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59 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Define crime.

Deviant behaviours which are against written criminal law, which implies an appropriate treatment is issued toavoid re-offending

Define antisocial behaviour.

Negative acts that aren't necessarily against written law but are socially unacceptable.

Define recidivism.

Whereby an offender repeats a criminal or antisocial behaviour for which they have already beenpunished or treated, that is returning to previous criminal activity

Define eyewitness testimony.

A statement, recall of events, from a person who has witnessed a criminal incident.

Define modelling

A way of learning whereby behaviours are learned when rewarding that behaviour is observed of others.

Define stereotyping.

Classifying a whole group of people as sharing a certain common characteristic, which may be based ondirect evidence or due to others with no evidence; the stereotype may be true or untrue of a particular person.

What are token economy programmes?

Systems of behaviour modification based on operant conditioning techniques.

How useful are laboratory experiments when studying witness effectiveness?

They are the main way of investigating witness effectiveness. This is because everything can be controlled. They are scientific and knowledge can be built around them.

How useful are field studies when studying witness effectiveness?

Recently researchers are using field experiments instead of laboratory experiments to investigate witness effectiveness. This is to make findings more valid.

What is observational learning?

It is when a person observes another person being rewarded or punished for a certain behaviour so they themselves either repeat or don't repeat the same behaviour.

What are the four stages of modelling?

Attention - modelled behaviour is noticed.

Retention - the behaviour is remembered.

Reproduction - the person is able to reproduce the behaviour.

Motivation - there must be a good reason for wanting to reproduce the behaviour.

Strengths of social learning theory as an explanation of criminal behaviour.

There is a lot of experimental evidence supporting the idea that behaviour is imitated, particularly aggressive behaviour.

It has practical applications as it can be used to help rehabilitate offenders by using role models.

Weaknesses of social learning theory as an explanation of criminal behaviour.

The theory does not look at individual differences but only how an individual is influenced by social factors, biological aspects are not considered.

This theory does not account for opportunistic crime, it tends to account for crimes such as stealing and aggression rather than murders; does not account for all crime.

How does social learning theory and the media link with aggression and criminal behaviours?

Children may become desensitised to violence after watching it on television; they are less disturbed by violence. Therefore, children are more likely to use violence themselves or show aggression towards others.

However, watching the violence may make children more afraid in general.

Describe the study by Huesman and Eron (1986).

They investigated whether there was a link between the number of hours of TV a child watched and how aggressive they became as teenagers then whether they committed a crime as an adult. It was found that a child who watched a lot of TV grew into an aggressive teenager and were more likely to commit crimes as adults. However, it could be suggested that a violent child is likely to watch more TV rather than the other way around. However, across different cultures no link was found.

Strengths of the study by Huesman and Eron (1986).

Longitudinal study so participant variables were controlled.

There were quantitative measures which are objective,

Weaknesses of the study by Huesman and Eron (1986).

There could have been many factors that affected the results rather than just television.

It was a correlational study which suggests there is a relationship rather than the nature of the relationship.

Describe the study by Anderson and Dill (2000).

They carried out a survey to link the likelihood of playing violent video games and admitting to aggressive behaviours. Then a laboratory experiment was carried out where it was discovered that those who played violent video games were more aggressive when given the opportunity than those who didn't play the games.

Strengths of the study by Anderson and Dill (2000).

Involved a lab experiment which is reliable and scientific.

Can be tested for reliability.

Reliable as two research methods were used.

Weaknesses of the study by Anderson and Dill (2000).

Claimed that the experiment was not standardised and tasks were artificial.

Lack of validity.

Only looked at short term effects.

Describe self fulfilling prophecy as an explanation for crime.

When a person is labelled they tend to be treated by others in relation to that label. Then the person starts to act and believe they are what the label says as they are expected to act how the label says. Therefore, this theory states that people fulfil the expectations of others.

What are the stages of self fulfilling prophecy?


The person is treated in ways according to the label.

The individual then behaves according to the label, fulfils expectations.

Describe the study by Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968).

It was in an educational environment where some children were said to thrive. Teachers treated these children differently to the others by encouraging them more and giving them more attention. The children then did become top of their class and thrive, they had a more improved IQ score than the other pupils.

Describe the findings of Jahoda (1954).

Jahoda studied the Ashantai (a Ghanaian ethnic gruop) where the children were named the days on which they were born. It was said that Monday children were said to be quiet and peacful. Wednesday children were said to be aggressive and quick-tempered. Further investigation found that Wednesday children were more likely to be convicted of crimes. There were noticeably fewer Monday children convicted of crimes.

Strengths of self fulfilling prophecy as an explanation for criminal behaviour.

Madon, Jahoda, Rosenthal and other researchers have found self fulfilling prophecy does play a part in different areas of everyday life.

Madon suggests that people with a high self esteem are more likely to be affected by their parents predictions and social class is not a factor in whether a parent child relationship leads to a SFP.

It seems that actual relationships affect the course of a prophecy.

This suggests that expectations about former criminals may lead to SFP depending on their relationship.

Jahoda's study gives strong evidence.

Sociological theories link crime, labelling and SFP.

Weaknesses of self fulfilling prophecy as an explanation fir criminal behaviour.

Much research onto SFP has been done in education. Other relationships may not have the same effect.

The problem with studying the effects of labelling at an individual level is finding false beliefs.

What were the aims of the study by Yarmey (2004)?

To look at the effects on both males and females of being part of a field experiment related to eyewitness recall and photo identification.

See how far a disguise affected retrieval.

To look at the effect of a time delay on recall.

To see whether preparation before recall had any effect.

Yarmey (2004) procedure?

215 male and 375 female participants.

Age range 18-70.

Only white participants.

Participants were randomly assigned to conditions.


Being prepared or not.

A disguise present or not.

Retrieval instructions enhanced or not.

Tested immediately or delayed by 4 hours.

Gender of witness.

whether the target was present in the line up or not.

Participant approached by target in the public place and asked for help. " minutes later a researcher asked them if they could take part in a study. They where given a 16 item questionnaire. Then they were presented with 6 photos, half of the time the target was present and half the time the target wasn't.

There was a debrief at the end of the study.

Yarmey (2004) results?

49% correctly identified the target.

62% correctly said the target was absent.

The participants who were prepared where better at recall but not at photo identification.

Age estimates were the most accurate rather than weight or height.

Enhanced imagery techniques did not help recall, so does not support the cognitive interview.

Yarmey (2004) conclusions?

It was found that participants correctly identify a target in a line up half of the time when the target is present. It has practical applications as it casts doubt on whether eyewitness accounts should be accepted by jurors.

Yarmey (2004) strengths?

Photo lone up findings support Haber and Haber's findings which suggests some reliability.

It has ecological validity as the study was carried out in the participants natural environment.

The control over the conditions means the study can be replicated and tested for reliability.

The range of ages and the focus on gender means that there will likely be good generalisability.

Yarmey (2004) weaknesses?

This study found age was the best characteristic identified which isn't the case in other studies. So not all findings support one another.

Photo-line up is not the same as a real life line up, study lacks validity.

The witness recall was focused on a situation where the participant met and interacted with the target which is not always the case.

Describe token economy programmes.

They are used to obtain desirable behaviour in closed institutions. They are a form of behaviour modification. They are based on the principles of operant conditioning. Rewards, usually tokens, are set up for desired behaviours and there are sometimes punishments for undesirable behaviours. The tokens can be exchanged for something the individual wants. Negative reinforcements can also be used.

What is the procedure of a token economy programme?

Desired behaviours, tokens, rewards, how the tokens will gradually change, how many tokens for each reward and how the reward will be removed when the behaviour is achieved is decided on. Tokens are given for desired behaviours and they can be spent on rewards.

Why may token economy programmes not work?

Staff may not be fully committed meaning they don't focus on it sufficiently.

If inconsistent rewards are given.

Failing to plan for transferring to the environment outside of the institution.

What are some advantages of token economy programmes?

Rewards are given immediately.

Anyone can give out tokens.

Clear rules are set making the programmes easy for staff to follow.

Strengths of token economy programmes?

Can be administered by anyone with training.

Tokens and rewards are relatively cheap.

They have been found to be successful in most study. There tends to be 10-20% who don't respond well to the programme.

Weaknesses of token economy programmes?

Learning may not transfer to the home environment.

Programmes have to be carefully planned and controlled, there are many areas where problems can occur. They

Describe anger management programmes?

They use strategies such as identifying triggers and learning to control them and learning to cope with other people's opinions. Cognitive behavioural therapy can be useful to help control angry outbursts.

Individuals are put on the programme depending on the nature of their offence or because of personal characteristics. Outbursts of anger are thought to be inappropriate thinking patterns.

What are some studies supporting anger management programmes?

Watt et al (1999) a control group of offenders and a group of offenders in treatment were observed. No special gain was found.

Towl and Dexter (1994) evaluated 9 programmes across England and Wales and found that most individuals felt a drop in anger.

Law (1997) evaluated four anger management programmes and found prisoners tried harder to control their anger after the programme.

Ireland (2000) looked at 50 young offenders and found they felt a reduction in anger after the programme.

Strengths of anger management programmes?

Self report data is used to evaluate the programmes which is likely to be valid.

The focus of the programme is triggers and individuals are given the tools to control anger in the future. So there should be long term benefits.

What are the weaknesses of anger management programmes?

Programmes do not include a discussion of morality or understanding from a victims point of view which may have limited their success.

It has been claimed that they turn physical aggression into other types of aggression.

Studies claiming success have used self report data where the individuals may have said what they thought they should say

Many studies do not look into the future to predict recidivism rates.

What were the aims of the study by Loftus and Palmer (1974)?

To see if the phrasing of a question affected estimates of speed and apply the findings to leading questions in court.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) experiment one procedure?

45 students were put into groups and seven films were shown. Each film lasted between 5 and 30 seconds. After each film participants filled in a questionnaire. First they were asked to give their account then were asked specific questions. Each group was asked a critical question about speed, how fast were the cars going when they hit each other? The verb hit was used in one group and the verb hit was changed to smashed, collided, bumped or contacted in other groups.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) experiment one results?

The speed in the films varied. The mean estimates of speed were (mph):

Smashed - 40.8

Collided - 39.3

Bumped - 38.1

Hit - 34.0

Contacted - 31.8

Loftus and Palmer (1974) experiment one conclusions?

It was concluded that the form of a question can affect a witness's answer. Perhaps the person was unsure of the speed and used the verb to help. Or perhaps the phrasing of the question affected the participants memory of the incident.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) experiment two procedure?

150 participants were shown a film with multiple car accidents then were asked to fill in a questionnaire. Some participants were asked about the speed using the word smashed and others were asked using the word hit. Some were not asked about the speed at all. A week later participants were asked if there was any broken glass.

16 out of the 29 people who said yes were asked about speed using the word smashed. A chi squared test was carried out and it was found that the results were significant.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) conclusions?

The way that a question is asked can affect the answer given and the word change in the question had consequences a week later. Memory is fed by the event and by external information provided afterwards. These are then integrated over time.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) strengths?

This was a laboratory experiment with clear controls. The careful documentation and controls means that the study is replicable.

The researchers themselves replicated the study finding consistent results making the findings reliable.

Loftus and Palmer (1974) weaknesses?

The situation was artificial so the participants may not have behaved in the same way as they would have in a real situation.

As only students were used the findings may not be generalisable to the whole population.

The participants may have worked out the aims of the study and demand characteristics may have occurred.

Yuille and Cutshall (1986) aims?

To record and evaluate witness accounts.

To examine issues raised by laboratory research.

To look at witness verbatim accounts - their accuracy and the kind of errors made.

Yuille and Cutshall (1986) procedure?

There were 21 witnesses to a gun shooting they were all contacted but only 13 agreed to take part in the study. 4-5 months after they were interviewed by the police the 13 witnesses were interviewed by researchers. They were interviewed in the same way as the police, asked to give their own account then asked specific questions. The two misleading questions were about the thief's car headlight and the car quarter panel. They were also asked to rate their stress on a 7 point scale.

Yuille and Cutshall (1986) results?

The researchers obtained more details than the police but that may have been due to the fact that researchers asked irrelevant questions. It was shown that recall was highly accurate (approximately 80% accurate) and the leading questions had little effect on the accuracy of recall.

Yuille and Cutshall (1986) conclusions?

It was found that witnesses are not incorrect in their accounts as suggested by laboratory studies. It was found that witnesses were accurate up to 5 months after the incident. This may have been a test of flasbulb memory.

Yuille and Cutshall (1986) strengths?

It is a study of a real incident with real witnesses so it has validity that laboratory experiments do not have.

Great care was taken when counting details from the real incident to make sure the witnesses did not alter what really happened. This makes findings reliable.

Yuille and Cutshall (1986) weaknesses?

There are problems with generalising from this unique and specific event and from such a small sample.

Using these findings to criticise laboratory studies may be unfair because this may have been a test of flashbulb memory.

The scoring of the interviews was done conservatively with some inaccuracies noted even when the response made sense. Scoring turns qualitative data into quantitative data which involves interpretation which always has the chance to be bias.

What is the key issue in criminological psychology?

The reliability of eye witness testimony.

Describe the key issue?

The reliability of eye witness testimony is in doubt because of findings from studies investigating the misinformation effect and weapon focus. The misinformation effect suggests that memory is not like a tape recorder, it is re-constructive and memories are changed based on past experienced and additional external information. This suggests that memory is not accurate and leading questions may effect recall (yarmey (2004), Loftus and Palmer (1974), Yuille and Cutshall (1986)). Weapon focus is the idea that a witness tends to focus on a weapon, such as a gun, and ignore other things that are happening.

What was my practical?

An analysis of two articles. I summarised the two articles in my own words then drew conclusions by linking concepts and theories to the articles.