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1. A2 Approaches: Studies linked to Each Approach/ Method/ and Debates APPROACHES Cognitive Approach Yochelson & Samenow ã Looks at mental process of decision…
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  • 1. A2 Approaches: Studies linked to Each Approach/ Method/ and Debates APPROACHES Cognitive Approach Yochelson & Samenow • Looks at mental process of decision making. Suggests that criminals have a deficiency due to pre judging situations. • Like a computer. The study looks at the process of thinking patterns leading up to a decision. Input was preconceptions of how to behave. The processing was whether to change their preconceptions. Output was the anti-social behaviour. Only a small number of participants changed due to the study. • Thinking is a key principle to this study as it focuses on the criminal personality. Delinquents are empathetic for example. • On the other hand this study does not use the experimental method often associated with the cognitive approach. This study uses a self report method that looks only at one group of participants. To become an experiment this study could have added a control group. Social Approach Farrington • Interaction is discussed in this study as it looks at how upbringing as a child affects the eventual criminality of a child. Upbringing is the social rearing environment a child grows up in. A disrupted family is identified as being a cause for persistent chronic offending • Also focuses on the group dynamic of conformity. In this study it looks at whether children conform if they have siblings who are delinquent or parents with criminal backgrounds • Looks at the key principle of the social environment not just the physical environment as it doesn’t just focus on poor housing or council estates but looks at the influence of the social context of family background. • On the other hand, It does not use the method often associated with the social approach (observations). This means that this study does not exactly fit the approaches principle of directly recording the effect of interaction Results may not be completely valid because of this.
  • 2. Developmental Approach Farrington • Looks at social change over time. Comments on the process from delinquency to chronic offending and then back to leading a successful life. Older individuals are more likely to lead a successful life based on various criteria such as no drug use in 5 years. • Focuses on the effects of childhood on criminal behaviour. In particular the rearing environment and development of personality • Focuses on Social development from poor upbringing (role models), to anti social behaviour (crimes), to becoming successful in life (e.g. no drug use in 5 years). • On the other hand, this study is not completely a developmental study as it does not comply with the principle that all people of a certain age will have similar traits. It does not identify why some participants with similar upbringing of the same age to not become chronic offenders. In fact it is highlighting differences between people of similar age. Physiological Approach Bruner et al • Biology effects behaviour in this study as it focuses on a genetic defect that alters hormones, causing heightened aggression and criminal behaviour • This study assumes the body is a complicated machine as it looks at the biological structure of a person to explain the behaviour they exhibit. In this case the deviance in the gene Nome causes heightened aggression. Genes are incredibly complex • On the other hand this study does not actually use the experimental method, the method often used by the physiological approach. This approach is scientific in nature and therefore experiments offer the opportunity to scientifically study how biology is related to behaviour. Individual Difference Approach Bruner et al • This study includes the key principle of studying why people are different rather than why we are similar. In this study it looks at genetic differences being the key marker of why a person is aggressive • It also focuses on abnormality. In this case, the mutation of a specific gene that causes irregular hormone activity • Also incorporates the key principle of classifying abnormality. This genetic defect will cause behaviour. • On the other hand, the measurement of the abnormality is not particularly well developed. Using urine samples identifies the problem but does not go far enough to indicate which people with the defect will become aggressive and criminal.
  • 3. Behaviourist Perspective Sutherlands Theory (note not a study but relevant if you state why) • Assumes that the key principle of behaviour being caused by learning is the only way criminality is committed • Takes a social learning approach to learning. Individuals learn to be criminals by interacting with other individuals who are criminal. • Suggests that interaction with intimate personal groups such as families is the key. This can be linked to the key focus on children for behaviourism • On the other hand, it is not completely behaviourist as it ignores classical learning (association from physical environmental indicators). It does however accept that the process of learning to be criminal is like all other learning. Psychodynamic Perspective • No A2 study from forensic psychology that clearly uses the principles of the psychodynamic perspective. Make sure you use one study from developmental approach (freud) and one study from individual differences (thigpen). METHODS Experiments Loftus and Palmers weapon focus study (NOT AS ONE!!!) • Has an I.V and a D.V. I.V is the weapon in the photo or that of a cheque, D.V is the accurate recall of the individual in the photo • Is an experiment as it looks at differences between conditions of the IV The experimental group (gun) and the control group (cheque) • It is a Lab experiment as it was conducted in a controlled environment where the task was artificial (looking at photos) • Utilises the key principle of controlling procedural variables to imply a cause and effect relationship. Items in a situation that are not often seen in them will receive more attention resulting in worse memory recall of the event. Observations • From Forensic Psychology there is no study that observes actual behaviour. Use 2 studies from AS
  • 4. Self Reports Farrington • The study asks questions of it participants as it asks them to self report the crimes they have committed. • Uses the method of interviews. Face to face. • In the interviews it uses open and closed questions. Open questions include what crimes have you committed since the last interview. • Also due to the nature of the study the only way for it to be conducted was to use a self report as there are 411 participants • On the other hand it is not just a self report as it uses official statistics to support the self reported crimes. This is not self report but secondary data Case Studies/ Longitudinal studies Bruner et al • Focuses on a small number of individuals (one family which the genetic defect) • Looks at how this small group is different. It looks at their genetic abnormality and how it affects their behaviour. • On the other hand it collects biological data (urine samples) and secondary data on what crimes they have committed. The case study method often uses the data collection technique of self reporting. This study does not ask for self reports. DEBATES Remember you only need one study from A2. Consequently, I recommend that you use an AS study for the opposite argument of the debate. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO LINK THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DEBATE TO THE STUDY Reductionist/ Holist Reductionist Bruner et al • Implies that criminal behaviour is the result of the single cause of genetic abnormality. Genetic abnormality alters hormone activity and increases the tendency to aggression • On the other hand this study acknowledges that not all individuals with the defect are criminal or aggressive. This is more interactionalist; suggesting it is the product of more than one factor, but doesn’t suggest which ones (holistic)
  • 5. Determinism/ Free Will Determinism Farrington • Suggests that behaviour is caused not decided upon. In this case upbringing • The study focuses on external causes. Interaction with social groups (family) and learning through imitation (siblings) • On the other hand this study is not completely determinist as the participants were seen to change their behaviour over time. Determinism implies that behaviour will stay constant as it has been determined by something (upbringing) • The study could be seen as more interactionalist because of the change some participants showed as they got older. Nature/ Nurture Nurture Farrington • Behaviour is learned through environment. In this study the environment is that of the family. Criminal parents and delinquent siblings increased the likelihood of persistent offending. • The key principle of learning from life experiences is inherent in this study as participants who had more interaction with criminal family member were more likely to become chronic offenders. Interaction suggests imitation (social learning) • On the other hand, this study is not completely nurture. It does not suggest physical environment has a major influence like other poverty focused studies (Wikstrom). Situationalism/ Individualism Situationalism The Peterborough Study (Wikstrom) • Does situation determine behaviour? Those in poverty (social situations and community context: basic requirements of living with little monitoring of behaviour) are more likely to offend than those not in poverty. • People often behave differently in different situations. In this study there is a suggestion that criminal behaviour is situationally limited to high risk lifestyles (i.e. more experience of criminal situations more likely to be criminal e.g. substance abuse). • On the other hand this study acknowledges individual characteristics as a predictor of criminality. Self control, and personal dispositions are identified
  • 6. Is Psychology a Science? Yes The Loftus weapons focus study (NOT AS Study) • Cause and effect is tested. Does a novel object such as a gun affect the observers recall of other details from a situation • The study uses the experimental method which is the most scientific method as it controls other variables so only an I.V and D.V are isolated • The study looks at actual behaviour not jus perceived behaviour. This study tests participants on memory rather than asking them question on how they feel a weapon would alter their memory • Finally, the study is objective as the results can be tested. The results can be tested by replicating the study in the same and different conditions. • On the other hand, the study is not completely scientific as the environment is not conducted in the real environment. This means that the study lack ecological validity. Ethnocentricism Psychology is ethnocentric Wikstrom • Implies that western culture is the norm. The study focuses on poverty in Britain. Poverty in Britain is not the same as poverty in other countries such as Eastern Europe or further away Asia. • Discriminates against other cultures where poverty is more prevalent than Britain. Is crime the norm in countries like India? Why it is not as a huge % of the population lives in disadvantaged communities compared to even Britain’s poor. • On the other hand, the study is not completely ethnocentric as it acknowledges that individual propensity to offend is caused by individual predispositions. In other words, some people are more likely to offend than others. This could be seen as accepting that this is only relevant to the British population. • This counter argument is also supported by the study’s definition of social situation. As it includes parental monitoring in this definition this is specific to British parents. • Both counter arguments are not effective as they imply that the study was only interested in British poverty. This is complete ethnocentricism as it completely disregards other cultures.
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