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Psychological Perspective

Psychological Perspective

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Published by Helen Steinhofer

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Helen Steinhofer on Dec 05, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Psychological Perspective
 A. Major Principles1. individual is primary unit of analysis2. personality is major motivational element within individual3. crimes result from abnormal, dysfunctional, or inappropriate mentalprocesses within the personality4. although criminal behavior is condemned by the social group, it maybe purposeful for the individual insofar as it addresses certain felt needs5. normality is generally defined by social consensus6. defective, or abnormal, mental processes may have a variety of causes,including:a. a diseased mindb. inappropriate learning or improper conditioningc. emulation of inappropriate role modelsd. adjustment to inner conflictsB. Demonology1. individuals were thought to be possessed by spirits which caused goodor evil behavior2. in Medieval Times people believed that the deviant behavior could notbe changed unless bad spirits were banished3. trephininga. method for banishing evil spiritsb. used a crude stone to cut a hole in the skull of a person thought tobe possessed by devilsc. cutting hole supposedly permitted evil spirits to escape4. exorcisma. treatment for ridding person of evil spiritsb. included1. drinking horrible concoctions2. praying3. making strange noisesC. Psychiatric Criminology1. Hervey M. Cleckleya. The Mask of Sanity (1941)b. fully developed concept of psychopathic personalityc. described psychopath as a “moral idiot,” or as one who does notfeel empathy with others, even though that person may befully cognizant of what is objectively happening around him/herd. “poverty of affect”1. central defining characteristic of a psychopath2. inability to accurately imagine how others think and feele. Cleckley describes numerous characteristics of the psychopathicpersonality some of which are:1. superficial charm and “good intelligence”2. absence of delusions, hallucinations, or other signs of
psychosis3. absence of nervousness or psychoneurotic manifestations4. inability to feel guilt or shame5. unreliability6. chronic lying7. ongoing antisocial behavior8. poor judgment and inability to learn from experience9. self-centeredness and incapacity to love10. unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations11. an interpersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated sex life12. failure to follow any life planf. psychopathy1. a constellation of dysfunctional psychological processes asopposed to specific behavioral manifestations2. indicators of psychopathy appear early in life, often in theteenage yearsa. indicators include:1. lying2. fighting3. stealing4. vandalismb. even earlier indicators may include:1. bed-wetting2. cruelty to animals3. sleepwalking4. fire setting2. William Healya. use of case study in psychiatryb. shifted emphasis from anatomical characteristics to psychologicaland social elementsc. believed only way to find roots or causes of delinquent behavior wasto delve deeply into individual’s background especially emotionaldevelopmentd. found that delinquents had a higher frequency of personality defectsand disorders than non-delinquentsD. Psychoanalytic Criminology1. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)a. credited with having made greatest contribution to development ofpsychoanalytic theoryb. theory attempted to explain all behaviorc. unconscious1. Freud and his colleagues introduced concept2. humans have mental conflicts because of desires and energiesthat are repressed in the unconsciousa. these urges, ideas, desires and instincts are basic but arerepressed because of society’s morality
b. dreams are an example of indirect expression of desiresd. saw original human nature as assertive and aggressive1. it is not learned but is rooted deeply in early childhoodexperiences2. we all have criminal tendencies but during socialization processmost of us learn to control them by developing strong andeffective inner controlse. psychoanalysis1. Freud coined term in 18962. based an entire theory of human behavior on concept ofpsychoanalysis3. considers criminal behavior as maladaptive or the product ofinadequacies inherent in the offender’s personalitya. significant inadequacies may result in full-blown mentalillness, which in itself can be a direct cause of crimef. psychotherapy1. referred to in its early days as the “talking cure”2. highlighted patient-therapist communication3. the attempt to relieve patients of their mental disorders throughthe application of psychoanalytic principles and techniquesg. personality1. made up of three components:a. id1. based on pleasure principle2. fundamental aspect of the personality from whichdrives, wishes, urges, and desires emanate3. fundamental drives include:a. loveb. aggressionc. sex4. id operates according to pleasure principle seeking fulland immediate gratification of its needs5. id is largely unconsciousb. ego1. based on reality principle2. primarily charged with reality testing3. primarily concerned with how objectives might be bestaccomplished4. tends to effect strategies for the individual thatmaximize pleasure and minimize pain5. inherently recognizes that it may be necessary todelay gratification to achieve a more fulfilling long termgoalc. superego1. based on the ethical principle2. much like a moral guide to right and wrong

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