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56 Cards in this Set

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How do individuals learn criminal behaviour through Social Learning Theory?
By observing role models who are engaging in criminal behaviour and imitating that behaviour. According to Bandura, the observer pays attention, retains the information and reproduces the criminal behaviour they have observed when motivated.
Which types of role models are most likely to be imitated?
Those of the same gender, ethnicity class, or are of high status. Role models may also be family members, friends and peers but can also be from the media.
What is vicarious learning of criminal behaviour?
Vicarious learning of criminal behaviour is not direct reward or punishment but is how an individual learns by watching others being rewarded or punished for their criminal actions. Observing successful criminals will provide an individual with more motivation to imitate this type of behaviour.
What is external motivation?
External motivation will arise when a criminal act has been observed and imitated by an individual. If the act was rewarded it is likely to be repeated.
What is self-reinforcement?
Self-reinforcement refers to self-motivational factors associated with a crime. Behaviour is more motivating if some internal need is satisfied such as excitement when committing a crime.
How are opportunities to witness crime in the media less limited than in everyday life?
Those who witness crime in the media may be more likely to show aggression towards others and are therefore desensitised to the violence. Watching TV involves paying attention to the criminal storyline, and if there is distinctive violence in this it is likely to be retained. Young viewers may be impressed by the violence used, motivating them to reproduce it later. This is particularly true if the model on the TV is rewarded (vicarious learning).
Is there any evidence to support the Social Learning Theory for criminal behaviour?
Bandura, Ross and Ross showed that children will imitate aggression when they see it modelled by an adult, especially when the model is the same sex as them. Therefore, criminal activity is more readily imitated if the role model is someone of particular significance to the observer.
Is Social Learning Theory for criminal behaviour useful for society?
It may be used to rehabilitate offenders by using suitable role models to help them learn appropriate behaviour in conjunction with reinforcement. Volunteers will enter prisons and act as a role model for offenders, be a positive influence on them, assist them in gaining confidence and achieving their goals.
Is Social Learning Theory for criminal behaviour reductionist?
It focuses only on how an individual is influenced by social factors and is therefore reductionist as it does not consider biological explanations for criminal behaviour. It fails to take into account individual differences and whether the individual has a natural predisposition to criminal behaviour due to their personality.
Is there any evidence that refutes Social Learning Theory for criminal behaviour?
Quasi experiments like Charlton's study found no effect of the introduction of the media (TV) on the amount of aggression shown by young children, even when the children were exposed to media violence. However, this was conducted on the island of St. Helena rather than in an urban city and therefore violence and crime in general may be different to that of central cities.
What does Eysenck's Personality Theory for criminal behaviour suggest?
It suggests that criminality is caused by an interaction between genetic factors associated with personality and environmental influences. He viewed personality traits as being biological or innate.
Why are extrovert individuals more likely to be involved in criminal activity?
They have a dampened reticular activating system (RAS) and therefore seek arousal from risk taking and anti-social behaviour, in order to provide them with the extra stimulation they need as a result of their dampened RAS.
Why are extrovert individuals, that are also neurotic (unstable), more likely to be involved in criminal activity?
This is due to the individual being unstable and finding it difficult to inhibit their behaviour. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) functions differently in such individuals with the sympathetic division being quick to turn on, and is therefore linked to impulsiveness and violent response.
Is there any supporting evidence for Eysenck's Personality Theory for criminal behaviour?
Hare found that there were significantly more psychotic individuals who have the tendency to be violent than the rest of the population. Center and Kemp also found a relationship between anti-social behaviour and psychoticism in a sample of 11 delinquents.
Does Eysenck's Personality Theory for criminal behaviour have any practical applications for society?
Many traits of criminal behaviour are detectable in childhood and therefore it may be possible to modify the socialisation experiences of high-risk individuals so that they do not develop into offenders. This could lead to interventions based on parenting or early treatment for delinquency.
Is there any evidence that refutes Eysenck's Personality Theory for criminal activity?
Fonseca and Yule compared delinquent and non-delinquent boys and found no difference in extroversion, psychoticism and neuroticism scores as measured by the EPI.
What was the aim of Loftus and Palmer's experiment?
The aim of the laboratory experiment was to see if the phrasing of a question would affect estimates of speed, applying these findings to the idea of leading questions in court.
How were the participants involved in Loftus and Palmer's experiment?
The procedure involved 45 students being put into 5 different groups. Seven films were shown, each involving a traffic accident, with each film lasting between 5 and 30 seconds. After every film, the participants had a questionnaire to fill in. First they were required to give an account of the accident, and then had to answer specific questions.
What critical questions were the participants asked in Loftus and Palmer's experiment?
The critical question was the one asking about the speed of the vehicles. The first group of nine participants were asked, 'about how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?' and the other groups were asked the same but the verb was replaced by collided, bumped, hit and contacted. The same procedure was followed for each film.
What were the main results of Loftus and Palmer's first laboratory experiment?
The results showed that the verb 'smashed' produced the highest mean estimate of speed (40.8 mph) and that the verb 'contacted' produced the lowest mean estimate (31.8 mph).
What did Loftus and Palmer conclude in their first experiment, which was later disregarded with a new conclusion?
They believed that the results could be due to a distortion in the memory of the participant. They memory of how fast the cars were travelling could have been distorted by the verbal label and had been used to characterise the intensity of the crash. They believed the results could have also been to do with response bias factors, in which the participant is not sure of the exact speed and adjusts the estimate to fit with the expectations of the researcher (demand characteristics).
What were the main procedural differences between Loftus and Palmer's first experiment, and their secondary experiment?
A bigger sample was used, with 150 student participants instead of 45, and instead they viewed one short minute film containing a 4 second scene of a multiple car accident. 50 participants were asked the same critical question with the verb 'smashed', 50 were asked with the verb 'hit', and the other 50 were not interrogated about the speed of the vehicles. One week later they were asked if they saw any broken glass after the car accident (another leading question).
What were the results of Loftus and Palmer's secondary experiment?
The results show a significant effect of the verb in the question on the mis-perception of glass in the film. Those participants that heard the word smashed were more than twice as likely to recall seeing broken glass.
What is the 'Reconstructive Hypothesis' that Elizabeth Loftus had developed?
This approach argues that two kinds of information go into a person's memory of an event. The first is the information obtained from perceiving an event (e.g. witnessing a video of a car accident), and the second is the other information supplied to us after the event (e.g. the question containing hit or smashed). Over time, information from these two sources may be integrated in such a way that we are unable to tell from which source some specific detail is recalled. All we have is 'one' memory.
What was the aim of Maass and Kohnken's field experiment?
The aim of the study was to look at the effectiveness of witnesses when they are exposed to an event whereby they are distracted by the presence of a syringe. This was to provide support for previous research into the effects of weapon focus.
What types of participants were used in Maass and Kohnken's experiment?
The procedure involved 86 German university students who were told that they were participating in an experiment investigating the relation between sport-related physical activity and psychological well-being.
What did the participants do in Maass and Kohnken's experiment?
After the participants had completed two questionnaires, they were led into the experimental room, which was generously equipped with physiological measurement devices. The participant was asked to wear a chest belt, which supposedly served to monitor the subject's breathing activity, but it actually ensured the participant remain seated and ensured the distance between participant and target would be identical in all experimental sessions.
What happened after one minute of the participants being seated in Maass and Kohnken's experiment?
After one minute, a different female confederate (the target) entered the room wearing a lab coat and stethoscope. The participants were approached by the target holding either a pen or a syringe (IV) who told them that she would give them an injection. The participants were then asked how much detail they remembered about the woman and if they could identify her in a line-up (DV).
What were the main results of Maass and Kohnken's experiment?
The results were that two-thirds of all participants who had been confronted with the syringe falsely indicated one of the line up members as the target. Participants who were exposed to a syringe rather than the pen performed worse in their identification. They had remembered less facial detail the greater their fear of injections.
What was the aim of Yuille and Cutshall's field study?
The aim of the study was to look at the problems of laboratory research in studying eyewitness testimony, to look at the accuracy of eye witness accounts and to compare eye witness accounts taken straight after an incident with those taken four to five months after. Another aim was to see how eyewitness memory can be affected by leading questions.
What type of participants were used in Yuille and Cutshall's study?
The procedure involved asking 21 witnesses to a gun shooting which had taken place four to five months before to take part in research. 13 agreed to take part. Directly after the gun shooting, all 21 witnesses were interviewed by police, and 13 of these were interviewed with researchers 4-5 months after the event.
What were the participants asked in Yuille and Cutshall's study?
The participants were asked to describe the event and were then asked questions about it. Two leading questions were added to the interviews, one asking whether they saw the broken headlight and another asking if they saw the yellow quarter panel. These were leading as the headlight was not broken and the quarter panel was blue. Half were asked these leading questions and the other half were asked non-leading questions.
What did the results of the Yuille and Cutshall study show?
The witnesses had been split into peripheral and central witnesses, and this accounted for the variation in what was reported. 7 of the witnesses were central and 6 were peripheral. Both of these groups were equally accurate in their accounts, with 84% of central witnesses and 79% of peripheral witnesses being accurate. Leading questions did not affect the witness' memories of the incident.
According to Yuille and Cutshall, is eyewitness testimony accurate?
Eyewitness statement is remarkably accurate - more accurate than laboratory experiments would suggest. Central witnesses were more accurate in their accounts, although both groups were fairly equal. This is something else that a laboratory experiment would not capture.
What is a token economy programme?
Token economy programmes are a form of behaviour modification based on the principles of operant conditioning; specifically reinforcement. Such programmes are used in prisons to encourage pro-social behaviour and involve awarding tokens to offenders if a desired behaviour is performed. The tokens may then be exchanged for various rewards.
Why are the tokens used in the token economy programme known as secondary reinforcers?
The tokens are secondary reinforcers as they are collected and later exchanged for a meaningful object or privilege such as phone cards, cigarettes or extra visiting privileges. These are primary reinforcers that fulfil a basic need.
How does a token economy programme work in a prison?
Desirable and undesirable behaviours are explained by the prison staff and the success of token economy depends on the appeal of the primary reinforcers. Offenders will only be motivated to earn tokens if they anticipate the future rewards represented by the tokens. Initially tokens are awarded frequently and in higher amounts, but as offenders learn the desired behaviour, opportunities to earn tokens decrease (fading). Offenders should then be able to perform the behaviour on ther own without the unnatural use of tokens.
Is there any supporting evidence for token economy programmes?
Hobbs and Holt used a token economy programme to successfully treat offenders. This attempted to modify the behaviour of 125 adolescent males which focused on social behaviour, rule following and task completion. Appropriate behaviour increased when the token economy was introduced into each cottage, with one of the cottages increasing appropriate behaviour from 66% to 91.6%.
Is there any refuting evidence for token economy programmes?
Ross and McKay studied the use of a token economy programme with delinquent girls. This was ineffective in reducing their behavioural problems when directed at either reducing anti-social behaviour or increasing social acts.
Why is there immediate reinforcement with token economy programmes?
There is immediate reinforcement as the behaviours are rewarded instantly, unlike other treatments which reinforce behaviour long after they occur. This means that the prisoner knows exactly which behaviour is being positively reinforced, and thus the likelihood of the behaviour being repeated is increased.
Why are there less individual differences in a token economy programme?
There are less individual differences as all prisoners have to take part in the programme and no single prisoner can have an ulterior motive for participating. This is in contrast with other programmes such as anger management where participants may take part in the programme for longer parole.
Why may recidivism occur in a token economy programme?
Recidivism may occur when prisoners leave the programme. This is because they may come to rely on the primary and secondary reinforcers, and they are not available to them outside of prison. As a result, offenders may reoffend in order to gain the rewards that would have been obtained in prison.
Why is there a lack of control in token economy programmes?
There is a lack of control as a 'black market' may occur within the system, where prisoners can buy and sell their tokens for rewards which they have obtained for non-aggressive behaviour. This means that they are being positively reinforced for engaging in the black market, instead of behaving non-aggressively.
What is an anger management programme?
Anger management is another treatment aimed to prevent crime. It can be used in prisons, and offenders may take part voluntarily as part of their sentence. The aim is to identigy triggers which may cause aggressive outburts. By preventing aggression, the likelihood of crimes being committed is lessened.
What usually happens in an anger management programme and when/where does it occur?
The treatment usually takes place in group settings and occurs about twice a week. A trained practitioner runs the group, and usually acts as a facilitator. Conversations usually turn to what factors make them feel angry and this triggers aggressive outburts. The trigger is then turned around and viewed in a positive light.
What are the three key stages of an anger management programme?
1) Cognitive preparation: the analysis of post aggression and discovering patterns. The facilitator will look for recurring triggers that regular precede a loss of temper, and will analyse possible consequences.

2) Skills acquisition: the offender will learn cognitive skills which change thoughts and perceptions to damp down the emotional response, and behavioural skills which reduce the fight or flight response and give options for dealing with the situation.

3) Application practice: this alows the offender to test their skills in a range of situations. They practice with the other group members in a role play situation in order to deal with a trigger in a non-aggressive way.
Is there some supporting evidence for anger management programmes?
Ireland compared 50 young offenders on an AM programme wiht 37 on the waiting list. 92% of the treatment group showed some drop in aggression.
Is there some refuting evidence for anger management programmes?
Loza and Loza-Fanous studied Canadian offenders classified as violent and non-violent and measured them for anger. They found no difference in the groups, concluding that anger is not necessary for aggression to occur. Therefore, treatments aimed at changing anger will have minimal impact on violent behaviour.
Why are the chances of recidivism occurring after an anger management programme low?
This is because the techniques which are taught can be used outside of the prison system, and that the treatment is gradually reduced over time. This is in contrast to other treatments which end suddenly outside of the prison system.
Why might prisoners taking part as part of their sentence in an anger management programme be problematic?
It provides an ulterior motive and although the offender may appear to have made progress, this could be false and the issue of anger is not actually being addressed. It may not be effective for everyone.
Why is the anger management programme reductionist?
It is reductionist as only triggers to physical aggression are addressed. Other forms of aggression, such as verbal aggression, are not addressed.
What is the definition of crime?
A crime is an act that is against the law or more specifically is a behaviour that violates social norms, moral values, religious beliefs or legal boundaries and are therefore subject to punishment. For example, The Children's Act 2004 has made smacking an offence similar to assault.
What is anti-social behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour is not an actual crime but may have a negatie effect on people in society and could potentially become a crime at some stage. Anti-social behaviour is likely to cause alarm, harrassment or distress to members of the public. Examples of ASB include excessive noise, abusive language and drunken behaviour.
What is recidivism?
Recidivism is repeat offending and is used in reference to an offender who repeats a crime or a behaviour for which they have been punished or received treatment for. It means returning to and repeating behaviour that should have been extinguished.
What is stereotyping?
Stereotypes are standardised and simplified conceptions of groups based on some prior assumptions. There is a tendency to think of a whole group as having certain characteristics based upon evidence from one member of the group, and assuming that the same is true of all group members.
What is a suitable key issue for Criminological Psychology?
One key issue question could be: 'Is a criminal 'born' or 'made'?'