2QUESTIONDo you think that people who commit crime are physically or mentally abnormal?
3TRAIT THEORIESTrait theories are made up of biosocial and psychological theories.The primary focus of trait theories is human behavior and the link to anti-social behavior, i.e., aggression, violence, and criminality.
4Biological and Psychological Traits Both biological and psychological traits have been linked to criminal behavior, but not as causal linkages.It is the “multiple factor” approach or the interaction of mental and physical traits with environmental and social factors that either suppress or trigger criminal behavior.The focus is generally on persistent or chronic offenders.
5Foundations 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.What is positivism?
6Positivism Positivism rejects the concept of free will. Crime can only be understood if it is studied by the scientific method.Human behavior is a function of internal and external forces, i.e., social, biological, psychological, or economic forces.
7Early Positivists Early positivists included: Lombroso (belief that certain physical characteristics indicate a criminal nature).Garofalo (certain physical characteristics and psychological characteristics indicate criminal nature).Ferri (belief in biological, social and organic factors as a cause of crime and delinquency).Sheldon (belief in body types which were susceptible to certain types of delinquent behavior).
8Problems With Early Positivist Theories The research of the earliest positivists (who were biologists) was plagued by poor:MethodologyTestingLogic
9Biosocial Trait Theories Biochemical Conditions and CrimeNeurophysiological Conditions and CrimeGenetics and CrimeEvolutionary Views and Crime
10Principles of Biosocial Trait Theories Genetic makeup contributes significantly to human behavior.Not all humans are born with equal potential to learn and achieve.This combination produces individual human behavior patterns.
11How does a biosocial theorists QUESTIONHow does a biosocial theoristsexplain learning?
12Biosocial Theory: 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
13QUESTIONIs there a link between sugar and antisocial behavior? Is there a link between hormones and antisocial behavior?
14Biochemical Considerations Aggression and criminal behavior have been linked to diet. Some believe sugar intake is one culprit. If this is true, to what extent is behavior voluntarily induced by these foods?
15delinquents often suffer Biosocial Theory: Neurological PerspectiveCriminals 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
16Neurological Impairment If the medical community tells us that neurological impairment was related to violent crime can the offender be held accountable?If research in the community finds similar impairments in non-offenders, does this change the issue of culpability among offenders who have the impairment?
17criminality of parents Biosocial Theory: Genetic PerspectiveCriminal traits andpredispositions areinherited. Thecriminality of parentscan predict thedelinquency ofchildren.CAUSEExplains why only asmall percentage ofyouth in a high-crimearea become chronicoffenders.STRENGTHS
18Biosocial Theory: 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
19QUESTIONIt there is a biological basis to violence and aggression – then how would a biosocial theorist explain white collar crime?
20Evaluation of Biosocial Trait Theory ResponseRather than suggest that there are born criminals and non-criminals, proponents maintain that some people carry the potential to be violent or antisocial and that environmental conditions can sometimes trigger antisocial responsesCriticismsIf there are biological explanations for street crimes then by implication biological theory says that member of groups are biologically different, flawed or inferior
21PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAIT THEORIES PsychodynamicBehavioralCognitiveSocial LearningMental Illness and crimePersonality and CrimeIntelligence and Crime
22Psychological 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 i.e., anger, sexuality, tendencies. Created by Sigmund Freud.Strengths….Explains the onset of crime and why crime and drug abuse cut across class lines.
23Psychological 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, i.e., learning processes.Strengths….Explains the role of significant others in the crime process. Shows how family life and media can influence crime and violence.
24Social Learning Theory (Life Experiences) An eventthat heightensarousalBehavior andvalues becomeconsistentFactors thathelp produceviolence andaggression.LearnedaggressiveskillsExpectedoutcomes -rewards
25Psychological Theory: Cognitive Theory Major Premise…..Individual reasoning processes influence behavior. Reasoning is influenced by the way people perceive their environment and by their moral and intellectual development, i.e., thinking, memory, ethical values.Strengths….Shows why criminal behavior patterns change over time as people mature and develop their moral reasoning. May explain aging-out process.
26Crime and Mental Illness A great deal of early research efforts found that many offenders who engage in serious, violent crimes suffer from some sort of mental disturbance. However, empirical evidence has contradicted this.Research shows that upon release, prisoners who had prior histories of hospitalization for mental disorders were less likely to be rearrested than those who had never been hospitalized.Mentally disordered inmates who do recidivate upon release appear to do so for the same reasons as the mentally sound.
27Personality and Crime - Trait Personality can be defined as the reasonably stable patterns of behavior, including thoughts and emotions that distinguish one person from another. Personality reflects a characteristic way of adapting to life’s demands and problems.PsychopathsSociopathsAnti-Social PersonalitiesIAbnormal Affect
28Intelligence and Crime What is the difference between nature theory and nurture theory?Do you think IQ and crime are linked?If so, why are there more male than female criminals? Or, Why does “aging out” occur?