Answer following 2 questions and write separately
1. Discuss and evaluate the evidence for a hereditary basis to criminal behaviour.
500 words

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.
500 words
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.

Recommended books:
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

Sample Solution

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.



Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.