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UNLV / Criminal Justice / CRJ 270 / What is the value of a theory?

What is the value of a theory?

What is the value of a theory?


School: University of Nevada - Las Vegas
Department: Criminal Justice
Course: Introduction to Criminology
Professor: Terance miethe
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Criminal Justice, Criminal, criminology, introduction to criminology, intro to criminology, and Criminal Justice/Criminology
Cost: 50
Name: CRJ 270 Exam #3 Study Guide
Description: These notes summarize chapter 9-12 for the third exam.
Uploaded: 10/12/2016
8 Pages 119 Views 2 Unlocks

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What is the value of a theory?

Exam #3 Study Guide

Chapter 9: Overview of Theories of Criminal Behavior

• What is a theory?

• a set of propositions

• What is the value of a theory?

explains etiology of criminal behavior (onset)

explains epidemiology of crime (distribution)

explains occurrence of criminal acts (outcome)

• What are the type of theories focused on the etiology of crime?

• biological and psychological theories

What are the type of theories focused on the etiology of crime?

• What are the type of theories focused on the epidemiology of crime? We also discuss several other topics like What is mechanical weathering?

• sociological theories

• What are the "theories of crime events"? Don't forget about the age old question of What are the sources of criminal law?

why a particular incident occurred at a particular place and time?

• What is criminality?

• recurrent patterns of one's criminal propensity

• What is situational crime prevention?

• i.e. how to make your property less attractive, accessible, available, and

What is situational crime prevention?

portable for potential offenders

• most criminologists focus on criminality, and there has been a growing

interest in situational crime prevention strategies in the last two decades

• What are the three paradigms (or schools) or criminological thought?

(1) Classical School

• What produces human behavior?

. free will and rational choice

• What guides human behavior?

• the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain

• What is the solution to crime?

· to design a system of swift, certain, and severe punishments in Don't forget about the age old question of Who is bartolome de las casas?

order to make crime look unattractive (2) Positivist School

. emerged from the works of people like?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

• Charles Darwin

• What is determinism?

"hard" vs "soft" determinism with some "free will” or choice involved can be based on biological, psychological, sociological, Don't forget about the age old question of What is used for categorical variables?

economic, or environmental factors . (3) Radical/Conflict School

• focuses on the relationship between crime and the wider structure of a Don't forget about the age old question of How to find ph and poh?


• Why is crime an inevitable consequence?

· crime as an inevitable consequence of the unequal distribution

of power and wealth in class-based societies

• How is crime socially constructed?

· social reality of crime is socially constructed to legitimize the

predatory acts of the powerful and criminalize these same

actions by lower class members

• How are socially disadvantaged (i.e. ethnic/racial minorities, women, the poor) groups viewed?

• as victims

• Addresses the relationship between free enterprise and crime

• Addresses the role that government plays in the construction of crime

• Addresses the sources of systematic and institutional biases within

the criminal justice system

• Which school of criminology is the most recent?

• Radical/Conflict School

Chapter 10: The Principles of Classical Criminology Don't forget about the age old question of What makes a persuasion attempt successful?

This school translates into what theory?

· "rational choice" theory

• What are the the statements/assumptions of classical criminology?

• (1) all people have problems and we have the free will to seek out either

conventional or illegal solutions

(2) Criminal solutions to problems may be preferred over conventional solutions

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

• Why is this?

• requires less effort and skill

more immediate rewards

is exciting

provides enticements that aren't found within conventional behavior

• (3) the criminal solutions to one's problems may be controlled by the threat of

societal reaction (punishment)

(4) the more swift, certain, and severe the societal reaction (punishment) the

more it will deter people from using criminal solutions

• (5) the most effect method of crime control is punishment that is of a

sufficient magnitude to make crime an unattractive choice

• What was Beccaria's contribution to classical criminology?

Beccaria's model of justice

• When was this model used?

was used until the late 1800s when the concept of rehabilitative justice came into play

• it came back in the early 1970's due to rehabilitation not

working How does this model work?

check-and-balance system that separated law-making (legislative) and law-interpreting (judicial) branches of government uniform scales of punishments and criminal acts, emphasizing

that punishments should "fit the crime" Neo-classical theory is also known as?

• modern classical theory

• What is neo-classical theory?

• it recognizes that the punishment should fit the crime, but it also allows for s

pecial circumstances of the offender in determining punishments

• What are some major criticisms of classical criminology?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

· failure to recognize that there is some amount of "determinism" underlying

our behavior

• failure to recognize the possibility that committing crime is a rational

response for those who have limited economic

• Is Crime a Rational or Irrational Choice?

• crime may in fact be a rational choice for those in lower economic




Chapter 11: Positivistic Criminology (Lombroso, Ferri, Garofalo)

• Who is the founding member of the Positive School of Criminology? SI · Cesare Lombroso (1835)

• Who is Cesare Lombroso?

• Italian positivist

former surgeon founded "atavists"

• What is an "atavists"?

• subhumans that were a biological throwback or

reversion to our caveman ancestors What are the characteristics of "atavists"?

• excessive hair

• huge foreheads

• big jaws

swollen lips

• bull-leggedness


• flared nostrils

· asymmetrical face

• beady and deep-set eyes

• Who did Lombroso take influence from?

• Charles Darwin's idea of origin of species

• According to Lombroso, what are the three types of criminals?

• (1) Born Criminal

. what is the born criminals' characteristics?

: exhibits the traits of "atavists"

• (2) Insane Criminal

what is the insane criminals' characteristics?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

• low intelligence and serious psychological


• (3) Criminaloid

· what is the criminaloids' characteristics?

• no physical stigmata or signs of psychological


• engages in criminal behavior due to situational

and environmental factors What is the most common type of criminal, according to Lombroso?

• criminaloid How did Lombroso have great influence on the field of criminology?

• (1) first person to systematically develop the idea that

"biological structure determines social function" (2) he established the value of multi-faceted explanations for criminal behavior by examining how a wide variety of social and

environmental factors

• Who were Cesare Lombroso's students?

• Enrico Ferri (1856-1909):

• What was Ferri's major contributions?

• his critique of the classical notion of "free will"

• his scientific investigation of the interrelationships between

social, economic, and political factors and crime According to Ferri, what are three major criminogenic (crime causing) factors?

• (1) physical environment

. what are some examples of this?

• an area's structural attributes

• climate/temperature

• geographical location

• (2) anthropological attributes

. what are some examples of this?

• age

• sex

race (bodily) physical structure

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 (3) social factors

what are some examples of this?

• population density

• cultural traditions

• religion

• nature of the government

• economic conditions

• What were some of his liberal ideas?

• free trade . abolition of monopolies

• redistribution of wealth

birth control

• freedom of divorce/marriage

• public assistance/recreation Raffaele Garofalo (1852-1934):

• What was Garofolo's ideology?

· argued that society must eliminate those who have shown that

they cannot adapt to civilized life

· supported the death penalty or policies of segregation

(deportation and/or isolation) to keep criminals from the gene


· psychological degeneracy According to Garofalo, what are the sources/determinants of crime?

• lower intellectual abilities

• psychological pathology/degeneracy

• Aside from Lombroso, who was Garofalo influenced by?

• Darwin's law of adaption and the principle of the survival of the


• Who referenced his work and views during World War II?

• Nazi and Fascist regimes of Germany and Italy

Chapter 12: Biological Theories of Criminal Propensity

• When did biological criminology begin?

• biological criminology began with physiognomists, who tried to link criminal

behavior to facial features

• Who is Franz Gall?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 one of the earliest Western scholars in the field of human anatomy and physiology a phrenologist who looked at skull structure


• What did Gall suggest when it came to skull structure?

· particular locations of the brain are associated with basic functions

• Who established the basic idea that one's biological structure determines our behavior?

body-type theorists, who believed that there is a criminal link due to the casual connection between particular body types and a particular temperament What is the difference between the endomorphic and ectomorphic body types?

• endomorphic- soft round physique

• ectomorphic- lean, fragile, small biological theories can be a "self-fulfilling prophecy" What are the biochemical explanations for crime?

• both dopamine and serotonin are basic neurotransmitters of electrical

impulses within the brain that are associated with information processing and

antisocial behavior

• What does dopamine trigger?

• emotional responses that affect our fight or flight responses

sensation seeking behavior

avoidance of something unpleasant

• the ability to experience pleasure and pain

• What is the importance of serotonin?

• it is found in impulsive behaviors and aggression

•What is testosterone a risk factor for?

testosterone is a risk factor for aggression

• When did testosterone peak?

• peak in the mid-teens and decline over the life course

• What is the primary value of this new research paradigm?

• (1) increased understanding of neurophysiology and other aspects of human

information processing

• (2) provided the analytic means to identify the relative magnitude of the

genetic inheritability of particular traits (3) led to a more complete specification of the various causal paths that link biological processes to differences in social behavior.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 What are some of the other bio--chemical risk factors of crime?

• the role of diet

• vitamin/mineral deficiencies, allergies

• environmental factors

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