Crime and Criminology

Criminal Justice

Quiz 11 :

Psychological Explanations

Quiz 11 :

Psychological Explanations

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Why is the idea of psychopathy controversial within the professional community?
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Responses should include:
-That there is a nature/nurture debate:
-Some believe that it is, at least, partly genetic or due to biological abnormalities.This is supported by some brain-imaging research.
-Some features of psychopathy are learned however.
-Controversy around whether psychopathy is treatable or not
-Some say that standard rehabilitation programmes make the disorder worse.

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Provide an outline/summary of evolution theory.
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Responses should include reference to:
-Evolutionary history having influenced our genetic makeup
-May provide a universal genetic basis for crime
-Our biology has adapted over time to enhance survival and reproduction
-Reproductive success
-Men are over-represented in sexual crimes
-Mating effort
-Parental effort

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Using social learning theory, provide an account of Dave's behaviour (see Case study 11.2).Does this theory provide an adequate account of Dave's behaviour?
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Identification of key issues identified in the case study
-Dave is 45 years old and has been arrested for sexual abuse of 14-year-old stepdaughter (Kate)
-Abuse has occurred 10 times during past year
-Dave has been living in the family home for 10 years
-Also living in the home is Kate's mother and Dave's partner (Trisha)
-Dave has a criminal history relating to theft in his 20s and fraud when 32
-Dave was sexually abused when 11.Dave did not disclose that abuse was occurring until now
-Believes that Kate was compliant and not harmed by his abuse of her
-He regrets the last occasion which included intercourse but claims that she consented
-Before the abuse started, his relationship with Trisha was deteriorating, he was also having problems at work
-He threatened Kate not to disclose.
Aspects of social learning theory
-Human learning takes place in a social environment
-Humans are very impressionable in the formative years (early childhood through teenage)
-Occurs through modelling and imitation of the behaviours of others
-Through observing how others behave
-Cognitive processes are a key component to development and understanding behaviours
Understanding Dave's case from a social learning perspective
-He was abused in his formative years at 12
-He did not disclose the abuse so the perpetrator has not held to account for his behaviour-Dave has learned that people can get away with sexual offences
-His previous offending (theft and fraud) did not lead to serious consequences (small fine and probation)-reflects anti-social behaviour.
Other theoretical considerations
-His relationship with Trisha had deteriorated and he was drinking excessively and feeling morose (could be explained using a neurological perspective and also ecological theory)
-Claims that he did not do anything Kate did not want to do showing no understanding of the dynamics of adult/child relationships and responsibilities (reflects a propensity toward r strategies used in evolution theory, and also exploitation of youth and beauty)
-Claims that Kate was not harmed by his behaviour and in doing so is denying the impact of his behaviour and giving himself permission to continue with the behaviour (situational theory).
Summary
-Social learning theory accounts in part for Dave's behaviour
-Dave's behaviours can also be explained by approaching them from other perspectives
-Psychology theories can be used to complement each other.

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Provide an account of Mark's offending behaviour (Case study 11.2) using situation theory.
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Describe how psychological theories complement one another.
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Provide a brief explanation of the person situation interaction model.
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There are many ways that biological factors may influence criminal behaviour.Name and describe one.
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Explain the difference between "modelling" and "vicarious learning" within social learning theory.
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Describe the mechanisms of learning according to classical conditioning.Use examples where possible.
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Which of the following is not a focus of psychological approaches to understanding crime?
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Refer to Case study 11.1 on page 193 and provide an account of Mark's behaviour from neurobiological development and neurological impairment perspectives.
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The unit of analysis for psychological perspectives is society.
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People with mental disorders are at much greater risk to themselves than to others.
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