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Dr Ann Henry Lecture 1: Tuesday 29th October 2013 Forensic & Applied Cognitive Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Ann Henry Lecture 1: Tuesday 29th October 2013 Forensic & Applied Cognitive Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Ann Henry Lecture 1: Tuesday 29th October 2013 Forensic & Applied Cognitive Psychology

2  Lecture 1 (29/10): Critical Approaches to Theories of Crime  Lecture 2 (5/11): Sexual Offending (Rape)  Lecture 3 (12/11): Sexual Offending (Paedophilia & Child Molesters)  Lecture 4 (19/11): Critical Approaches to Mental Illness, Personality & Crime (part 1)  Lecture 5 (26/11): Critical Approaches to Mental Illness, Personality & Crime (part 2)  Lecture 6 (3/12): Critical Approaches to Offender Profiling (FBI & Statistical)

3  By the end of the lecture you should be able to:  Briefly define Forensic & Criminal Psychology.  Describe & explain different types of theories of crime e.g. Macro-level or Societal; Community or locality; Group & socialisation influence; Individual/ Psychological: Social Constructionism.  Consider the strengths & limitations of each of these theories.

4  Forensic psychology is concerned with the psychological aspects of legal processes in courts. The term is also often used to refer to investigative and criminological psychology: applying psychological theory to criminal investigation, understanding psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour and the treatment of those who have committed offences.  (2013)

5  The largest single employer of forensic psychologists in the UK is the HM Prison Service.HM Prison Service  Forensic psychologists are also be employed rehabilitation units, secure hospitals, the social services and in university departments. Some practitioners also go into private consultancy.

6  The daily key tasks for forensic psychologists may include:  piloting and implementing treatment programmes, modifying offender behaviour, responding to the changing needs of staff and prisoners as well as reducing stress for staff and prisoners.

7  Forensic psychologists also provide:  hard research evidence to support practice, including undertaking statistical analysis for prisoner profiling, giving evidence in court plus advising parole boards and mental health tribunals.

8  Social context of crime; Fear of crime  Victims of crime.  Theories of crime; Violent offenders;  Sexual offending.  Police psychology; Terrorism; Eyewitness Testimony.  Offender profiling; lie detecting; false confessions.  Mental Disorders & Crime; Juries & Decision making.  Psychological treatments for prisoners;  Risk assessment, dangerousness & recidivism.

9  Howitt (2006) outlines a broad range of theories.  Macro-level or Societal  Community or locality  Group & socialisation influence  Individual/ Psychological

10  Marxist Conflict theory  Merton’s Strain Theory  Feminist Theory

11  Marxist conflict theory  Society has evolved in a state of conflict between competing groups in society over material resources & institutionalised power.  Dominant class uses laws to control other groups & maintain its command or hegemony (political leadership)

12  Merton’s Strain Theory  Recognises that society’s goals (prosperity, achievement etc.) are only available to a limited few. The rest can only achieve goals through deviant means.  Others adapt to the strain by retreating into alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, vagrancy.

13  Feminist Theory  Holds that criminality is associated with males. Males seek to maintain power in the gendered social system through the deployment of violence against women & children.  Male control is through their access to power over social institutions such as the law.  Powerless men are inclined to the cruder expressions of power which lead to their imprisonment.

14  Differential Opportunity theory  Explains the patterns of crime likely to be exhibited by individuals in terms of the range of crime opportunities close to home.  Different individuals display different modes of adjustment or adaptation to their particular social strains.

15  Subcultural Delinquency Theories  Differential Association Theory  Lifestyle & Routine Activities Theory  Social Learning Theory  Criminogenic factors in childhood

16  Subcultural Delinquency Theories  Youngsters with problems especially to do with the home & school tend to associate with gangs & other groupings in which they can achieve some status.  Through criminal activity, delinquent groups may provide an opportunity to achieve a sense of self-esteem.

17  Differential Association Theory  Circumstances of upbringing determines their exposure to crime & pressure to commit crime.  Hence, learning to be a criminal applies to different strata of society e.g. middle class might be exposed to fraud, tax evasion etc.

18  Lifestyle & Routine Activities Theory  Argues that most crime is trivial & impulsive – thus elements of opportunism (Cohen & Felson, 1979)

19  Social Learning Theory  Bandura (1973, 1983) Vicarious learning through observing other people.  However, doesn’t explain under what circumstances criminal behaviour will or will not be learnt, so has limited explanatory power.

20  Criminogenic factors in childhood  Glueck & Glueck, 1962, 1968) claim that the following are antecedents of antisocial & criminal behaviour:  Punitive child-rearing practices & attitudes (strict discipline, corporal punishment, authoritarian attitudes)  Lack of love or rejection  Laxness (poor monitoring, lack of supervision)  Family disruption (separation, divorce, instability, marital conflict)  Deviant parental characteristics (criminality, mental health problems, substance abuse)

21  Criminogenic factors in childhood (cont)  Yoshikawa (1995) argued that delinquency is product of interaction of multiplicity of factors:  Neurological & biological factors  Low cognitive ability  Childhood history of antisocial behaviour  Parental substance abuse  Violent or socially disorganised neighbourhoods  Media violence

22  Criminogenic factors in childhood (cont)  Farrington (1996) claims that childhood conduct disorder and adult Antisocial Personality Disorder have the same aetiological precursors:  Low family income  Poor housing  Large family size  Convicted parents  Harsh or erratic parental discipline  Low intelligence  Early school leaving

23  Protective factors from delinquency  Farrington (1998)  Personal Resources – resilient youngsters had better technical/spatial intelligence, flexible temperaments, approach-orientated, more positive self-esteem & active coping styles  Social Resources – resilient youngsters were more satisfied with social support & experienced openness, autonomy & low conflict in their residential institution.

24  Personality Theories  Biological Theories  Attachment Theory  Isomorphism hypothesis

25  Personality Theories  Eysenck’s biosocial theory emphasises link between biological factors, personality & crime.  High extraversion, high psychoticism & high neuroticism

26  Biological Theories  Genetics e.g. genetic make-up, brain activity, hormonal imbalances  Evolutionary theory – inherited genes  Body shape type: mesomorph, endomorph & ectomorph  Evidence is contradictory and controversial

27  Attachment theory  Based on John Bowlby’s work in 1950s  Bonding & attachment in infancy & early childhood  Internal Working Model  Different types of attachment: Secure and  Insecure  Ainsworth (1970s)- classified insecure into  Anxious-Avoidant, Anxious-Ambivalent & Disorganised

28  Isomorphism hypothesis  Close relationship between the characteristics of abuse and its effect on the victim.  Widom (1989) explored links between childhood abuse and adult criminality.  Victims of physical abuse have highest rates of violent offences (16% of sample)  Victims of neglect had similar levels of violence (13%)  Controls (not abused as children) had 7% risk of violent offending in adulthood  Hence, evidence is inconclusive & other factors need to be taken into consideration (see previous list re criminogenic factors)

29  Howitt (2006) summarises that there is little reliable evidence of the link between intelligence level and crime.  Controversial topic as also linked to the debate about race and intelligence.

30  Constructions of crime  Social  Cultural  Historical

31  Briefly defined Forensic & Criminal Psychology & the work involved.  Outlined & described different theories of crime:  Macro-level or Societal  Community or locality  Group & socialisation influence  Individual/ Psychological

32  Howitt, D. (2012). Introduction to Forensic and Criminal Psychology, 4 th ed, Harlow, Pearson Education Ltd.  McGuire, M., Morgan, R & Reiner, R. (2007). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Oxford, Oxford University Press.  Towl, G.J., Farrington., D.P., Crighton, D.A. & Hughes, G. (2008). Dictionary of Forensic Psychology, Devon, Willan Publishing.  Ward. T. & Stewart, C. (2003). The relationship between human needs and criminogenic needs, Psychology, Crime & Law, Vol. 9(3), pp


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