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Psychological Criminology: An Integrative Approach

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The book provides a comprehensive coverage of psychological theories of crime and criminality. Rather than present various psychological perspectives as a series of discrete and rival explanations, the aim of the book is to emphasise the connections among approaches, and to show how, taken together, they provide a more complete picture of crime and criminality than each provides individually. Theories are arranged in a temporal sequence, from distal to proximal causes of crime. Some theories focus on factors that are present at birth; other theories focus on factors that influence the offender over the lifespan; and other theories focus on factors that are present at the crime scene. The analysis spans 100,000 years, from the evolutionary roots of criminal behaviour in the ancestral environments of early humans on the African savana, to the decision to engage in a specific criminal act.

Author Biography

Richard Wortley began his career as a prison psychologist and has subsequently taught in criminology schools for many years. He is currently a Professor at University College London, where he is Director of the Jill Dando Institute for Security and Crime Science.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. x
Acknowledgementsp. xii
Introductionp. 1
What is psychological criminology?p. 1
Defining crime and criminalsp. 3
Debates about the nature of crime and criminalityp. 7
Psychological theories of crime and criminality: an integrated modelp. 15
Human naturep. 20
The principles of evolutionp. 20
Evolution and behaviourp. 24
Crime-focused evolutionary approachesp. 30
Offender-focused evolutionary approachesp. 35
Conclusion and evaluationp. 40
Heredityp. 42
A primer in behavioural geneticsp. 42
Heritability of criminalityp. 49
Variations in the heritability of criminalityp. 57
Beyond behavioural genetics: molecular geneticsp. 61
Conclusion and evaluationp. 62
The brainp. 65
Basic brain structures and functionsp. 65
Psychophysiology and crimep. 73
Biochemistry and crimep. 74
Neuroanatomy and crimep. 77
Neuro-environmental factors and crimep. 81
Putting it together: neuropsychological theories of crimep. 85
Conclusion and evaluationp. 88
Personalityp. 90
Trait approaches to personalityp. 90
The single-trait approach and crimep. 96
The super-trait approach: Eysenck's three-factor theory of crimep. 100
Antisocial personality disorder (APD)p. 106
Conclusion and evaluationp. 113
Developmentp. 115
The biological and environmental foundations of human developmentp. 115
Developmental risk and protective factors for crimep. 121
Psychosocial development and crimep. 126
Criminal careersp. 132
Conclusion and evaluationp. 137
Learningp. 139
The science of behaviourp. 139
Classical conditioningp. 145
Operant conditioningp. 151
Social learningp. 155
Conclusion and evaluationp. 160
Cognitionp. 162
The cognitive revolutionp. 162
Social cognitive theoryp. 166
Offender decision-makingp. 174
Schemas and scriptsp. 180
Conclusion and evaluationp. 184
Situationsp. 185
What is a situation?p. 186
Social psychologyp. 191
Environmental psychologyp. 195
Opportunity theoriesp. 199
The person-situation interaction (again)p. 205
Conclusion and evaluationp. 206
Conclusionp. 208
The argument in a nutshellp. 208
The strengths and limits of integrationp. 210
Implications for practicep. 212
Bibliographyp. 216
Indexp. 261
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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