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What is a criminal personality? Impulsive, no feelings of guilt, self important. BUT ALMOST ALL ADULTS HAVE BROKEN THE LAW AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES.

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Presentation on theme: "What is a criminal personality? Impulsive, no feelings of guilt, self important. BUT ALMOST ALL ADULTS HAVE BROKEN THE LAW AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a criminal personality? Impulsive, no feelings of guilt, self important. BUT ALMOST ALL ADULTS HAVE BROKEN THE LAW AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES – therefore we can’t ALL be criminals!!! This is a problem when defining the criminal personality.

2 What are the problems with defining a crime? Can’t define a crime, e.g. drink driving is not illegal in Tobago Statistics tell us how many crimes have been committed not how many criminals there are (100 crimes may have been committed by 1 person) Victims don’t always report crimes

3 pre Temporal lobe Limbic system BIOLOGICAL THEORY – says these parts of brain are dysfunctional in criminals.

4 Limitations of the Biological Theory of Criminal Behaviour ProblemBecauseTherefore No criminal gene Can’t be one gene that accounts for rape AND speeding!! Crimes are very different and speeding is not a crime in some countries. Brain dysfunction Not always genetic, some times caused by illness or accident Therefore crime may be due to brain dysfunction but not to genetics Facial features Not all criminals have them, some non criminals have them Maybe society is prejudice against certain looks which turns people to crime Ignores Social learning theory Doesn’t mention that you can learnt to be a criminal from your family This is why crime runs in families not because of genes.

5 It is hard to believe that the same gene is responsible for rape and fraud Brain dysfunction is only evident in some criminals Society might be prejudice to certain looks (e.g. low sloping forehead, glinty eyes) which is why these people end up turning to crime Everyone has at least one of the facial features of criminals but we’re not all criminals If you parents are criminals you may LEARN to be a criminal from them Adoption studies have shown a link between non biological families and crime Critics have argues there can’t be only one gene that accounts for all the different types of crime Brain dysfunction isnt always genetic Brain dysfunction can be caused by head injury not genes. Genes can be the same across different cultures but crimes are not (e.g. euthanasia is a crime in some countries but not in others) Biological theory ignores social influence as a cause of criminal behaviour You can learn to steal Mr Hayden looks like a criminal but he isn’t one. Miss Baynes doesn’t look like a criminal but she has several ASBO’s. Peter Sutcliffe was an infamous serial killer and rapist but he looks really nice. Illness can lead to brain dysfunction.

6 Social Learning Theory of Criminal Behaviour Criminal behaviour is LEARNT! Observing and imitating Copy role models We imitate behaviours that we see being rewarded Seeing a behaviour rewarded is called VICARIOUS REINFORCEMENT Therefore children will imitate what they see in the media

7 Massacre at Columbine Who/what is being imitated? (role models, media influences) What vicarious reinforcements are there? (how do they see this behaviour being rewarded?)

8 Pre-frontal cortexLimbic systemAmygdala Corpus Callosumbrain dysfunctiongenes antisocial behavioursexual behaviour emotions psychopathshemispheresmurderers language/learning/memoryslower aggressivepsychopathsrape/fraudeuthanasia illness/injuryasymmetrical face facial features‘prejudiced against mingers’social learning theory punish/rewardvicarious reinforcement

9 Describe the Social Learning Theory of Criminal Behaviour es-bulger-suffered-multiple-fractures- pathologist-reveals-twoyearold-had-42- injuries-including-fractured-skull-jonathan- foster-reports html

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11 Learning Objectives Describe Social Learning Theory (all) Describe Mednick et al’s study (most) Evaluate Mednick et al’s study (some)

12 Social Learning Theory of Criminal Behaviour Criminal behaviour is LEARNT! Observing and imitating Copy role models We imitate behaviours that we see being rewarded Seeing a behaviour rewarded is called VICARIOUS REINFORCEMENT Therefore children will imitate what they see in the media

13 Explain why Robert Thompson killed Jamie Bulger. Use social learning theory and the key vocabulary linked to this theory. (observe, imitate, reward, vicarious reinforcement)

14 Core study: Mednick at al (1984) Aim – Investigate the nature/nurture debate using an adoption study. Is criminal behaviour genetic or learnt? Procedure – Denmark, 4000 males born between 1924 and 1947 who had a criminal record. Compared the records with biological parents and adopted parents. Results – If bio parents were convicted of a crime, twice as likely to have criminal record than adoptees who’s bio parents were not criminals. Men who’s adopted parents were criminals 14.7% chance they would be criminals V’s Men’s who’s bio parents were criminals (but adopted were not) 20% chance. Siblings from criminals separated at birth and raised in non criminal families) 30% both had criminal records Conclusion Strong genetic link. Can’t totally rule out social learning theory though as highest chance of being criminal was when your bio parents were criminals and your adopted parents (24% V’s 20%)

15 Limitations to Mednick! Criminal convictions are not reliable, not all caught, wrongly convicted Adopted children spend time with bio family, CONTAMINATION EFFECT – may have learnt criminal behaviours then Gender bias – all men, not generalise finding to women.

16 If biological parents were convicted of a crime, twice as likely to have criminal record than adoptees who’s biological parents were not criminals. Sam and Michael are brothers. Their father is a mass murderer. Sam was adopted by Mr Cameron and Michael was adopted by Mr Forteath. There is a 30% chance they will both end up being criminals. Alex was raised by the Beckhams and Tom by the Royal family. They both committed many crimes. Later on they were reunited on the Jerry Springer show and found that they were the sons of Fred and Rose West. Josh’s father was a bank robber. Liam’s father was a dentist. Both Josh and Ben were adopted into a normal family. Josh had twice the chance of getting a criminal record compared to Liam. Jay’s biological father was a dust bin man but he was adopted by a flasher. The chance that Jay will also be arrested for flashing is 20% Sam’s biological father was an Elvis impersonator but he was adopted by the Yorkshire Ripper. There is only a 14.7% chance that Sam will commit a crime. Men who’s adopted parents were criminals 14.7% chance they would be criminals V’s Men’s who’s bio parents were criminals (but adopted were not) 20% chance. If you get adopted by criminals this has less of an impact than if you are adopted by non criminal but your biological father is one! (14.7% v’s 20%). When they compared men who biological parents were criminals and men whose biological parents were NOT criminals that were both adopted into non criminal families, they found that those with biological criminal parents had double the chance of getting criminal records. Siblings from criminals separated at birth and raised in non criminal families) 30% both had criminal records Brothers who had biological criminal fathers but were brought up in separate adopted families had a 30% chance of both committing crimes. Macca grew up to be a mad axe murderer. Charlie grew up to be a circus performer. Both boys were adopted into normal families but Macca’s biological parents were criminals. Charlies were not.

17 What is reliability? If you repeated the study, would you get the same results. If so we can say it is reliable. What is validity? The extent to which you measure what you wanted to measure.


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