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Studying Crime & Criminology Flashcards

Studying Crime & Criminology Flashcards
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Hedonistic Calculus
In the rational choice theory of criminology, the mathematical calculation of the possible pleasure (rewards) and pain (consequences) that will result from committing a crime
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Rational Choice Theory of Criminology
The belief that crimes are committed following logical consideration of a situation, including whether there is an opportunity to easily commit a crime and the possible rewards and consequences
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The Principle of Due Process in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that accused criminals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law
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The Principle of Human Rights in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that all humans have rights, which discourages the use of extreme or unreasonably harsh punishments for crimes
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The Principle of Punishment in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that negative consequences act as a deterrent to a person thinking of committing a crime
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The Principle of Hedonism in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain can influence a person into committing a crime
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Control Theory of Criminology
Theorizes that participating in behaviors that follow the law can be learned
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Social-Process Criminology
Examines the relationship between crime and social learning
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Social-Structural Criminology
Examines the relationship between crime and the social structures and situations present
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Positivist Theory of Criminology
The theory that states that people are born criminals based on their biology, such as their genetic makeup or their physiological characteristics
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Classical School of Criminology
Believed in severe punishments for criminals to deter crimes
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XYY Theory

Positivist theory proposed in the 1960s

Theorized that males that had an extra Y chromosome were more violent and therefore genetically predisposed to committing crimes

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Cesare Lombroso

A 19th century positivist criminologist

Believed that some people were born criminals based on their physiological characteristics, such as large canine teeth and high cheekbones

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Cesare Beccaria

Philosopher/author of 'On Crimes and Punishments' in 1764, which discussed the social contract and utilitarianism

Endorsed deterrence instead of retribution to dictate criminal punishment

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Psychological Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the psychological factors that shape a person's life, such as mental disorders or exposure to traumatic experiences
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Sociological Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the sociological factors that shape a person's life, such as their employment, economic and social situations, race, and education
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Political Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the laws made in favor of those with political power
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Legal Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the law
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Criminology
The study of the legal, political, sociological, and psychological perspectives of crime
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38 cards in set

Flashcard Content Overview

The United States criminal justice system is responsible for maintaining social order through the prevention and prosecution of crime. But what causes a person to commit a crime? These flashcards will introduce you to the field of criminology. They will also look at the social, biological, and psychological issues that lead to criminal activity.

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Criminology
The study of the legal, political, sociological, and psychological perspectives of crime
Legal Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the law
Political Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the laws made in favor of those with political power
Sociological Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the sociological factors that shape a person's life, such as their employment, economic and social situations, race, and education
Psychological Perspective of Criminology
Focuses on the relationship between crime and the psychological factors that shape a person's life, such as mental disorders or exposure to traumatic experiences
Cesare Beccaria

Philosopher/author of 'On Crimes and Punishments' in 1764, which discussed the social contract and utilitarianism

Endorsed deterrence instead of retribution to dictate criminal punishment

Cesare Lombroso

A 19th century positivist criminologist

Believed that some people were born criminals based on their physiological characteristics, such as large canine teeth and high cheekbones

XYY Theory

Positivist theory proposed in the 1960s

Theorized that males that had an extra Y chromosome were more violent and therefore genetically predisposed to committing crimes

Classical School of Criminology
Believed in severe punishments for criminals to deter crimes
Positivist Theory of Criminology
The theory that states that people are born criminals based on their biology, such as their genetic makeup or their physiological characteristics
Social-Structural Criminology
Examines the relationship between crime and the social structures and situations present
Social-Process Criminology
Examines the relationship between crime and social learning
Control Theory of Criminology
Theorizes that participating in behaviors that follow the law can be learned
The Principle of Hedonism in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain can influence a person into committing a crime
The Principle of Punishment in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that negative consequences act as a deterrent to a person thinking of committing a crime
The Principle of Human Rights in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that all humans have rights, which discourages the use of extreme or unreasonably harsh punishments for crimes
The Principle of Due Process in the Classical School of Criminology
The belief that accused criminals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law
Rational Choice Theory of Criminology
The belief that crimes are committed following logical consideration of a situation, including whether there is an opportunity to easily commit a crime and the possible rewards and consequences
Hedonistic Calculus
In the rational choice theory of criminology, the mathematical calculation of the possible pleasure (rewards) and pain (consequences) that will result from committing a crime
Crime Control Theory of Criminology
The theory that states that a person's rights can be violated in the interest of preventing crime and maintaining social order and safety
Due Process Theory of Criminology

The theory that states that the protection of a person's rights, even those accused of a crime, must be protected by the criminal justice system

Believes 'innocent until proven guilty'

Individual Positivism

Includes both biological and psychological positivism theories of criminology

Belief that people become criminals due to biological or psychological abnormalities

Sociological Positivism
Belief that people become criminals due to societal issues, such as socioeconomic status, drug and alcohol consumption, and level of education
Phrenology

The study of the relationship between a person's head shape and their personality

Previously used in the biological theory of criminology, but is no longer considered scientifically accurate

Individual Trait Theory of Criminology
The belief that people become criminals due to their stable personality traits, such as danger-seeking behavior and neuroticism
Criticisms of Psychological Theories of Crime

Not all those with psychological issues become criminals.

Psychological issues are difficult to diagnose.

Criminals treated based on their psychological issues often continue to commit crime.

Sociological Theories of Criminology

The belief that people become criminals due to societal conditions

Aims to stop crime by using public policies to address issues like unemployment, domestic and sexual abuse, and community values

Chicago School of Criminology
The group of criminologists from the University of Chicago that studied the relationship between crime and sociological issues such as poverty and unemployment
Social Disorganization Theory of Criminology

The belief that within a community, conditions like unemployment, poverty, and high dropout rates lead to crime

Theorized by the Chicago School of Criminology

Retrospective Labeling
When someone examines a deviance committed by a person in the present and uses it to re-label them in the past
Projective Labeling
When someone examines a deviance committed by a person in the present and uses it to label them in the future
Internal Pressures
In Reckless' social control theory, the factors contributing to a person becoming a criminal that are related to the innate characteristics of the person, like their personality traits
External Pressures
In Reckless' social control theory, the factors contributing to a person becoming a criminal that are related to the external environment of the person, like their exposure to abuse
Outer Containments
In Reckless' social control theory, the factors preventing a person from becoming a criminal that are related to the external environment of the person, like their stable home life
Differential Reinforcement

In the social learning theory of criminology, states that behaviors are shaped by social rewards and punishments

Example: illegal activity that is socially rewarded leads to more illegal activity

Use of Courts During the American Revolution
Instead of determining if a person's actions violated English laws, the colonies used the courts to determine whether the English laws themselves were valid.
Utilitarianism
Theorizes that punishment is an effective way to prevent crime and promote the public good because people are motivated to maximize their pleasure while minimizing their pain
Differential Association

The process that occurs when individuals are surrounded by people committing criminal acts and begin to adopt the behaviors or values of these people.

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