FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY

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charlotte coleman
Mind Map by charlotte coleman, updated more than 1 year ago
charlotte coleman
Created by charlotte coleman about 1 year ago
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FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY
  1. defining and measuring crime
    1. a crime is any act which is in violation of the law which results in punishment by the state after conviction by a court. it is an act that is harmful to an individual, group or society as a whole.
      1. problems with defining crime
        1. Historical issues in defining crime - definitions of crime change over time because attitudes change according to historical context e.g. smacking children, homosexuality.
          1. Cultural issues in defining crime - what is considered a crime in one culture may not be judged as such in another i.e. crime is culturally relative because social attitudes differ between cultures e.g. bigamy, forced marriage, alcohol consumption.
            1. Issues with punishment – not all acts that break the law are punished but may still cause harm e.g. breaches of contract.
              1. Issues of age and intention – the same behaviour can be seen as criminal in one case but not another based on the age of the offender and if the offender is of ‘sound mind.’
              2. measuring crime
                1. official statistics. These are government records of the total number of crimes reported to the police (or when the police observe or discover an offence) and recorded in the official figures. They are published by the Home Office on an annual basis and are a useful ‘snapshot’ of the number of crimes occurring across the country and in specific regions. They allow the government to develop crime prevention strategies and policing initiatives, as well as direct resources to those areas most in need.
                  1. victim surveys. These record people’s experience of crime over a specific period. It is a questionnaire that asks a random sample of 50,000 households (aged 16+; the sample comes from the Royal Mail’s list of addresses) which crimes have been committed against them over a fixed period of time (usually a year) and whether or not they reported them to the police. In 2009, a separate survey was introduced for people aged 10-15. Both are published on an annual basis.
                    1. offender surveys. These are a self-report measure that involve individuals volunteering details of the number and types of crimes they have committed over a specific time period. They tend to target groups of likely offenders based on ‘risk’ factors e.g. previous connections, age, social background etc. They also look at indicators of repeat offending, trends in the prevalence of offending, drug and alcohol use, the role of co-offenders and the relationship between perpetrators and victims.
                  2. offender profiling
                    1. top-down approach
                      1. profilers use evidence from a crime scene to fit into pre-existing conceptual categories to classify the offender as organised or disorganised offenders. a profile is then created, including a hypothesis on their demographic background, habits, physical characteristics and beliefs, which is then used as a base strategy to catch the offender.
                        1. Organised: plans offences, offender seems to have a ‘type’', in a professional occupation, high degree of control during the crime Tries to conceal evidence, uses restraints on victims, usually married, follow their crimes in the media, socially and sexually competent, average to high intelligence, have a car in good working order, body is usually transported from the scene, weapon is usually hidden
                          1. Disorganised: little planning – offence may have been a spontaneous, victim is likely to be random, unskilled work or unemployed, minimal control, messy and makes no effort to conceal incriminating evidence, minimal use of restraints/leaves body on display, tend to live alone and relatively close to where the offence took place, socially incompetent, history of sexual dysfunction and failed relationships, offender is likely to engage very little with the victim and perform sexual acts post-mortem, below average intelligence
                            1. was developed by the FBI's BSU, who interviewed 36 sexually motivated serial killers.
                            2. bottom-up approach
                              1. david canter- a profile is generated by using inferences from crime scene evidence, statistical analysis and psychological theories. it is a data driven approach
                                1. investigative psychology: Interpersonal coherence – the way an offender behaves at the scene, including their interactions with the victim may reflect their behaviour in more everyday situations as people are consistent in their behaviour. E.g. some rapists seek maximum control and humiliate their victims whilst others are more apologetic. This may tell the police something about how they relate to women more generally. Significance of time and place – these may give indications about where the offender lives. Forensic awareness – this focuses on individuals who may have been the subject of police interrogation before; their behaviour may denote how mindful they are of ‘covering their tracks.’ E.g. if they have cleaned up the crime scene this might suggest that they have committed a crime before and been through the criminal justice system. statistical databases are then searched to look at patterns and are matched to possible offenders. david canter's profile helped catch john duffy
                                  1. rossomo: based on the principle of spatial consistency – that an offender’s operational base and possible future offences are revealed by the geographical location of their previous crimes. spread of similar crimes are used to make inferences about the likely home or operational base, workplace and serial killers often work in areas they are familiar with, so it helps to find their base.
                                    1. Circle theory proposes two models of offender behaviour. People operate within a limited spatial mind set that creates imagined boundaries in which crimes are likely to be committed (usually forming a circle). The Marauder: the offender operates in close proximity to their home base. The Commuters: the offender is likely to have travelled a distance away from their usual residence.
                                  2. biological explanations of offending behaviour
                                    1. atavistic form
                                      1. atavism: a tendency to revert to something ancient or ancestral, recurrence of traits of an ancestor in a subsequent generation.
                                        1. lombroso: Atavistic form saw offenders as ‘genetic throwbacks’ or ‘primitive sub-species’ who were biologically different from non-criminals. They lack evolutionary development – their savage and untamed nature meant that they would find it impossible to adjust to the demands of civilised society and would inevitably turn to crime. They are distinguishable by particular facial features and cranial characteristics.
                                          1. facial and cranial features – narrow, sloping brow, strong prominent jaw, high cheekbones and facial asymmetry. Bodily features – dark skin, extra toes, nipples or fingers. Other characteristics – insensitivity to pain, use of slang, tattoos and unemployment. Lombroso even categorised particular types of criminal in terms of their physical and facial characteristics: Murderers: bloodshot eyes, curly hair and long ears Sexual deviants: Glinting eyes, Swollen, fleshy lips Fraudsters: Thin and reedy lips
                                            1. examined the facial and cranial features of hundreds of Italian convicts, both living and dead. He examined the skulls of 383 dead criminals and 3839 living ones, and concluded that 40% of criminal acts could be accounted for by atavistic characteristics
                                              1. evaluation:
                                                1. strength: shifted the emphasis on offenders being judged as evil towards a more scientific theory, including evolutionary and genetic influences. Also introduced idea of criminal profiling by assuming that people with particular physical characteristics are more likely to commit certain types of crime
                                                  1. weaknesses: socially sensitive, racist undertones supporting eugenics, lack of control group.
                                              2. genetic explanations: The activity of two particular genes (MAOA and CDH13) have been implicated in offending behaviour. Tiihonen et al (2014) – Finnish prisoners – MAOA and CDH13 are associated with extremely violent behaviour – 13 times more likely to have a history of violent behaviour
                                                1. Lange (1930) investigated 13 MZ twins and 17 DZ twins where one of the twins in each pair had served time in prison. Lange found that 10 of the MZ twins and 2 of the DZ twins had a co-twin who was also in prison. Christiansen (1977) studied 87 MZ and 147 DZ twins and found a concordance of 33% for MZ twins and 12% for DZ twins.
                                                  1. neural explanations: Raine et al (2000) – Reduced activity in pre-frontal cortex 11% reduction in volume of grey matter compared to controls
                                                    1. Offending behaviour is argued to be the result of both an underlying (genetic) predisposition (diathesis) and an environmental trigger (stress – e.g. being raised in a dysfunctional environment or having criminal role models).
                                                      1. evaluation: determinism – biological versus environmental determinism; reductionism; relative ability to explain certain types of crime better than others; role of parents and wider society; implications eg blame and opportunities for reform;
                                                    2. psychological explanations of offending
                                                      1. eysenck's theory of the criminal personality 1947
                                                        1. Eysenck proposed that offending behaviour is caused by having a criminal personality (psychological). However, he argued that the criminal personality type is biological in origin (i.e. has an innate, biological basis) and comes about through the type of nervous system we inherit.
                                                          1. Eysenck suggested that the criminal personality type is the neurotic-extravert i.e. they score highly on measures of neuroticism (unstable and overly anxious and nervous) and extraversion (sensation-seeking and outgoing). Additionally, offenders will score highly on measures of psychoticism – cold and unfeeling and prone to aggression. This is measured using the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI). A later scale was introduced to measure psychoticism.
                                                            1. Extraverts have a chronically under-aroused nervous system, meaning they constantly seek excitement, stimulation and are likely to engage in risk-taking and dangerous behaviours, which may explain some offending behaviour. Neurotic individuals have more reactive sympathetic nervous systems (i.e. greater responses to threat). They are unstable and so react easily and get upset quickly. They may therefore overreact to situations of threat, explaining some offending behaviour. Psychotics can easily be linked to offending behaviour as they are aggressive and lack empathy.
                                                              1. children are taught to become more able to delay gratification and become more socially oriented through conditioning – they are punished for anti-social behaviours and so even thinking about them creates anxiety. Eysenck viewed offending behaviour as developmentally immature, in that it is selfish and concerned with immediate gratification. He suggested that people with high extraversion and neuroticism had nervous systems that made them difficult to condition.
                                                          2. research evidence
                                                            1. - Farrington et al. (1982) reviewed several studies and found that offenders tended to score high on psychoticism measures, but not for extraversion or neuroticism. They also found little evidence of consistent evidence in EEG measures (used to measure cortical arousal) between extraverts and introverts.
                                                              1. + Eysenck and Eysenck (1977) compared 2070 male prisoners’ scores on the EPI with 2422 male controls. On measures of psychoticism, extraversion and neuroticism (across age groups), prisoners recorded higher scores than controls.
                                                              2. evaluation
                                                                1. strengths
                                                                  1. LINKS NICELY WITH THE DIATHESIS-STRESS MODEL of behaviour which argues for a biological predisposition combining with an environmental trigger for a particular behaviour.
                                                                    1. IT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT BOTH NATURE AND NUTURE. Eysenck’s theory argues strongly that biological predispositions towards certain personality traits combined with conditioning and socialization during childhood in order to create our personality.This interactionist approach may, therefore, be much more valid than either a biological or environmental theory alone.
                                                                    2. weaknesses
                                                                      1. Personality may not be consistent - any theory based on personality assumes that it is consistent. The notion of a criminal personality is flawed as PEOPLE DO NOT SIMPLY HAVE 'ONE' PERSONALITY. For example, someone may be neurotic at work but calm and relaxed at home.
                                                                        1. It is a REDUCTIONIST explanation. It tells us for example that criminals are neurotic and extravert, but it does not tell us why they are criminals. It is therefore limited in its explanation.
                                                                    3. Cognitive distortions are faulty, biased and irrational ways of thinking that mean we perceive ourselves, other people and/or the world in a way that does not match reality and is usually negative. Therefore, a person’s perception of events is wrong, but they think it is accurate.
                                                                      1. Hostile attribution bias is the tendency to misinterpret or misread other people’s actions, words and/or expressions as aggressive, provocative and/or threatening when in reality they are not. Offenders may misread non-aggressive cues, e.g. being ‘looked at’, which may trigger a disproportionate and often violent response (e.g. assault). This allows offenders to rationalise their offending behaviour by blaming other factors for it e.g. blaming the victim.
                                                                        1. Minimalisation is the attempt to downplay the seriousness (or trivialising the importance) of one’s own offence to explain the consequences as less significant or damaging than they really are. This helps the individual to accept the consequences of their own offences and reduce the negative emotions such as guilt associated with their crimes.
                                                                          1. Kohlberg suggested that people’s decisions and judgements on issues of right or wrong can be summarised in a stage theory of moral development – the higher the stage, the more sophisticated the moral reasoning, which results in a more logically consistent and morally mature form of understanding. People progress through the stages as a consequence of biological maturity and by having opportunities to discuss and develop their thinking
                                                                            1. pre-conventional morality: punishment/reward orientation
                                                                              1. conventional morality: good boy or girl/ social order orientation
                                                                                1. post-conventional morality: social contract/conscience orientation
                                                                              2. Criminal offenders are more likely to be classified at the pre-conventional level whereas non-criminals are more likely to have progressed to the conventional level and beyond.
                                                                            2. Differential association theory is a social learning theory of crime proposed by Sutherland (1939). It suggests that individuals learn the values, attitudes, techniques and motives for criminal behaviour through association and interaction with others who have more or less favourable attitudes towards crimes. These attitudes then influence their own criminal attitudes and behaviour., depending on the norms/values of the social group.
                                                                              1. learning attitudes towards crime (theoretical)
                                                                                1. When a person is socialised into a group, they will be exposed to the values and attitudes towards the law – some may be pro-criminal attitudes and others may be anti-criminal.
                                                                                  1. Sutherland argues that if the number of pro-criminal attitudes outweighs the number of anti-criminal attitudes that the person acquires, they will go on to offend.
                                                                                  2. learning of specific criminal acts (practical)
                                                                                    1. It is likely that the learning occurs through direct and indirect reinforcement through direct tuition from criminal peers and observational learning.
                                                                                      1. Role models may provide opportunities to model deviant behaviours, and if the role models are successful themselves in these criminal activities, this would provide vicarious reinforcement, making the individual more likely to offend in order to achieve the same reward.
                                                                                      2. evaluation
                                                                                        1. The theory does not account for the biological or genetic factors that may contribute to criminal behavior. It places too much emphasis on the role of socialization and ignores other factors such as individual choice and free will. It does not explain why some individuals who are exposed to criminal behavior do not become criminals themselves.
                                                                                      3. psychodynamic explanation of crime
                                                                                        1. Psychodynamic explanations are a group of theories influenced by the work of Freud which share the belief that unconscious conflicts (innate drives), rooted in early childhood and determined by interactions with parents drive future offending behaviour.
                                                                                          1. inadequate superego
                                                                                            1. Blackburn (1993) argued that if the superego is somehow deficient or inadequate then offending behaviour is inevitable because the id is given ‘free rein’ and isn’t properly controlled.
                                                                                              1. Three types of inadequate superego have been proposed: The weak/underdeveloped superego The deviant superego The over-harsh/overdeveloped superego
                                                                                                1. weak: if the same-sex parent is absent during the phallic stage, the child cannot internalise a fully-formed superego, meaning they have little control over anti-social behaviour and act on id impulses.
                                                                                                  1. deviant: If the superego that the child internalises has immoral or deviant values (e.g. a child with a criminal parent), this would lead to offending behaviour because the child may not associate wrongdoing with guilt.
                                                                                                    1. over-harsh: A child may internalise the superego of a very strict same-sex parent. This means that the individual is crippled by guilt and anxiety most of the time because any time the person acts on their id impulses, they would feel bad. This may (unconsciously) drive the individual to offend with a wish to be caught in order to satisfy the superego’s overwhelming need for punishment and reduce their feelings of guilt.
                                                                                                    2. evaluation:
                                                                                                      1. considers importance of emotion.
                                                                                                        1. children without a same-sex parent aren't less law abiding, nor do they fail to develop a conscience. not able to establish cause and effect. lacks falsifiability as conscience cannot be tested.
                                                                                                      2. maternal deprivation
                                                                                                        1. Bowlby (1944) argued that the ability to form meaningful adult relationships in adulthood was dependent upon the child forming a warm, continuous relationship with a mother-figure. This relationship was seen as having special importance to the child’s well-being and emotional development (monotropy). If maternal deprivation (long-term separation or loss of emotional care from the mother or mother-substitute) occurs during the critical period (around 2 ½ years), then the child will experience a number of damaging and irreversible long-term consequences later in life. One of these is the development of the affectionless psychopathy personality type, which is characterised by a lack of guilt, empathy or strong emotion for others and responsibility. Such individuals are likely to offend and cannot develop close relationships with others as they lack the necessary early experience to do so. Bowlby's 44 thieves study.
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