Project #16864 - Psychology of Criminal Behavior

CRJ 308

WK 1 DIS 1

Causes of Criminal Behavior


Chapter 1 discusses several theoretical perspectives on and explanations for crime causation. After reviewing the various theories and theoretical perspectives, discuss your personal view regarding what causes criminal behavior.

Which theory or theories do you feel are most accurate and why?

The theory that I do feel is more accurate is

Which are most inaccurate, and why?

Be sure to explain whether you believe that one theory or a combination of theories best explains the causes of criminal behavior and why.

 

WK 1 DIS 2

Development of Criminal Behavior


Some researchers and theorists believe that an interaction of both psychological factors (e.g., biology, personality, and cognitive) and sociological factors can explain criminal behavior. Which psychological and sociological factors do you believe have the most influence on the development of criminal behavior, and why?

Do you believe that psychological factors or sociological factors have more of an influence over behavior, or is it a combination of the two?

Please be sure to provide an example of a criminal case to support your discussion.

WK 1 JOURNAL

Psychological and Sociological Influences of Psychopathic Behavior

Review the video,
In the Shadow of Feeling, and reflect on the various childhood psychological and sociological influences that can contribute to psychopathic behavior.

 

WK 1 ASSGN

Final Case Study Topic and Outline

For your Final Case Study, due in Week Five, you will explore, in depth, one well-known criminal case. You may select your own case, or select from one of the following: Jeffery McDonald, Andrea Yates, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Aileen Wournos, John Wayne Gacy, Philip Markoff (the Craigslist killer), Scott Peterson, Anthony Sowell, or Dennis Rader (BTK strangler).

For this assignment, select a well-known criminal case and locate at least three scholarly articles from the Ashford Library that discuss the case or provide support for certain aspects of the case, such as a particular psychological theory explaining behavior, a link between a personality disorder and criminal behavior, etc. You may also use websites to explore your criminal case. Provide an outline of your Final Case Study, in addition to the title page and references page. For further information regarding the proper format for an outline, visit the Ashford Writing Center. Each topic or step of the outline should include two to three sentences regarding what will be discussed in that section. This should be a detailed outline with specific information regarding the case that you have selected.

The paper must be one to two pages in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least three scholarly resources from the Ashford University Library other than the textbook to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.

 

WK 2 DIS 1

A Genetic or Biological Link?


Considering that factors such as eye color, hair color, facial features, body figures, and personality characteristics are passed down from generation to generation, could criminal behavior or criminal tendencies also be passed down? Thus, is there a genetic or biological link to understanding criminal behavior?

Explain how temperament (which is determined largely by genetic or biological influences) and environmental experiences can influence the development of problematic and aggressive behavior.

Watch Jon Ronson: Strange Answers to the Psychopath Test and consider your own temperament as a child and explain how it fits with your personality today.

WK 2 DIS 2

Biological Approach Versus the Personality Approach


Compare and contrast the temperament and biological approach and the personality approach with respect to development, causes of behavior, and influences on criminal behavior.

Which approach do you feel has more of an influence on developing criminal characteristics?

WK 2 ASSGN

Personality Disorders and Criminal Behavior

select one of the personality disorders discussed in Chapter 4 (i.e., odd or eccentric personality disorders, dramatic personality disorders, anxious or fearful personality disorders, or antisocial personality disorder) and locate two to three scholarly articles in the Ashford Library that discusses a link between that personality disorder and the development of criminal behavior. In your paper, discuss the diagnostic characteristics of the personality disorder, the etiology of the disorder (the causes of the disorder, when it first manifests, etc.), and how the characteristics of the disorder have been linked to future criminal behavior. Discuss early warning signs, assessment methods, and treatments that can be used to manage the disorder. Is it possible to treat the disorder before criminal tendencies develop?

The paper must be two to three pages in length and formatted according to APA style. In addition to the textbook, you must use two to three scholarly resources from the Ashford University Library to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar

 

WK 3 DIS 1

Social Reinforcers and Punishers


Gangs and gang violence persist as a significant concern for criminal justice and society at large. Considering the social learning theory and the links to antisocial behavior,

describe how social rein forcers and punishers as well as differential associations may be linked to gang involvement and gang-related delinquency.

What involvement might peer rejection play in the onset of delinquency and in the decision to join a gang? Locate at least one scholarly article to support your discussion.

WK 3 DIS 2

What Motivates Offenders to Commit Crime?


Discuss at least three social-cognitive factors that motivate offenders to commit crime. Select one of the prevention and treatment programs discussed in Chapter 7, and discuss how that program can be used to treat the three factors you selected. Please be sure to locate at least one scholarly reference from the Ashford University Library to further explore the program you selected.

WK 3 ASSGN

Brain Dysfunction in Criminal Behavior

Watch the video,
The Brain and Violence: Secrets of Your Mind. In your paper, discuss the role that brain damage, abnormalities in brain structure, and disturbances in brain chemistry may play in criminal behavior. Support your discussion with two to three scholarly articles from the Ashford University Library that discuss the role of brain dysfunction and neuropsychological deficits in criminal behavior. Could criminal behavior be solely the result of brain dysfunction, or could other factors such as hereditary also play a role?

The paper must be two to three pages in length and formatted according to APA style. In addition to the textbook, you must use two to three scholarly resources from the Ashford University Library to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.

 

WK 4 DIS 1

Id, Ego, and Superego


As with personality theories, Freud’s theory and other psychoanalytic theories may be difficult to test and prove in court. Analyze Freud’s theory and discuss the impact that it has on the development of criminal behavior.

What roles do the Id, Ego, and Superego play in problematic behavior, and what influence do defensive mechanisms have on the development of criminal behavior? 

Discuss the pros and cons of Freud’s theory and how you feel it would hold up in court.

WK 4 DIS 2

Humanist and Interactionist Theories


Select two of the humanist and interactionist theories presented in Chapter 8 of the text.

Compare and contrast the features of the theories, with respect to the causes and influences of criminal behavior.

Discuss the pros and cons of each theory.

Which theory do you believe is most valid and why?

WK 4 JOURNAL

Reflection on Theories of Crime

Consider the various perspectives and theories of crime that we have discussed in class and reflect on which theory or theories you find most valid.

Which theory, or theories, do you believe thoroughly and effectively describe the causes of criminal behavior?

What programs are available to treat criminal behavior with respect to the theory or perspective you selected?

 

WK 5 DIS 1

Traits of a Psychopath


Watch
The PCL-R Checklist: A measure of evil. Discuss the characteristics and traits of a psychopath and how the PCL-R Checklist can be used to diagnose psychopathy. Using the textbook, video, and other outside scholarly sources, discuss the validity of the PCL-R Checklist, the ethical considerations of diagnosing a psychopath, and the legal implications of such diagnoses. Do you believe that such assessments as the PCL-R Checklist can provide accurate predictions of an individual’s behavior? Based on the video and your readings, what do you think the prospects are of successfully rehabilitating a psychopath?

WK 5 DIS 2

Serial, Spree, and Mass Murders


Differentiating between serial murders, spree murders, and mass murders can be difficult, as some individuals fit into two or more categories.

Compare and contrast the characteristics of a serial murderer, spree murderer, and mass murderer.

Using web resources, provide a criminal example of each one and discuss the motivations behind the crime(s).

Are the motivations similar or different across the three? Do you think psychopathy plays a role in all murders?

WK 5 FINAL CASE STUDY



Final Case Study

Explore, in depth, one well-known criminal case. You may select your own case, or select from one of the following: Jeffery McDonald, Andrea Yates, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Aileen Wournos, John Wayne Gacy, Philip Markoff (the Craigslist killer), Scott Peterson, Anthony Sowell, or Dennis Rader (BTK strangler). Your case study should focus on the following:

  1. Summarize the case, including a description of the offense(s), the investigation, and the outcome (such as the trial and sentencing).
  2. Analyze the psychological history or path that took the criminal to commit his or her crime(s). Describe the psychological, behavioral, environmental, and cognitive factors that you believe led to the offender’s criminality. Consider the various theories we have discussed in class including the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic theory, the behaviorist/social learning theory, the cognitive/social cognitive theory, and the humanist and interactionist theories, and provide examples. The goal here is to provide an analysis of the psychological history or path that took the criminal to commit his or her crime(s). Explain the impact of social, psychological, and biological theories of aggression on your chosen criminal’s behavior.
  3. Describe the crime typology. Did the offender have a personality disorder that might have played a role in the criminal behavior? If so, explain and provide examples and supporting references. Discuss the laws that are in place for protecting individuals with mental disorders.
  4. Describe whether your case study was a homicide offender or sexual offender. Discuss the typology (i.e., single murderer, serial murderer, spree murderer, mass murderer, child molester, or rapist).
  5. If applicable, discuss whether your offender was given a competence to stand trial evaluation, or was found to be not guilty by reason of insanity. Examine the ethical issues concerning evaluation and treatment of competence to stand trial and not guilty by reason of insanity cases.
  6. Discuss the ethical issues surrounding the case.
  7. Support the outcome of the case with your analysis or provide support of the alternative.


The paper must be eight to ten pages in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use five to eight scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library, other than the textbook, to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.

Writing the Final Case Study
The Final Case Study:

  1. Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  2. Must include a title page with the following:
    1. Title of paper
    2. Student’s name
    3. Course name and number
    4. Instructor’s name
    5. Date submitted
  3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  6. Must use five to eight scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library.
  7. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  8. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center

 

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Due By (Pacific Time) 11/15/13
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