An integrative look at criminal behaviour 2.3 The biological level of analysis Criminal behaviour Name programmes you know that are about solving crime
And some of them that integrate medical and psychological information into the episodes Category: Crime television series
CSI (Miami, NY)
Wire in the Blood Criminal Minds Midsomer Murders Detective Linley Miss Marple Rebus Bones Dexter
In this category: 597 The nature of crime We are both appalled and fascinated by the nature of crime We also want to prevent and solve crime, right? So what makes people turn to criminal behaviour? Born a criminal? Bad environment?
In this chapter we are going to investigate criminal behaviour from the biological level of analysis and come back to use the cognitive and sociocultural when we have studied them. What makes one turn to criminal behaviour? Early theorists believed that there were criminal types (and some still do!) that they came from certain ethnic
groups, had certain physical characteristics (strong jawline, high cheekbone, large ears, extra fingers or toes) Today, psychologists recognize that the origins of criminal behaviour are complex, resulting of a combination of risk factors both biological and environmental factors which interact. The more of these factors the more likely the individual is to engage in criminal behaviour
The biological level of analysis Genetics Brain Neurotransmitters Hormones Are some born to be criminals?
No, however Biological factors can contribute to criminality Genetics Twin studies Christiansen 1977 studied 3586 sets of twins Results indicate that there may be some genetic factors: concordance rate: 35% in MZ
males, 13% DZ males 21 % MZ females, 8% DZ women Limitations: ? Limitations Share same environment MZ twins Get treated more similar than DZ twins
Adoption studies Hutchings and Mednick (1975) Results: found that if both the biological and adoptive fathers had criminal records , 36,2 % of sons had a criminal record If only the biological father had it, it dropped to 21,4 %
If only the adoptive father, it fell to 11,5% When none of the fathers had a record, 10,5% of sons had one Adoption studies This study shows the importance of environmental factors in combination with genetic factors
Limitations: 1. Similar homes 2. Some children are several years when they are adopted Limitations with genetic factors 1. What is a crime gene and which crime does it reflecttax crime? Drugs? Murder?
2. Cant explain why it change over time in a persons life peak in their 20s and declining after 30 The brain Blair et al (1999) examined brains of convicted psychopaths using PET scans that revealed impairment of the pathways between
amygdala and the frontal lobe. Amygdala responsible for emotional responses Frontal lobe - decision making The Brain The theory is that due to this impairment, they have a difficulty in moderating their
emotional reactions, which in turn has an effect on social relationships which leads to undeveloped empathy, undeveloped feeling of guilt and that they act more impulsively The brain The frontal brain hypothesis the theory behind that due to a malfunctioning
relationship between frontal cortex and the limbic system (amygdala is part of the limbic system) could cause criminal behaviour Does not explain all criminal behaviour Raine et al (1997) Read Raine et al (1997) study on brain abnormalities in murderers indicated by positron
emission tomography (PET) and write a summary of it. Use max 200 words, Include: the aim, method and results. Neurochemical imbalances Neurotransmitters and hormones
Seems to best explain the significant gender difference with regard to crime 2004 US, 90,1 % arrested murderers were male, 82,1% arrested for violent crime were male Neurochemical imbalances Two explanations for this is:
Low levels of serotonin (which men usually have) is linked to antisocial and impulsive behaviour Violent criminals have higher doses of testosterone than non-aggressive criminals Limitations: correlational studies = no cause and effect Unsure if chemical imbalances are due to
genetic factors or environmental Nature of crime Biological level of analysis cant on its own give the full explanation of the nature of crime, to be continued But what if (TOK: ethics on p. 63)
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