Answer following 2 questions and write separately
1. Discuss and evaluate the evidence for a hereditary basis to criminal behaviour.
Outline of Key Issues
A good answer will describe key findings from longitudinal, twin and/or adoption studies. It will demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of the interpretation of these facts in a way that suggests they grasp person-environment interactions over the life course. Parents can pass on genes (for example the MAO-A variant) that shape both the structure and functioning of the nervous system, that in turn are expressed as shared personality characteristics (impulsiveness, negative emotionality). These basic styles of relating to the world can interact with environmental risk (toxins, abuse and neglect, ineffective parenting practices relating to attachment, learning and supervision) to raise the risk of childhood anti-social behaviour. The work of Terrie Moffit is key. Childhood intervention can reduce but not eliminate environmental risk and can be stigmatic if poorly applied.
2. Discuss the importance of EITHER or BOTH of the following for understanding the crime event:
a. internal (cognitive) processes
b. external (social and environmental) factors.
Outline of Key Issues
This question asks the student to demonstrate a knowledge of the key situational determinants of offending, for example attribution theory, moral disengagement, or perceptual deterrence (cognitions); conformity or obedience to authority (social) or ambient temperature, and living conditions. Higher marks will be awarded to students who integrate this knowledge with other lecture materials, for example cognition with personality, or the lifecourse development of attitudes and expectancies.
Psychological criminology: an integrative approach – Richard Wortley 2011
Understanding psychology and crime: perspectives on theory and action – James McGuire 2004
The psychology of criminal conduct – James Bonta, D. A. Andrews, D. A. Andrews 2016
Handbook of Life-Course Criminology: Emerging Trends and Directions for Future Research – Chris L. Gibson, Marvin D. Krohn 2012 (electronic resource)
The psychology of criminal conduct: theory, research and practice – Ronald Blackburn 1995
Psychology and crime – Craig Webber 2008
Crime and Human Rights: Criminology of Genocide and Atrocities – Joachim Savelsberg 2010