Psychology of Crime US

The behaviourist explanation looks at the development of children's moral behaviour, using positive and negative reinforcement. Hoffman states punishment is less effective than positive reinforcement. This suggests that the development of children's moral behaviour is largely influenced by parental discipline and helps to explain inconsistency in children's moral behaviour.

Criminal Thinking Patterns – Jan 03 Outline research that investigates morality and crime (6) Palmer and Hollins aimed to see if the development of moral behaviour is linked to offending in male delinquents. Compared 126 convicted males to a control group and a questionnaire method was used to measure moral reasoning along with a behavioural checklist. Found that male offenders displayed the least moral reasoning, with some displaying deficits. Hoffman proposed that punishment is less effective than positive reinforcement. His study suggested that children's moral behaviour is influenced by parental discipline, therefore nurture. 

Explanations of criminal behaviour – Jan 04 Outline one study of individual or cultural differences on criminal behaviour (6) Hare describes psychopaths as "arrogant, dominant, manipulative…" and believes that these personalities are due to individual differences and psychopaths living socially deviant lifestyles. Hare believes they have child like behaviours, such as ADHD and social factors cause psychopathy. There is little evidence that they respond to treatment.

Explanations of criminal behaviour – June 06 Describe one social psychological explanation of criminal behaviour (6) Deindividuation is an explanation. Brown analysed data from crime reports using three UK towns – Kings Lynn, Newcastle and Birmingham. He found a significant reduction in offending patterns when CCTV was installed for each one, with burglarly down 56% in Newcastle. This suggests that when people feel they cannot be identified through a crowd, they are more likely to show criminal behaviour. 

Explanations of criminal behaviour – June 08 Describe one theory of criminal behaviour (6) The biological theory suggests that criminal behaviour is caused by the physical make up of the body. Therefore, it is pre-determind if we become criminal or not. The theory states that criminals have an extra Y chromosome, increasing levels of testosterone and causing aggression. Raine studied brain activity in 41 NGRI murderers, and found a difference in brain activity particularly in the amyglada and sub cortical areas. This research supports the biological theory.

Crime-Victim Interaction – Jan 07 Outline the effects of becoming a victim of crime (6) Older people are more likely to be greatly affected when becoming a victim of crime. Donaldson looked at old people living in sheltered accommodation who had been victims of crime. He found that more older people had died and become dependent on other family members than a control group of those unaffected by crime. Joseph et al found that victims of crime are more likely to develop PTSD, with rape having the highest rate of 75%. 

Offender Profiling – June 06 Describe one case study of offender profiling (6) John Duffy was the "railway rapist" who terrorised North London. Some attempt was made by him to clean the scene of his crime, although small traces of semen and footprints were often found. After a domestic violence incident with his wife, Duffy was arrested but put far down the list of railway rapist suspects. They looked at the offenders behaviour during each case and fed it into a computer, eventually matching the characteristics of John Duffy and he was later convicted. 

Offender Profiling – June 04 Outline one technique used to produce and offender profile (6) A technique used is the British Approach – the "Bottom up approach" which looks for consistencies in offenders behaviour during the crime and forms psychological theories based on these which show how and why the behaviour occurred. The five factor model is based on five aspects of interaction between the victim and offender (Canter)