Presentation on theme: "(Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime)"— Presentation transcript:
1 (Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime) Trait Theory(Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime)
2 Biology, Psychology, and Crime Criminological ClassificationsEarly Trait Theories (Foundations)Demise of Biological ExplanationsContemporary Trait TheoriesCauses for re-emergenceCore PrinciplesSubranches
3 Foundations of Biological Trait Theory Biological explanation of criminal behavior first became popular during the middle part of the 19th Century with the introduction of positivism.Early positivists included:Lombroso (belief in certain physical characteristics indicate a criminal nature)Ferri (belief in biological, social and organic factors as a cause of crime and delinquency)Sheldon (belief in body type)
4 Foundations of Trait Theories Lombroso DEVIATION IN HEAD SIZE AND SHAPE FROM TYPE COMMON TO RACE AND REGION FROM WHICH THE CRIMINAL CAMEASYMMETRY OF THE FACEEYE DEFECTS AND PECULIARITIESEXCESSIVE DIMENSIONS OF THE JAW AND CHEEK BONESEARS OF UNUSUAL SIZE, OR OCCASIONALLY VERY SMALL, OR STANDING OUT FROM THE HEAD AS DO THOSE OF THE CHIMPANZEENOSE TWISTED, UPTURNED, OR FLATTENED IN THIEVES, OR AQUILINE OR BEAK-LIKE IN MURDERERS, OR WITH A TIP RISING LIKE A PEAK FROM SWOLLEN NOSTRILS.LIPS FLESHY, SWOLLEN, & PROTRUDINGABUNDANCE, VARIETY, AND PRECOCITY OF WRINKLESINVERSION OF SEX CHARACTERS IN THE PELVIC ORGANSEXCESSIVE LENGTH OF ARMS
5 Foundations of Trait Theory Sheldon The view that criminals have physical or mental traits that make them different or abnormalSomatotype (body-build) makes people susceptible to delinquent behaviorMesomorphs – muscular/athletic (aggression)Ectomorphs – tall/thin (intellectual)Endomorphs – heavy/slow (fences)
7 Debunking Early Positivist Theories The research of the earliest positivists (who were biologists) was plagued by poor:MethodologyTestingBiophobiaLack of attention to sociological constructs
8 Foundations of Trait Theory Impact of SociobiologySociobiology reemerged in the 1970sEdmund O. WilsonSociobiologists view the gene as the ultimate unit of human destinyEnsuring of survivalreciprocal altruism
10 Biochemical Perspective Crime, especiallyviolence, is a functionof diet, vitamin intake,hormonal imbalance,or food allergies.CAUSEExplains irrationalviolence. Shows howthe environmentinteracts with personaltraits to influencebehavior.STRENGTHS
11 Neurophysiological Perspective Criminals anddelinquents often sufferbrain impairment, asmeasured by the EEG,Attention deficitdisorder and minimumbrain dysfunction arerelated to antisocialbehavior.CAUSEExplains irrationalviolence. Shows howthe environmentinteracts withpersonal traits toinfluence behavior.STRENGTHS
12 criminality of parents Genetic PerspectiveCriminal traits andpredispositions areinherited. Thecriminality of parentscan predict thedelinquency ofchildren.CAUSEExplains why only asmall percentage ofyouth in a high-crimearea become chronicoffenders.STRENGTHS
13 Evolutionary Perspective As the human raceevolved, traits andcharacteristics havebecome ingrained.Some of these makepeople aggressive andpredisposed tocommit crime.CAUSEExplains highviolence rates andaggregate genderdifferences in thecrime rate.STRENGTHS
14 Biological Trait Theories Evaluation of the Biological Branch of Trait TheoryCritics charge biological theories are racist and dysfunctionalBiological explanations do not account for geographical variations in crimeLack of empirical testing
15 Contemporary Psychological Perspectives Contemporary Psychological Perspectives n Core Principles - Psychological Traits Matter - Learning Process (Imitation and Modeling) n Operationalization n Sub-branches - Controlling the Feebleminded - Psychodynamic/Freudian psychology - Cognitive - Behavioral - Social Learning
16 Psychological Trait Theories Defective intelligenceCharles GoringCrime could be controlled by regulating reproduction of the feebleminded
17 Psychological Theory: Psychodynamic Perspective Major Premise…..The development of the unconscious personality early in childhood influence behavior for the rest of a person’s life. Criminals have weak egos and damaged personalities.Strengths….Explains the onset of crime and why crime and drug abuse cut across class lines.
18 Psychological Trait Theories Psychodynamic:Freud suggested people carry the residue of childhood attachments that guide future interpersonal relationshipsID (pleasure principal): unconscious biological urges for food, sex and other life-sustaining necessitiesEgo (reality principal): helps guide the actions of the Id within boundaries of social conventionSuperego (conscience): the moral aspect of one’s personality
19 Psychological Trait Theories Psychodynamic:Freud (Cont.)Eros:The most basic drive present at birthConflicts during psychosexual stages of developmentMay lead to “fixations”
20 Psychological Trait Theories Psychodynamics of Abnormal BehaviorInferiority complex:Adler People with a drive for superiorityBipolar disorder:Moods alternate between depression and elationDisruptive Behavior Disorder:DBD includes Oppositional Defiant DisorderODD: Defiance toward authority figuresConduct Disorder:CD is more seriousViewed as severely anti-social
21 Psychological Trait Theories Crime and Mental IllnessPersonality disorders are referred to as psychosisParanoid Schizophrenia:Delusions of wrongdoing and persecutionDespite evidence of mental illnessRecidivism among mentally disordered is less than the general population
22 Psychological Theory: Cognitive Perspective Major Premise…..Individual reasoning processes influence behavior. Reasoning is influenced by the way people perceive their environment and by their moral and intellectual development.Strengths….Shows why criminal behavior patterns change over time as people mature and develop their moral reasoning. May explain aging-out process.
23 Psychological Trait Theories Cognitive TheoryFocuses on how people perceive and mentally represent the world around them and solve problemsMoral development (6 stages):Jean PiagetPeople obey the law to avoid punishmentHumanistic psychology:Self-awareness approach, getting in touch with feelingsInformation Processing:How people process, store, encode, retrieve, and manipulate information
24 Cognitive Theory cont’d Information Processing (3)Encode informationSearch for proper response and decide on next actionAct on decisionSo, why do some folks commit crime and others do not? Scripts and use of cues can make a difference!
25 Psychological Theory: Behavioral Perspective Major Premise…..People commit crime when they model their behavior after others they see being rewarded for the same acts. Behavior is reinforced by rewards and extinguished by punishment.Strengths….Explains the role of significant others in the crime process. Shows how family life and media can influence crime and violence.
26 Psychological Trait Theories Bobo Dolls ExperimentBehavioral TheoryHuman actions are developed through learning experiencesSocial Learning Theory:People learn aggression through life experiencesViolence is learned via behavior modelingExamples family interactions, environmental experiences, and mass mediaAn event that heightens arousalAggressive skillsExpected outcomesConsistency of behavior with values
27 Social Learning Theory An eventthat heightensarousalBehavior andvalues becomeconsistentFactors thathelp produceviolence andaggression.LearnedaggressiveskillsExpectedoutcomes -rewards
29 Psychological Traits and Characteristics Personality and CrimePersonality:The reasonably stable patterns of behavior, thoughts, and emotions that distinguish one person from another.Research has identified personality traitsEysenck extroversion/introversion and stability/instability scales
30 Psychological Traits and Characteristics Personality and CrimeAntisocial personality (unique set of characteristics):PsychopathSociopathyAntisocial persons suffering defects or aberrationsResearch on personality:Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)