired through illegal means e.g. theft
what are sexual offences?
Crimes where a victim is forced to commit or submit to a sexual act against their will
what are anti-social offences?
Criminal acts that cause harassment, alarm or distress to people who do not share a home with the perpetrator
Why is crime hard to define?
- definition changes according to time and culture
- criminal behaviour is subjective
- criminal behaviour is a social construct
- crime is a deviation from norms
How is crime measured?
- official statistics
- self report survey
what are official statistics?
- police reports
- not all crime is reported
What are self-report surveys?
- confidential survey asking about any crimes you have committed
- people could just lie
Give one example of a violent crime
Give one example of a drug related crime
give one example of an acquisitive crime
give one example of a sexual crime
give one example of an anti-social crime
what does Social Learning Theory propose?
proposes that we learn all of our behaviour from role models
what are the stages of Social Learning Theory
Role model - identification - observation - imitation - direct reinforcement/vicarious reinforcement - internalisation - consequences
What is a role model?
A person held in esteem by another
What is identification?
The process where a person aligns themselves with another
What is observation?
The process where people pay attention to behaviours and retain them in memory
What is imitation?
A process where people recall behaviours and reproduce them in their own actions
what is direct reinforcement?
When a behaviour is strengthened and likely to be repeated due to positive outcomes for the individual
what is vicarious reinforcement?
When a behaviour is strengthened by an individual observing this same behaviour being rewarded in another
What is internalisation?
The process whereby a behaviour becomes an integral part of an individual's personality due to continuous reinforcement
What is a consequence?
The result of something, usually negative
Give 4 criticisms of SLT
- ignores the role of nature in explaining criminal behaviour
- does not explain how criminal behaviour starts in the first place
- does not account for people who turn to crime, even though they have not been exposed to criminal role models
- does not explain why people re- offend after prison
What was the Bobo doll experiment?
The Bobo Doll experiment was a demonstration by adults hitting and attacking Bobo Dolls while a group of children were watching them. When the children were later put in the room with the Bobo Dolls they did the same thing: hit and attack.
What was the hypothesis of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
- predicted that playing an aggressive video game would lead to increased aggression in children
- boys and girls will perceive video games differently
What was the aim of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
to investigate whether computer-generated games depicting a lot of violence affected children and whether they affected boys and girls differently
What was the background of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
- previous research had indicated that violence on TV produced an increased tendency towards aggressive behaviours in children, mostly male ppts
- Video games play a large role in children's leisure time
- more active than passively watching TV
What was the method of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
- lab experiment
- independent measures deign
- IV was the type of game played or observed
- DV was the measure of aggression
What was condition 1 of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
pair of ppts played or observed a high aggression, low aggression or control video game
What was condition 2 of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
- one ppts went to a toy room and chose either an aggressive toy, active toy, skill based toy or quiet toy
- the other ppt to measure interpersonal aggression
- they were asked to press a buzzer to show the level of punishment
how did Cooper and Mackie (1986) control extraneous variables?
after 8 minutes observers and players swapped
what were the results of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
- In the pre-experiment questionnaire, 61 per cent of all ppts reported having a video game system at home, mainly boys
- ppts in the aggressive game condition spent more time playing with the aggressive toy than ppts in the other two conditions
- girls who had played the aggressive game spent much more time playing with the aggressive toy than girls in the other conditions
- no effect on the participants' interpersonal aggression scores
what were the conclusions of Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
- playing or watching an aggressive video game had an impact on the aggressive behaviour of girls
- girls reacted with greater arousal
- allowing girls to play with aggressive games may have led to a disinhibition effect
- boys were not affected
- no effect on interpersonal measures of aggression
- playing and observing had no difference
what was the sample for Cooper and Mackie (1986)?
- 84 children
- 44 males
- 45 female
- from a 5th grade school in New Jersey
What is disinhibition in relation to Cooper and Mackie (1986) ?
This means that the girls felt it was socially acceptable to play with the aggressive toy because they had already been encouraged to play an aggressive video game.
Give 4 criticisms of Cooper and Mackie (1986)
- sample too small to be generalised
- lack ecological validity
- Aggressive behaviour was measured in a narrow way, leading to low levels of construct validity
- lacks temporal validity
- many extraneous variables making it difficult to establish cause and effect e.g. researchers didn't have control for how much prior experience a child had with a game
What is Eysenck's theory?
- Personality is determined by a large extent to one's genes
- a theory of personality, but has now been applied to offending behaviour
what were the three personality types?
extroversion, neuroticism, psychoticism
What is extraversion?
- a trait measuring how out-going an individual is. people who score highly on extrovert measures are more likely to act anti-socially
What is neuroticism?
A trait measuring how anxious an individual is
What is psychoticism ?
A trait measuring how impulsive and aggressive an individual is.
According to Eysenck, what causes psychoticism?
- suggest psychoticism is a result of an excess of dopaminergic neurones
- leads to inhibition of impulses during synaptic transmission
- more impulsive, aggressive behaviour
neurotransmitters are released by the pre-synaptic neuron and bind to the receptors of the post-synaptic neuron
According to Eysenck, what causes extraversion?
- low levels of arousal in the cerebral cortex (as stimuli are restricted by RAS) - extroverts seek stimulation from the environment
- over-active reticular activation system regulates stimuli sent to cerebral cortex
- stimuli are restricted by RAS
- cerebral cortex 'hungry' for stimulation
According to Eysenck, what causes neuroticism ?
- related to autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates the activity of the brain's limbic system and is activated during emotion-inducing situations
- ANS becomes over-aroused in neurotics leading to extreme emotions
why are high extroverts likely to commit crimes?
as they are sensation seekers, the thrill of committing a crime might draw them to offending behaviour
why might high neurotics be likely to commit crimes?
they experience high levels of emotion, meaning they are more likely to commit a crime in an emotionally charged situation
why might a high psychotic be more likely to commit crimes?
they are more aggressive, impulsive and lack conscience
outline 5 criticisms of Eysenck's theory
- ignores individual differences
- with such range of crimes its unlikely they all share the same personality
- too deterministic (suggests crime is largely out of the control of the individual, which doesn't help them take responsibility for their actions)
- concept of psychoticism is not useful because crime = psychoticism (argued that psychoticism is a definition of criminal behaviour)
- not enough nurture
what was the aim of Heaven (1996)?
To see if psychoticism, neuroticism and self-esteem were significant predictors (correlated) of self-reported delinquency
why was self-esteem included instead of neuroticism?
- previous researchers questioned the value of N in predicting self-reported delinquency
what was the sample of Heaven (1996)?
282 teenagers (aged 13-15) from
two Catholic schools in Australia
what research methods were used in Heaven (1996)?
Questionnaire and longitudinal study
what was the procedure of Heaven (1996)?
- Participants completed questionnaires at Time 1 (14 years old) and 2 years later at Time 2 ( 16 years old).
1) measured psychoticism, extraversion
& self-esteem (better measure than neuroticism).
2) used self-report to measure delinquency (looked at violence, vandalism & theft).
what were the findings of Heaven (1996)?
- Males are more likely than females
to be involved delinquency at Time 1 & Time 2.
- There was found to be a positive correlation between psychoticism & delinquency at Time 1 & Time 2.
- traits only explain a part of criminal behaviour.
- psychoticism is linked to delinquency
Name 2 limitations of Heaven (1996)?
- Sample culturally biased - Australian Catholic school
- Limited by social desirability as it
- correlation doesn't prove cause and effect, just a relationship
types of punishment
- community sentences
what is punishment?
when negative consequences result from a certain behaviour and reduce the chance of that behaviour happening again
explain the use of punishment to reduce anti-social behaviour
Prisons - taking away freedom, rights & privileges.
Fines - money can be an incentive to committing
crimes like theft so loss of money should have the
Community sentences - offenders also
pay back to society by giving up their time.
what is the effect of a deterrent? (something that discourages or is intended to discourage someone from doing something)
Many people do not commit crimes in the first place and this is because they want to avoid the negative consequences that they have seen others suffer.
name 2 uses of rehabilitation to promote pro-social behaviour
- Restorative justice
- Positive role models
Explain restorative justice
- The victim of the crime will meet the criminal
- the offender has to take responsibility or their crime and face the consequences of their actions when talking with their victim
- Offenders are encouraged to apologise, return any property/money and complete community service
- brings them back into the community.
how do role models promote pro-social behaviours?
offenders observe the actions of someone behaving in a pro-social way, so they have something to imitate (SLT)
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