Criminology Chapter 5

_________ argue that the gene is the ultimate unit of life that controls human destiny. (TRAIT THEORY)
Auguste Comte
The scientific method of careful observation and analysis was used by scientists and applied to the study of sociology by ____________
has two main elements:
1. All true knowledge is acquired through DIRECT observation
2. Statements not backed up by direct knowledge are INVALID and WORTHLESS
though these techniques are no longer practiced or taken seriously, these efforts were an early attempt to use a “scientific” method to study crime.
Cesare Lombroso
says serious offenders were BORN CRIMINAL and had a set of primitive traits he referred to as ATAVISTIC ANOMALIES. Criminals manifest DISTINCT PHYSIQUES that make them susceptible to delinquent behavior
less sensitive
Some theorists believe criminals are _____________ to physical pain.
Criminals should not be held personally responsible for forces outside of their _______.
The ________ school traced the activities of several generations believed to have an especially large number of criminal members.
William Sheldon
believed criminals manifest distinct physiques that make them susceptible to particular types of delinquent behavior.
well-developed muscles, athletic appearance; active, aggressive and most likely to be a criminal.
heavy builds and slow moving; less likely to commit violent crime, possibly engage in less strenuous crime.
tall, think, less social and more intellectual than other types.
control groups
Lombroso’s work is no longer considered scientific fact. Their research methodologies have been discredited for a lack of _______.
the belief hat no serious consideration should be given to biological factors when attempting to understand human nature.
a book published by Edmund O. Wilson in the early 1970’s. The biological basis for crime reemerged.
social behaviors
biological and genetic conditions affect how __________ are learned and perceived.
genetics survive dominate others
people are controlled by the need to have their _____ and ______.
reciprocal altruism
people are motivated by believing that their actions will be reciprocated and that their gene survival will be enhanced.
Trait theorists
don’t believe that a single attribute explains all crime, each offender is unique physically and mentally. They are not overly concerned with legal definitions of crime, but focus on BASIC HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND DRIVES like aggression, violence and the tendency to act on impulse.
________ conditions can influence antisocial behavior.
equal potential
not all humans are born with ________ to learn and achieve.
Contemporary Trait Theories
divided into two major subdivisions:
2. stresses BIOLOGICAL (biosocial) makeup
Core Principle
Physical, environmental and social conditions work together to produce human behavior.
Hormonal influence
James Q. Wilson feels that hormones may be the key to understanding human behavior and gender differences in the crime rate.
Hormones cause areas of the brain to become less sensitive to environmental stimuli.
the study of brain activity.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
a developmentally inappropriate lack of attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity
Brain Chemistry
neurotransmitters are chemical compounds that influence or activate brain functions.
The earliest “scientific” studies applying the positivist model to criminology were conducted by ________.
psychopathic personality
some people behave abnormally even without being mentally ill. Term coined by French Psychiatrist
Henry Maudsley
believed that insanity and criminal behavior were strongly linked
indirect heredity
from a degenerate family whose members suffered from such ills as insanity, syphilis, and alcoholism
direct heredity
being the offspring of criminal parents.
the inheritance school
criminal tendencies were based on genetics; traits deemed socially inferior could be passed down from generation to generation through inheritance.
somatotype school
William Sheldon believed criminals manifest distinct physiques that make them susceptible to particular types of antisocial behavior. He created this school
Dionysian temperament
a person who has an excess of mesomorphy with a deficiency in ectomorphic restraint, thereby rendering them impulsive and into self-gratification, a condition that would produce crime.
biosocial theory
Today, criminologists believe that environmental conditions interact with human traits and conditions to influence behavior.
The theory that not all humans are born with the same potential to learn and achieve.
reciprocal altruism
people are motivated by the belief that their actions will be reciprocated and that their gene survival capability will be enhanced
Minimal Brain Dysfunction
related to an abnormality in cerebral structure. It is defined as an abruptly appearing, maladaptive behavior that interrupts an individual’s lifestyle and life flow. Linked to antisocial acts and an imbalance in the brain’s urge-control mechanisms.
Human Traits
________ associated with criminality have a genetic basis and personality traits linked to aggression may be heritable.
Parental Deviance
the idea that if criminal tendencies are inherited, then criminal parents will produce criminal children.
occurs when glucose in the blood falls below levels necessary for normal and efficient brain functioning.
electroencephalograph (EEG)
records the electrical impulses given off by the brain. It represents a signal composed of various rhythms and transient electrical discharges, commonly called brain waves, which can be recorded by electrodes placed on the scalp.
arousal theory
for a variety of genetic and environmental reasons, some people’s brains function differently in response to environmental stimuli. All of us seek to maintain a preferred or optimal level of arousal: too much stimulation leaves us anxious and stressed out; too little makes us feel bored and weary.
contagion effect
genetic predispositions and early experiences make some people, including twins, susceptible to deviant behavior, which is transmitted by the presence of antisocial siblings in the household.
Evolutionary Theory
the human traits that produce violence and aggression are produced through the long process of human evolution
defective intelligence
involves such traits as feeblemindedness, epilepsy, insanity, and defective social instinct.
focus is on early childhood experience
and its effect on personality
stresses social learning and behavior modeling as the keys to
Cognitive theory
analyzes human perception and how it affects behavior.
the primitive part of an individual’s mental makeup present at birth. It represents unconscious biological drives for sex, food, and other life-
sustaining necessities. The id follows the pleasure principle: it requires instant gratification without concern for the rights of others.
develops early in life, when a child begins to learn that his or her wishes cannot be instantly gratified. The ego is that part of the personality that compensates for the demands of the id by helping the individual guide his or her actions to remain within the boundaries of social convention. The ego is guided by the reality principle: it takes into account what is practical and conventional by societal standards.
develops as a result of incorporating within the personality the moral standards and values of parents, community, and significant others. It is the moral aspect of an individual’s personality; it passes judgments on behavior.
Attachment theory
the ability to form attachments (emotionally bond to another person) has important lasting psychological implications that follow people across the lifespan.
Social Learning Theory
people are not actually born with the ability to act violently, but that they learn to be aggressive through their life experiences.
behavior modeling
categorized by: Family Interaction, Environmental Experiences and Mass Media.
Cognitive Theory
focus on mental processes and how people perceive and mentally represent the world around them and solve problems. The pioneers
of this school were Wilhelm Wundt, Edward
Titchener, and William James.
moral development branch
area of cognitive theory concerned with the way people morally represent and reason about the world.
Humanistic psychology
area of cognitive psychology that stresses self-awareness and getting in touch with feelings.
information processing branch
area of cognitive psychology that focuses on the way people process, store, encode, retrieve, and manipulate information to make decisions and solve problems.
Nature theory
argues that intelligence is largely determined genetically, that ancestry determines IQ, and that low intelligence, as demonstrated by low IQ, is linked to criminal behavior
Nurture theory
states that intelligence must be viewed as partly biological but primarily sociological. Because intelligence is not inherited, low-IQ
parents do not necessarily produce low-IQ children
primary prevention programs
programs that seek to treat personal problems before they manifest themselves as crime
secondary prevention programs
provide treatment such as psychological counseling to youths and adults who are at risk for law violation
tertiary prevention programs
may be a requirement of a probation order, part of a diversionary sentence, or aftercare at the end of a prison sentence.