CJC 102 Week 7 Notes
CJC 102 Week 7 Notes CJC 102
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ben O'Brien on Sunday February 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJC 102 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Intravia in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Introduction to criminology in Criminal Justice at Ball State University.
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Date Created: 02/28/16
Psychological Perspective Overview Concerns about psychological issues that may be related to criminality and violence Studies on the psychological perspective attempt to establish a link between traits and criminality Fundamental Assumptions of the Psychological Approach o Personality is a major element that drives behavior within individuals o Crime results from abnormal, dysfunctional, or inappropriate psychological traits Early Psychological Theorist o Charles Goring (1913) Examined 3,000 English convicts (criminals) vs. non- criminals Found a relationship between crime and “defective intelligence” o Feeblemindedness (unintelligence), epilepsy, and insanity Major Principles of the Psychological Approach o Pathological Perspective The Psychopath Individuals who are incapable of experiencing genuine emotions: o Fully comprehend their social environments but lack the ability to understand how others think/feel o Personality dominated by lack of emotions Viewed as abnormally cruel and brutal o Chronic liars, do not feel guilt/shame, reckless, incapable of maintaining long- term relationships, antisocial/disruptive behavior We all have that one ex, right? I jest Not all psychopaths turn into criminals No agreement as to the origins of the psychopathic personality o Traumatic childhood experiences Neglect, violence, and abuse o Inherited neurological defects in the brain o Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) (Proper term for psychopathy) Chronic mental illness Individual’s perception of the social world, including ways of thinking and reacting to others, is dysfunctional Traits Liars, cheaters, manipulators, violent Individuals with APD exhibit high rates of criminality and repeat patterns of chronic offending Vast percentage of inmates suffer with APD o Maladaptation Adaptation: the ways in which we react to and manage frustrations, disappointments, and hostile situations Maladaptation: inappropriate way of coping with the social environment Psychoanalysis o Founded by Sigmund Freud o Method of understanding human behavior by examining drives and impulses within the unconscious mind o Divided human mind into three components Id Born with it Part of personality that seeks instant gratification for our immediate needs and wants Ego Takes the reality of situations into consideration Superego Results from morals and values instilled by parents, etc. Known as our “conscience” – determine what is right from wrong o Individuals with weak egos may be lead into crime Because they fail to take into account the consideration of situations o A weak superego makes individuals unable to make appropriate moral judgments and likely to commit crime Because they have difficulty understanding the consequences of their actions Neurosis Form of mental illness manifested by behavior expressing fear, tension, anxiety, emotional distress o Individuals are in touch with reality but cannot help themselves o Ex. Depression, anxiety and panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive tendencies Most individuals who have neurosis do not commit crime, but some so Psychosis Major form of mental illness manifested by the inability to comprehend reality, think clearly, respond properly Disrupts every aspect of life and makes it hard for individuals to function properly in society Symptoms o Disorganized/confused thoughts, paranoia, hallucinations, and social withdrawal Does not always cause crime, but may be linked to it o Cognitive Theory Branch of psychology that studies the mental processes of understanding, perceiving, interpreting, and manipulating information Three components of cognitive processes Perception Judgment Execution Distortion in cognitive processes has been used to explain criminal behavior o Behaviorism Behavioral Modeling Learning by watching, listening, copying what we see and hear (Monkey see, monkey do) o Individuals may become violent and aggressive through life experiences that teach them to act that way. “Experiences” – not video games, Fox, remember that Things like, physical abuse as a child Evaluating Psychological Theory o Contributions Provides an understanding of crime that fills a void in the literature Helps us understand behaviors that environmental variables alone cannot explain Has lead to greater understanding of the role of personality in shaping human behavior o Criticisms Assumes that individuals commit crime because they have some type of personality/mental problem Does not account for social conditions Fails to explain variation in crime rates among different groups Fails to account for changes in crime trends over time Crime-Control Strategies of Psychological Theories o Predicting criminality before it occurs Identify risk factors and early warning signs/predictors of future involvement in crime Prevention programs o Responding to criminality after it occurs Behavior therapy Cognitive skills training Cognitive restructuring Social Structure Theories Crime is a social fact – it exists outside the individual traits/variations in human thought/action Primary cause of crime o Where individuals live Social structure theories search for the cause of crime in the immediate conditions of society Three independent, yet overlapping branches: o Social disorganization theory Rooted in Chicago, IL Links high crime rates to the social and economic conditions of urban communities The disordered nature of certain neighborhoods contributes to a deteriorating social life Social structures begin to collapse and fail to provide the necessary elements of a healthy community Park and Burgess (1925) – Concentric Zones Background in human ecology o Uses concepts derived from plant and animal ecology to understand how social conditions of the environment affect human behavior Zone 1 – Central Business District o Occupied by stores, business offices, industry o Low levels of social control Zone 2 – Transition Zone o Continual state of transition o Invaded by businesses and manufacturing from the CBD o Physical decay, cheap housing, and heterogeneous population (recent immigrant groups) o Lowest level of social control Zone 3 – Working-Class Zone o More stable population of skilled blue- collar workers o Moderate levels of social control Zone 4 – Residential Zone / Zone 5 – Commuter Zone o Middle-class/upper-class families o Mostly native born whites o Residents owned their homes and resided in their communities (suburbs) for a long time o Highest levels of social control Shaw and McKay (1942) Applied concentric zone theory to the study of delinquency Main findings o Areas furthest from CBS had lowest rates of crime/delinquency o Crime/delinquency were related with social problems including poverty, unemployment, and residential turnover o Concluded: crime is a characteristic of the community, rather than individual characteristics Social Ecology Focuses on how ecological conditions influence human interactions and behaviors o Community disorder Areas where there are abandoned and deteriorating physically structures experience high crime rates o Community fear Areas where residents are fearful decreases quality of life o Residential instability Constantly changing areas – residents have fewer opportunities to develop strong, personal ties to one another o Poverty concentration Urban areas with greatest poverty are more prone to crime o Informal social control Nonofficial/non-formal actions taken by residents to solve local problems o Collective efficacy Cohesive communities based on mutual trust, including the intervention in supervising children and maintenance of public order o Social order Greater police presence, more police patrol o Social cohesion and trust o Social control o Strain theory Emile Durkheim (1897) – Suicide Argued that modernization and rapid social change would result in a breakdown of social order (norms of proper behavior) called anomie o Social consequences of this was crime and suicide Robert Merton (1938; 1968) – Anomie Interested in why rates of criminal behavior differed between certain groups in the same society Anomie – a state of normlessness and confusion that leads to strain Anomie results from a discrepancy between culturally approved goals and legitimate means to achieve these goals o Subcultural theories
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