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FSU CCJ 4601 - Notes

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Florida State University (FSU)CCJ 4601 - Human Behavior (Spring 2014)Professor: Joseph A. SchwartzBook: Biosocial Criminology - 2nd Edition - Kevin M. BeaverKey Point: Criminologists don’t look into biological/genetic aspects.Exam 1:Read Pages 1-60Classes: 01/09 | 01/14 | 01/16 | 01/21 | 01/23 | 01/28 | 01/30 Class/Review: 02/04 Exam: 02/06ForewordsYou never need to know quotes.Chapter 1 is really important.The class is grounded in empirical research.You don’t need to know the methodology.You DO need to know: Why is XY study important? What are the main findings of XY?There were no homework assignments.Gottfredson & Hirschi are social criminologists whose studies are inadequate and incomplete.This information is accurate as of January 31st 2014 21:50.Class 01: January 9th NotesPopularly considered causes of criminal behavior:-Neighborhoods-Parents-Poverty-Peers-CultureDominant Criminological TheoriesSocial Disorganization Theory: focus on neighborhood influences on crimeSocial Bonding Theory: focus on family and other socializing agentsSocial Learning Theory: focus on peersWhy such a focus on social causes?Genetic & Biological Determinism: makes people uncomfortable“Determinism” implies certainty.Criminology was born out of sociology. This way of thinking:Behavior is flexible. It is the result of sociology only. It’s not your fault.Biology/genetics is “dangerous”.However, behavior is mostly stable. There should be a focus on the individual.Class 02: January 14thCriminological TheoryCriminological theories focuses exclusively on social factors as explanations for human behavior.“Criminology is guided largely by ideology and disciplinary allegiances.”However, that is not true in practice.American Society of Criminology (ASC)Social Psychology ⇒ Sociology; Poly Sci ⇒ CriminologySocial Bonding Theory: Hirschi’s (1969) TheoryWeakened bonds lead to Criminology. A Very Social TheoryIt is Criminologists favorite theory: Why?: Supported by Research? Easy to Understand?Support: based on political ideologyOnly 1.4% of all articles published since 2000 in Criminology were biosocial studies. (5/357)Kevin Beaver did 4! Started in 2008.Sociological theories are not necessarily wrong?Incomplete & Limited Explanatory PowerExample: Heart Disease - Only due to social factors? Also, due to family history (genetics).The Complexity of Human BehaviorNeed to move away from a purely sociological explanation of behavior.More advantageous to focus on a range of different factors, including: Biology, GeneticsYou might think biogenic factors do not relate to criminality or human behavior in general.Why not?People even answer that medication can be the best solution to mental problems.Course is devoted to looking at the “whole picture”: MBoth Biology focus & and Social/EvironHow they work both independently and interactively. (Like heart disease.)Word of caution: There is no “crime gene”; Just different variants of each gene.We’ll never find a single gene that affects a large percentage of criminal behavior.Focus on the Entire Life Course:From conception through adulthood.Provides a more comprehensive view of crime and criminals.Most crim theories only examine antisocial behavior in adolescents/young adults.~80% of them express antisocial behavior.-Adolescents are easy to study.Early Stages: Are typically overlooked by criminologists.Fetal Development: Some say Fetal Development is the most important stage.MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Parental exposure to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco Early ChildhoodLate Childhood: Prior to the transition into adolescence.Class 03: January 16thThe Nature of BehaviorSteven Pinkard: The Better Angels of Our NatureWe’ve become far less violent over the past 100 years.Antisocial Behavior/AggressionA tendency to exploit of bring harm to others and to disobey common social rules.Not really deviant because it’s not ~inherently~ bad.Direct Aggression: Overt/physical aggression; Punching, hitting, inflicting painMore likely to be male.Females more covert/verbal.Antisocial behavior has been found to be remarkably stable over long stretches of time.This does NOT mean the people will always commit crime at the same rate.You actually see substantial (predictable) changes over time.What is stability?: A general pattern of offending that persists over time.Antisocial behavior in childhood ⇒ juvenile delinquency ⇒ adult criminal behaviorAntisocial infancy: between 12 - 17 months are directly related to adult criminal behavior.Tremblay indicates the infancy is the actually peak of human antisocial behavior.Stability: Applies more toward frequency than varietyAbsolute Stability:No differences over time.2 variables at different time points are directly correlated.Relative Stability: (Rank Order Stability): We can rank people (on some trait or behavior).While there is absolute change in levels of behavior, the rank ordering stays the same.Fluctuation Over Time: Stays the same compared to othersYear 13: Kid A > Kid B > Kid C Year 50: Kid A > Kid B > Kid CThe severity of behavior can change over time, but the ranking stays the same compared to others. The people most likely to commit crime will always be at the top, while the leawt likely will almost be at the bottom.This does not preclude absolute stability.Behavior is highly stable over time.Literature reviews reveal that behavior is highly stable from early childhood to adulthood. Out behavior becomes patterned and routine. (We are creatures of habit.)Some antisocial behaviors are measurable by 6 months old.Most antisocial children do not grow-up to be antisocial adults.Most “age out” of crime in early adulthood.4 Predictors of StabilityNot all 4 typically combine.1. Variety of Antisocial Acts: More Variety = More Stability2. Extremity of Acts: More Severe = More Stability3. Early Age of Onset: Earlier Age = More Stability4. Misbehavior Across Multiple Contexts (Home, Church, School): More Contexts = More StabilityStability and BehaviorAdult criminal behavior almost requires childhood antisocial behavior.Crime peaks in adolescence?Adult criminal behavior is better predicted by childhood aggression than any other behavior. (Except perhaps female/male.)Class 04: January 21stExplanations of Stability & Change: 2 General Perspectives1. State Dependence - Sampson & Laub (1993)A. Stability is the result of the social consequences that accompany criminal behavior.Purely social explanation.Consequences of a person


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