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UF - CCJ 4014 - Exam 1 review guide - Study Guide

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UF - CCJ 4014 - Exam 1 review guide - Study Guide

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background image Theory Creator concepts Logical? Supported by research? crime prevention 
strategies
deterrence   Cesare  Beccaria- 
reacted to 
harsh, 
subjective 
actions of 
criminal justice
officers   Certainty of  punishment needed to  be known so that 
rational choices are 
made; macro and not 
micro theory. Broken 
down into general 
deterrence focused on 
public and specific 
deterrence focused on 
people  Yes. Makes sense 
that punishment 
fitting the crime 
would work to deter 
crimes. It follows 
the rule of 
parsimony, and 
provides practical 
solutions
 No- lacks empirical 
validity to support- 
examine Scared 
Straight program; 
shown to be ineffective 
at reducing crime in 
teenagers who attend 
the program
  Punishments in  place that fit 
attributes stated by 
Beccaria- certain, 
known, swift and 
severe enough- 
adopted by law 
enforcement, 
programs like scared
straight  rational 
choice
  Based on the  expected utility principle of 
economics; 
People act to 
maximize profit
and minimize 
costs/losses
  Crime is a CHOICE  made by the offender- 
not something you were
forced into or 
biologically driven to do;
Choice made by 
calculating cost v 
benefits. This is a micro
theory which applies to 
individuals.
 Yes. The theory is 
both simple and 
parsimonious, and 
can be applied to a 
large scope of 
crimes. Only issue 
to come up is when 
criminals don’t have
a rational state of 
mind.
Yes- but primary critique is
that criminals are not 
rational- 
Response: Offenders 
usually weigh pros and 
cons of their actions, even
if it’s only a quick 
assessment; they do not 
necessarily make good 
choices, but the choices 
made are of benefit to 
them
 Similar to 
deterrence- make 
the consequences 
outweigh risk so 
that criminals are 
deterred from 
committing crime 
biological  Lombroso, 
Sheldon 
 Positivist thinking- new 
micro theory focused on
how crime is caused by 
anatomical, 
physiological or genetic 
anomalies or 
abnormalities. States 
that crime is outside of 
individual control.   Somewhat- can be  argued that there is a 
genetic predisposition;
physical attributes 
cannot be used to 
assign criminality   Some modern studies  are, but not much support
for Lombroso or Sheldon’s
theories which say 
criminals can be ID’d by 
physical appearance 
(refer to next chart for 
more detail)   Does not agree with any other proposed  ideas based on 
deterrence or 
rational choice, 
since this is a micro 
theory.  biosocial  Caspi et al   crime caused by   Yes- sums up 
theory as 
 Some empirical 
support provided with 
 Start prevention 
background image interaction between 
biological characteristics
and the environment- 
nature via nurture; 
Nature and nurture are 
equally important; 
biological characteristics
determine experience in
social environment 
environment acting 
as a trigger on 
genetics; 
parsimonious and 
logical, but does not
apply to all 
crimes/people since 
not all people with 
genetic 
predisposition 
commit crimes
adoption studies, twin 
studies (Caspi), and 
improvements in 
technology allow for 
brain imaging (next 
chart has more details) 
early Use screening to ID 
deficits
Provide treatment or
counseling to 
address issue differential 
association
 Sutherland  Social interactions lead 
to crime since learning 
takes place during these
interactions; Learning 
leads to crime when 
definitions favorable 
to crime outweigh 
definitions 
unfavorable to crime  Yes- states that 
crimes cannot be 
committed unless 
one learns through 
interactions how to. 
Can be applied to a 
wide variety of 
crimes 
 Has further support 
based on Aker’s social 
learning theory- 
expands on learning 
criminal behavior. 
  Preventative  strategies of making crime related 
definitions 
unfavorable- i.e. 
conditioning within 
peer groups to view 
crime negatively 
rather than 
favorably can act to 
prevent crime Social 
learning 
 Akers  More emphasis on how  behaviors (not just 
definitions) are modeled
by others, then learned
Added concept of 
reinforcement
learning based on 
rewards and 
punishment (operant 
conditioning)
Rewards/punishments 
obtained from social 
groups
 Yes;  makes logical 
sense that behavior 
can be learned 
when it is 
reinforced- can be 
applied to a wide 
scope of crimes and
criminal behaviors 
 Tested with Anderson’s
“code of the street” 
research; shows that 
peer influences affect 
participation in crime 
Similar to 
differential 
association- need 
to target where 
behavior is 
learned, but can 
be difficult to do 
since these 
behaviors are 
learned within 
families or peer 
groups.
background image What is a theory? - Theories are statements made about relationships among observable 
phenomena, and express the conditions under which these phenomena 
become related
Micro v. macro theories - Micro theories are oriented towards individuals, and understanding small 
group/individual differences that contribute to crime and criminal behavior. 
Macro theories examine societal influences across different societies or large 
groups that govern behavior.
What makes a theory “good”? Theories are structured based on scientific criteria, the most important of which is 
empirical validity. This is the extent that the theory can be verified or refuted based 
on evidence collected through research (i.e. theory is supported by research 
evidence). Other contributing factors to a good theory include:
- Internal logical consistency- clear concept definitions that are logical, and 
consistent
- Scope- range of phenomena being explained - Parsimony- explaining phenomena with the fewest assumptions possible; i.e. 
explains a concept in the simplest terms
- Testability- theories should be tested with objective, repeated measures to 
produce evidence. 
- Empirical falsification- openness to evidence that can disprove the theory’s 
premise with negative findings
The applicability of a theory to policy implementation and criminal justice practice 
also affects how “good” it is- ultimately, theories are used to understand how/why 
crime occurs, which is subsequently used practically in the CJ system.
Three factors that make theories untestable: 1. Tautologies- circular reasoning that proves a theory or hypothesis true based  on its definition- e.g. serial killers are psychopaths, then state that people 
commit serial murders because they are psychopathic- the statement is true 
because of the preassigned label
2. Open ended proposition that can have negative results reinterpreted to fit the theory-a theory never proven wrong regardless of findings is not testable 3. Concepts addressed in the theory need to be observable and measurable-  need independent variables which have causality measured as dependent 
variables, e.g. demons in peoples’ head cause crimes- since you cannot test 
for the presence of demons through observations, the theory is not viable
Causality and determinism: - Causality states that X causes Y; X is a necessary condition without which Y 
does not occur, and Y is a sufficient condition which occurs in the presence of
X

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School: University of Florida
Department: Sociology
Course: Criminological Theory
Professor: Abby Fagan
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: CCJ4014 Criminological theory theory criminology crim
Name: Exam 1 review guide
Description: This is a condensed version of all the material anticipated to be on the exam. There are charts to sum up the theories that are covered (they're also explained in detail), as well as notes from the studies addressed in class.
Uploaded: 09/19/2016
12 Pages 46 Views 36 Unlocks
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