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GSU CRJU 3410 - Exam 1 Study Guide

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CRJU 3410 3rd EditionExam # 1 Study Guide Lectures: 1 - 8Lecture 1 (January 13)Introduction to the class; no notes.Lecture 2 (January 15)A theory is a systematic statement comprised of three elements: concepts, definitions of concepts, and propositions.Propositions are assertions that are mostly written in the form of a theoretical statement. Basically it shows the relationship of concepts. The relationship can be linear (like one goes up as the other goes down, both go up, both go down), curvilinear (bell curve) or have no relationship (null hypothesis). IT MUST BE TESTABLETheoretical statements are if-then with Independent and dependent variables (crime is DV). Assumptions are the foundation of a theory that is NOT tested. Ethical, epistemological (how knowledge is obtained) and metaphysical (nature of reality) are part of the theory’s core belief system.Metaphysical assumptions break down to ontological assumptions (freewill versus determinism and Human Nature) and cosmological assumptions (the nature of society to form a consensus, have conflict, or be pluralists). In testing theories, it should have the ability to explain and predict crime. It should do this by having breadth, comprehensiveness, precision, depth, and generalizability. Theories are tested through verification and falsification. Because of spuriousness, a theory can never truly be PROVEN. Problems of theory testing include the correlation versus causation dilemma, the tautological trap (variable and cause are indistinguishable), and the fact that they can’t have confusing operational definitions. Defining crime is a struggle between agreeing on the social definition, engaging in deviance, or the legal definition, breaking the law. Both have their issues. Lecture 3 (January 20)New theories started coming out because the enlightenment thought that punishments were toharsh and they wanted to switch from church reasoning Classical School: people are FREE WILLED and are born bad. They are not forced or compelled tobreak the law by any outside factors. NOT ENVIRONMENTAL. People are hedonistic and will commit crime if the pleasure outweighs the punishment from the crime Neoclassical Theory: combo of Positivist and Classical. Thinks that the government shouldn’t just constrain behavior, but work to fix things too. Need to look at crime in many different approaches to solve the problems. Also believed in soft determinism. Classical Theory: Thomas Aquinas looked to move from church doctrine’s divine law to the positivist law (laws made politically through what the people believed). John Locke looked to produce the social contract stating that men are equal and give up some of their rights to be protected (no man should be subjected to political power without consent)Cesare Beccaria: Opinions about crime and punishment major influence in the CJ system and known as the Father of Crim Theory. He believed that utility (greatest happiness for greatest number of people) should always be done, and that deterrence is the ONLY legitimate purpose of punishment. Came up with the effective & just punishments (public, prompt, necessary, severe, dictated by laws, least possible in the given circumstance). Also believed that simple, consensual laws, educating the public, eliminating justice system corruption, and rewarding law abiders would successfully prevent/deter crime. SO BASICALLY, he believed all men posses free will, humans are capable of rational thought but are hedonistic, and a system of just punishments will control peoples conduct Deterrence Theory: specific and general, which can result in either absolute (all crime stopped) or restrictive (quit one crime but still do others) deterrence. Stafford and Warr modified the OG deterrence theory. Strengths: avoiding the bad makes sense, it’s supported, and the CJ system isbased on deterrence. HOWEVER, the hypotheses are hard to test, usually only works for minor crimes, and it misses exceptions and informal sanctions. Studies found that what you heard versus the truth effects deterrence, that things that happen sooner have a better effect, that death penalty increases impulsive homicides, and that the more likely you are to be a criminal, the more likely you are to be deterred. Rational Choice Theory: Originally based on the economic cost/benefit analysis. It is modern neoclassical and believes that the ENVIRONMENT EFFECTS CRIME. Also uses the utility principal.Basically, all crime uses rational choice and uses background factors (morals, family, memories &past experiences, etc) before they commit crime. There are 3 elements to the decision making process: choice structuring, involvement, and event decisions. Studies found that shame is worst than public embarrassment or state sanctions. Strength: adds logical decision makingprocess to deterrence explains how crimes can occur quickly given the opportunity. HOWEVER, difficult to test, and what is meant by “rational”??Lecture 4 (January 22)The Positivist School: deterministic theory (born good or blank slate, and the environment pushes us to be bad). People’s circumstances compel them to break the law. Medical model: Crime is a symptom and you need to target the crime (symptom) to treat and rehabilitate the individual. Positive Philosophy: Saint-Simon wanted to preserve the middle class and believed that societies were supposed to evolve. Comte is the father of sociology and coined the term “positivism”, he believed that people are subject to natural laws that are found by humans and applied by government. Together, Comte and Simon said that social physics should be studied asa real, natural science and that absolute justice is possible through the natural laws. Also they determined that theocratic, metaphysical, and positive are three stages of human knowledge. Empirical/Experimental Scientific Influences: Guerry and Quetelet were two scientists who analyzed crime rates but did not know about each other. Their findings were consistent and concluded: crime is part of social life, rooted in social arrangements, therefore crime could be eliminated, and free will is not so uniform. They were the first to use empirical data to show crime. Charles Darwin showed that humans were animals, so they began to study animals to help gain insight into humans and how some humans are less evolved than others (not all equal) Positivism vs. Classical/Neo: Positivism says behavior is determined and C/Neo says it is free


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