Theories of Crime


A-Levels PY4 (Forensic Psychology) Mind Map on Theories of Crime, created by Hayd23 on 14/05/2013.
Mind Map by Hayd23, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Hayd23 almost 11 years ago

Resource summary

Theories of Crime
  1. Psychological theory of crime
    1. Self-fulfilling prophecy (SFP)
      1. suggests that an observer's stereotypes can affect the observed
        1. if an observer holds false beliefs about another person or social group, these beliefs change how the observer behaves, specifically making them respond in ways that are likely to evoke the expected behaviour from the observed individual
          1. confirming their expectations and reinforcing this stereotype
          2. Applied to crime
            1. the SFP suggests that negative expectations cause individuals to behave towards others in ways that evoke criminal behaviour because their stereotypes change their social interactions
            2. Recidivism
              1. SFP also explains recidivism
                1. once labelled, the image is hard to shift as other people reinforce it with their behaviour
                2. repeating an undesirable behaviour after receiving some form of treatment/punishment
                3. Madon (2005) found that when mother's believed their children would drink more, this expectation was likely to be fulfilled
                  1. however, possible that the mothers were good judges of their offspring's future behaviour
              2. Social theory of crime
                1. Social learning theory
                  1. suggests that learning occurs when one individual (the learner) observes and imitates another (the model)
                    1. Bandura (1977) - observer must pay attention, be able to retain and also reproduce what they have observed and be motivated to do so
                      1. motivation may be internal or external
                        1. internal motivation = generated by identification with a model
                          1. external motivation = from direct reinforcement or vicarious reinforment
                            1. vicarious reinforcement = seeing a model benefit from their behaviour
                          2. however, lab. experiment so can't represent criminal behaviour in real life
                        2. Applied to crime
                          1. children whose parents are criminals or who are surrounded by other role models who are criminals are likely to be motivated to imitate this behaviour
                          2. Individual differences
                            1. learner characteristics also matter
                              1. individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to imitate
                                1. important as low self-esteem is linked with criminal behaviour
                              2. however, Bandura suggests that there are factors other than models that determine which specific acts will be imitated (more verbal aggression in girls, and physical aggression in boys)
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