Intro/Theories of crime Flashcards Preview

Forensic Psych > Intro/Theories of crime > Flashcards

Flashcards in Intro/Theories of crime Deck (11):

What are the broad categories of theories of crime? (which are psychological)

Societal/macro, Community/locality, Group/socialisation, Individual. Psych= group & individual.


Why do we have theories of crime?

To understand mechanisms that contribute to crime and what leads to deciding to commit crime. Helps develop rehab, fair and consistent decision making.


What is an explanation of crime under a societal/macro theory?

Crime is a consequence of social structure. Follows Marxist conflict theory- dominant privileged classes maintain place through criminal justice system.


What is an explanation of crime under a Community/locality theory?

Understands crime as not randomly distributed geographically but in isolated areas called "twilight zones" where there are factors allowing crime. e.g. low SES, gangs etc


What is an explanation of crime under a group/socialisation theory?

Sub cultural delinquency- in gangs crime is a way for youth to develop/maintain status. Differential association - crime is a learned behaviour.


Explain biological theories of crime.

Main idea- Criminals are physiologically different. Near abnormalities, biochem differences, hormones- low serotonin activity.
Early research by Lombroso- influenced by Darwin. Atavism- born not made
FASD- lack impulse control. 19x more likely go to prison


What is the humanistic theory of crime?

Developed by Maslow and Halleck. Assumption that humans are good. 5 motivating needs and choose crime to satisfy needs. Physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, self-actualisation.


How does Freud's psychoanalytic theory relate to crime explanation?

Actions understood through childhood. Interaction of behaviour and unconscious motives. Criminality= representation of psychological conflict.
Against: criminals no more "disturbed", ignores environment and untestable.


What are the three main Sociological theories?

1. Strain theory: Commit crime to reduce stress. Agnew- others prevent you from achieving goals or produce negative stimuli/take things of value
2. Social Learning Theory: engage due to association. Learn maladaptive behaviours
3. Cog Development Theory: Piaget-> Kohlberg. Failed to develop moral judgment on pre-conventional level age 9-11


What are the contributors in developmental sequence to crime?

Antecedent conditions, early indicators, developmental process, maintenance variables


What influences desistance?

First theory was maturational reform (grow up). Then research focused on age as significant and reformative . Less opportunity.