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Investigating Crime and Relevant Issues Essays

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Investigating Crime and Relevant Issues

Crime is defined as an act which is prohibited by criminal law. These
criminal activities are prohibited for the protection of society as a
whole, or a section of society. Each country has its own series of
prohibited criminal acts. In England, if a criminal act is committed,
the persons responsible are issued punishment of a fine, community
service or imprisonment. Although criminal activity is seen by
society to be morally wrong, and is punishable, people still continue
to commit crime.

Forensic psychology attempts to apply psychological principles to the
criminal justice system. For many years psychologists have tried to
explain why some individuals will continue to commit crime. There are
now several different psychological approaches that are used to
explain crime, including the biological approach, the behaviourist
approach, the humanistic approach, the cognitive approach, and the
psychodynamic approach.

Biological Approach

The biological approach focuses on how our brain structure, physiology
and our chromosomal and genetic make up can affect our behaviour. It
would suggest that our physiological components predispose us towards
a certain type of behaviour.

Lombroso’s Theory

In the late eighteenth century a number of studies were carried out by
phrenologists, who studied the shape and structure of the human head.
They believed that there was a link between the shape of the skull and
the structure of the brain that it contained; suggesting certain
abnormalities in the cranium could be related to criminal behaviours.

Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) was a physician...

... middle of paper ...

approached, although not the actual reasons that trigger people to
commit crime. I think that there is a lot of evidence to support the
biological approach of criminality, though I can only assume that
criminality results from genetic predispositions that interact with
specific environmental situations. The psychodynamic approach is an
excellent approach to explain criminality. It is a shame that it is an
untestable theory. It is a better approach for explaining behaviour
rather than predicting it.

I believe that there needs to be a genetic predisposition towards
crime and that if such a predisposition exists then the types of crime
we commit can be related to unconscious processes that occur, caused
by our early experiences. The cognitive approach can then explain the
way in which the crime was approached.

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