New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Exam 1 review guide

by: Janaki Padmakumar

Exam 1 review guide CCJ4014

Janaki Padmakumar

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

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...
Criminological theory
Abby Fagan
Study Guide
CCJ4014 Criminological theory theory criminology crim
50 ?




Popular in Criminological theory


This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Janaki Padmakumar on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to CCJ4014 at University of Florida taught by Abby Fagan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 53 views. For similar materials see Criminological theory in CRIMINOLOGY at University of Florida.


Reviews for Exam 1 review guide


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 09/18/16
crime prevention Theory Creator concepts Logical? Supported by research? strategies Punishments in Certainty of punishment needed to Yes. Makes sense place that fit be known so that that punishment No- lacks empirical attributes stated by Cesare rational choices are fitting the crime validity to support- Beccaria- certain, Beccaria- made; macro and not known, swift and reacted to micro theory. Broken would work to deter examine Scared severe enough- harsh, down into general crimes. It follows Straight program; adopted by law subjective deterrence focused on the rule of shown to be ineffective enforcement, parsimony, and at reducing crime in actions of public and specific programs like scared criminal justice deterrence focused on provides practical teenagers who attend straight deterrence officers people solutions the program Crime is a CHOICE made by the offender- Yes- but primary critique is not something you were Yes. The theory is that criminals are not forced into or both simple and rational- Based on the biologically driven to do;parsimonious, and Response: Offenders expected utility usually weigh pros and principle of Choice made by can be applied to a cons of their actions, even Similar to economics; calculating cost v large scope of if it’s only a quick deterrence- make People act to benefits. This is a micro crimes. Only issue the consequences theory which applies to to come up is when assessment; they do not outweigh risk so maximize profit individuals. necessarily make good and minimize criminals don’t have choices, but the choices that criminals are rational costs/losses a rational state of made are of benefit to deterred from choice mind. them committing crime Positivist thinking- new micro theory focused on Some modern studies how crime is caused by are, but not much support Does not agree with anatomical, Somewhat- can be for Lombroso or Sheldon’s any other proposed physiological or genetic argued that there is a theories which say ideas based on anomalies or genetic predisposition; criminals can be ID’d by deterrence or abnormalities. States physical attributes physical appearance rational choice, Lombroso, that crime is outside of cannot be used to (refer to next chart for since this is a micro biological Sheldon individual control. assign criminality more detail) theory. biosocial Caspi et al Yes- sums up Some empirical crime caused by theory as support provided with Start prevention interaction between environment acting biological characteristicsas a trigger on and the environment- genetics; nature via nurture; parsimonious and early Nature and nurture are logical, but does not equally important; apply to all adoption studies, twin Use screening to ID biological characteristicscrimes/people since studies (Caspi), and deficits determine experience in not all people with improvements in Provide treatment or social environment genetic technology allow for counseling to predisposition brain imaging (next address issue commit crimes chart has more details) Preventative Social interactions lead strategies of making to crime since learning Yes- states that crime related takes place during these definitions interactions; Learning crimes cannot be unfavorable- i.e. leads to crime when committed unless conditioning within definitions favorable one learns through Has further support to crime outweigh interactions how to. based on Aker’s social peer groups to view Can be applied to a learning theory- crime negatively definitions rather than differential unfavorable to crime wide variety of expands on learning favorably can act to association Sutherland crimes criminal behavior. prevent crime More emphasis on how behaviors (not just Similar to definitions) are modeled differential by others, then learned association- need Added concept of reinforcement- to target where Yes; makes logical behavior is learning based on sense that behavior learned, but can rewards and can be learned be difficult to do punishment (operant when it is Tested with Anderson’s since these conditioning) Rewards/punishments reinforced- can be “code of the street” behaviors are obtained from social applied to a wide research; shows that learned within Social groups scope of crimes and peer influences affect families or peer learning Akers criminal behaviors participation in crime groups. 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 Rational choice and deterrence theories - Primary difference is that rational choice is a micro theory that applies to individuals while deterrence is intended for society as a whole. - Deterrence: the primary purpose of criminal law is to deter criminals from committing crimes. This works on the premise that people are rational, and act criminally if the benefit of the crime outweighs the associated risk- for a deterrence model of crime prevention, the idea is to make the risks associated with the crime outweigh the benefit of the behavior o What punishments work best to deter crime?  Well known- punishment must be universally understood; everyone should know that there is a punishment  Swift- apply punishment immediately to create a certain association between crime and punishment  Severity- in direct proportion to the crime; too lax makes people willing to commit crime, too harsh means that you lose peoples' trust (maximum sentence provided for offense, avg. length of sentence, proportion of offenders imprisoned)  Certain- the most important element (measured by arrest rate) Specific deterrence- if one individual receives a punishment, they will be deterred from future crime - Punishment reduces crime among specific people who commit the crime - Research suggests that arrested/convicted individuals do NOT have lower rates of subsequent crimes; recidivism rate increases or stays the same, but does not lower General deterrence- when there are laws and punishments in place, everyone will be deterred from crime  Punishment deters crime among people in the general population  Applies to those who are not punished as well  Research suggests: o Increasing the certainty of punishment may reduce a moderate amount of crime o Increasing police numbers often reduces crime o Increasing severity of punishments does not reduce crime However, it is important to note that deterrence is irrelevant if citizens are unaware of laws and official sanctions. Most laypersons aren’t familiar with legal penalties and can even overestimate their punishment- it is the swiftness and certainty of apprehension that makes them decide between crime and conformity Rational choice- the premise of the rational choice theory is the “expected utility principle” of economics, which states that people act to maximize their profits and mitigate losses. - Biggest issue associated with rational choice theory is that most people don’t act rationally when they seek to commit a crime- even repeat offenders. - Factors like impulsivity, moral ambiguity, tension or emotions act as motivators for burglaries in addition to financial motives, thus showing that criminal actions are not as objective as the theory assumes. Paternoster and Pogarsky: Thoughtfully Reflective Decision Making- (TDRM) process of collecting information relevant to a problem/decision to be made, think carefully about solutions, and apply reasoning and reflection to the possible outcomes of their choices- intended to identify process of “good” decision making. (Incorporated into framework of rational choice) - Those who adopt TDRM tended to live more socially conventional lives (having a job, being educated, etc.) while those with a negative relation resorted to crime. Crime control w/deterrence model and rational choice theories: - Legislation is interested in increasing punishment severity. The most noticeable change is the increase of prisons and the number of Americans imprisoned - Crime rate shows no substantiated reduction since policy institution. - Scared straight program designed to literally scare young people out of committing criminal behavior- the program claimed to have a 90% success rate, but most kids who entered the program had an increased likelihood of engaging in more delinquent behavior. Biological theories: Biological theories Theory Description Physical features can ID some people as being “born criminals”; the Lombroso's criminal is an “atavism” i.e. evolutionary degenerate who was essentially a primitive man; stated they had “stigmatas” such as asymmetrical faces, "born large lips, twisted nose, extra appendages etc.- good as far as developing criminal" positivism but has no empirical validity Differences in body types determine criminality- endomorphs, ectomorphs and mesomorphs- mesomorphs associated with criminal Sheldon behavior; had physical capability to commit crime more easily since more (body types) overall fitness and aggressive personality Offenders have lower IQ and less verbal intelligence than non-criminals on average; makes them more likely to get caught, less likely to consider consequences of actions, and also might put them at social disadvantage IQ and (inability to get jobs) that can lead to crime. IQ also related to moral crime reasoning Prefrontal cortex associated with self-control and impulsivity- this part of the brain remains underdeveloped until 25, accounting for difference in behaviors between adults and children. This theory Brain has been factored into decisions concerning juvenile offenders- developmen supreme court ruled that children must be treated differently and t abolished life without parole and the death penalty for them. Androgen found in both males and females; basis that higher testosterone in males is associated with criminal behavior- weak link between testosterone testosterone and crime; requires more empirical support to be credible. Those with low physiological arousal and resting heart rates are more likely to commit crimes since they seem to require more physiologica stimulation- delinquency can provide excitement that is otherwise l traits lacking personality Low levels of self-constraint (high impulsivity), A lack of empathy, Negative emotionality. Tend to break down under stress, are aggressive, and are more likely to perceive their environment as harmful/threatening, lack of “resiliency” Modern criminological research is more oriented toward how biology and social interactions shape the likelihood of engaging in criminal behavior Genetic research  Is there a genetic basis for crime, i.e. do genes "cause" offending?  How do you study the relationship between genes and crime?  Twin studies: o Genetic makeup of identical twins is the same because they are the product of the same egg o Fraternal twins and regular siblings have 50% genetic similarity; identical twins are 100% similar  If genes were full link to criminal behavior, identical twins have 100% chance of both committing crime o Studies on twins show that monozygotic twins (identical) are more similar in their criminal behavior than dizygotic (fraternal twins) o This evidence supports a genetic or hereditary link? No- we would need to compare twins raised apart to exclude social factors contributing to crime  Adoption studies: o Criminal records of adopted children are compared with records of biological and adoptive parents o If crime related to genetics, kids should resemble their biological parents o Results?  Children are more likely to be offender when their biological parent is, compared to their adoptive parent  Stronger link between biological parents and kids than adoptive parents for criminal behavior o Offending link isn't as strong for monozygotic twins raised apart than those raised in the same household o Cannot pinpoint one or any combination of genes as something that causes crime  No genetic link that can fully explain offending o But for some, genes have been found to make offending more likely under certain circumstances Caspi et al 2002  one of the first studies to show a biosocial relationship  Even though maltreatment increased crime, not all kids who were maltreated became criminal or environment  They tested whether or not this relationship was dependent on the individual's genetic makeup  Studied 500 men; gathered info from parents and social workers about if kids had experienced abuse or neglect from ages 5-11; longitudinal study up to age 26  Specifically looked to see if they had MAOA "warrior" gene which has been linked (weakly) to violence  Some with gene are violent, some are not; some environmental trigger produced different effect  Compared low MAOA genetic risk factor and high MAOA risk factors to level of abuse (one, probable or serious) o Results showed based on maltreatment and genetics, those with low MAOA (highest risk) and probable-serious abuse most likely to commit violent offenses (y-axis asked if arrested for violent offense) o However this group comprised only around 30% total sample o Least likely group is low genetic risk and no abuse Social Learning Theories- Sutherland and Akers Sutherland- Differential association  Edwin Sutherland developed the theory in 1947  On sentence summary of theory- Social interactions lead to crime  Criminal behavior is something that is learned o Through interaction and communication (verbal, nonverbal, direct or indirect) o In small, intimate personal groups  Frequency, duration, priority and intensity of interactions will determine how much learning occurs- long term associations that are formed in important social groups o Who these groups are will change over life course (theory cannot specifically ID which group is most important) o For younger children, parents are most important role models; this changes as new groups are formed  Differential associations= associations made within groups ; how many criminal v. non-criminal associates you have; if socializing with more "criminal" groups, more likely to commit crimes  Learning leads to crime when definitions favorable to crime outweigh definitions unfavorable to crime o Definitions are personal attitudes, motives, drives, rationalizations, that affect our behavior o The more unfavorable definitions are communicated to you, more likely you are to commit crime  Definitions favorable to crime o Help excuse, rationalize or justify actions before/after committing crime  Helps people live with themselves  Lessen or absolve feelings of guilt  "nobody will get hurt" or "they deserved it"  Crime most likely when definitions favorable to crime exceed definitions unfavorable to crime Ronald Akers- Social Learning Theory  Expounds on Sutherland's theory: o More emphasis on how behaviors (not just definitions) are modeled by others, then learned o Added concept of reinforcement- learning based on rewards and punishment (operant conditioning)  Rewards/punishments obtained from social groups o Four major concepts: 1. Imitation  First criminal action usually results from imitating someone else's behavior  Most likely to commit crimes in early adolescence  More likely to imitate those who are: 1. Important to you 2. People you see rewarded for their behavior 3. Those who you see regularly  Who are the most important role models? 1. Primary groups (family, friends etc) v. media 1 Differential association i Relationships with deviants/criminals increase likelihood of crime 1 Exposure to attitudes and behaviors are important; provision of role models and behavior to imitate ii Priority, duration, frequency and intensity of relationship are important 1 Groups with most influence on behavior? a Primary groups: family and friends b Secondary groups: church, school, mass media, "virtual" associates ii How to measure differential associations: 1 Ask survey questions- 2 "Have any of your brothers/sisters ever…taken a handgun to school…smoked marijuana..etc" 3 How many adults do you personally know who have sold drugs/gotten drunk/high? 1 Definitions i Defined the same as Sutherland; attitudes or meanings people attach to given behaviors ii Orientations, rationalizations, moral attitudes iii Can be general or specific iv Definitions favorable to crime make crime more likely (most people have definitions unfavorable) 1 Differential reinforcement i The more behaviors (positive or negative) are rewarded, the more they will be continued ii Rewards can be: 1 Tangible or intangible 2 Actual or anticipated 3 Individual or social ii What are the chances you'd be seen as cool if you.. 1 Smoked cigarettes? 2 Smoked marijuana? 3 Carried a handgun? ii Positive reinforcement that is high, frequent and certain is most effective iii Reinforcement can also be negative- unpleasant or painful consequences (like punishment) iv People avoid being criminal to avoid punishment- sounds like deterrence and rational choice theories Anderson: The Code of the Street  Multiple poor, inner city neighborhoods have high crime rates and violence  These areas have a "code of the street" as a method to cope with violence they grow up in; no official recognition of such rule in these neighborhoods o These are informal rules that govern interpersonal public conduct/behavior/relationships o Necessary since formal systems such as the police or judicial systems are seen as ineffective or untrustworthy- residents do not trust or respect authority, so they refuse to call police if violent behavior is displayed o Need to take care of yourself  Two conflicting sets of definitions are present: o Street: opposition to mainstream society  Toughness, manliness and violence are valued  Reject conventional cultural goals like education, employment or financial gain- replace this with new goal of being tough or respected o Decent: endorsement of middle-class, mainstream cultural values and goals  Values education, hard work and being respectful to others  Why does street culture endorse violence? o Gain and maintain respect  Especially if you are challenged, or if you want to be a "man"  Act tough, have money (robbery includes physical success and monetary gain) o Lets you avoid being a victim, since mainstream institutions will not defend you  Demonstrate the code of the street o Must convince others you will be violent if situation calls for it o People go to extremes to maintain respect o Instigate fights even if not provoked  Females following the code o Yes, but based more on status, respect, stealing of a boyfriend etc. Learning the code  PARENTS teach it- behaviors are projected onto children o Street families that have adopted street codes tend to be poor o Most are unemployed o Riddled with drug addiction issues to cope with life situation  Renders parents incapable of providing for/caring for children o Deep seated bitterness or anger  Angry about living situation  Resentful toward law  Experience routine strain o Inconsiderate to others  Kids are left alone and unsupervised o Could be because parents are working long hours, OR due to drug addiction o Kids are rarely reinforced for behavior o Parents can be aggressive to children to discipline them or teach them the code o At an early age, kids learn through imitation, associations, definitions and reinforcements  Physical strength is necessary  They need to watch out for themselves How do kids learn to be "decent"?  Kids learn proper behavior from their parents  Acept mainstream values and instill them in children  Value hard work and self-reliance  Value the church and school (escape stress of neighborhood and sharing of values)  Will reprimand or punish kids for skipping school/bad behavior  Poor but somewhat better off than street families- working for a living  Parents are strict o Teach kids to respect authority, have morals, be polite or considerate, maintain a positive mental attitude of resilience, and cooperate with others o Positively and negatively reinforce behaviors o Restrict access to kids access to going out and interacting with criminal types o Generally less violent than street families By adolescence, most youths have internalized the code  Those from decent families understand what it is, and act in accord with its rules  Street and decent families live side by side  Kids learn to "code switch" between street and decent  Some evidence to show that both sets of values and reinforcements take place, and living by code of the street increases likelihood of participating in violent behavior


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

50 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Amaris Trozzo George Washington University

"I made $350 in just two days after posting my first study guide."

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.