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PSY372 Criminal Psychology Assignment Sample SUSS Singapore

Criminal psychology is the study of criminals and their behaviours. It provides us with information about why people commit crimes, which can help law enforcement officials better protect our communities from nefarious individuals who would abuse or harm others if given access to weapons such as knives or guns; it also helps politicians craft laws so they may better regulate behaviour in order reduce recurrences like those seen after Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where 20 children were slaughtered by a mentally unstable Shooter.

Criminal psychology is important because it helps us to understand why people commit crimes. This understanding can then be used to develop better methods of preventing crime. It can also help us to develop more effective treatment programmes for offenders.

Several different approaches can be taken when studying criminal psychology.

One approach is to focus on the individual offender. This involves looking at factors such as personality, intelligence, and mental disorders.

Another approach is to focus on the environmental factors that may have contributed to the crime. This might include things like poverty, poor parenting, or peer pressure.

Criminal psychology is a relatively new field of study. It began to emerge in the late 19th century, but it was not until the early 20th century that it began to take off. Since then, it has become an important tool in the fight against crime.

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Assignment Activity 1: Examine the application of psychological theories to criminal offending.

Several psychological theories have been used to explain criminal offending.

One example is the “social learning theory” which suggests that people learn to commit crimes by observing others engage in criminal behaviour and then modelling their behaviour after these observations.

Another theory is the “rotation model” which suggests that people commit crimes because they tend to rotate through different crime types. For example, someone who burglarizes homes may also steal cars, rob stores, etc. This theory attempts to account for why some offenders seem to specialize in certain types of crimes.

Many other psychological theories have been used to explain criminal behaviour, but these are just two examples. It is important to note that psychological theories are not always accurate and that there is much debate among experts about which theory or theories best explain criminal behaviour. However, these theories can provide some insight into why people engage in criminal activity, and they can be useful in developing strategies for prevention and intervention.

Assignment Activity 2: Discuss the use of psychology in obtaining relevant information about criminal behaviour.

Several different psychological techniques can be used to obtain relevant information about criminal behaviour.

One such technique is known as behavioural profiling, which involves studying an individual’s behaviour to identify any patterns or quirks that may be associated with criminal activity.

Another technique that can be used is forensic psychology, which is the use of psychological principles and methods for legal investigation. This includes things such as assessing the mental state of a defendant, determining how well they can stand trial, and conducting interviews with witnesses and suspects.

Both of these techniques can be extremely useful in helping to obtain information about criminal behaviour. However, it is important to keep in mind that they are only tools, and should not be used as the sole basis for making any decisions about an individual’s guilt or innocence. psychological evidence should always be considered alongside other forms of evidence to reach a more holistic and complete understanding of a case.

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Assignment Activity 3: Analyse the use of psychology in changing offending behaviour.

Psychology can play a role in changing offending behaviour in several ways. For example, psychological interventions can be used to target specific behaviour problems that may be contributing to criminal activity. This might involve working on anger management issues, for example, or helping an individual deal with drug addiction or mental health problems. In some cases, simply increasing someone’s sense of self-worth and self-efficacy can reduce the likelihood of them reoffending. 

Cognitive-behavioural techniques are often used in changing offending behaviour, as they can help an individual to recognise and change the thoughts and behaviours that contribute to their criminal activity. aversion therapy – where an individual is exposed to unpleasant stimuli (such as electric shocks) to deter them from engaging in a particular behaviour – has also been used, although its effectiveness is somewhat controversial.

It should be noted that changing offending behaviour is not always possible and that some people will continue to engage in criminal activity regardless of interventions. However, psychological techniques can certainly play a role in reducing crime rates.

Assignment Activity 4: Demonstrate the use of psychological approaches to obtain relevant information about an offender or the offending behaviour.

When trying to obtain information about an offender or the offending behaviour, a psychological approach can be useful. This involves trying to understand the offender’s motivation for committing the offence and their thought processes at the time of the offence.

By understanding why the offender committed the offence, it may be possible to identify any risk factors that may have contributed to it. This could then help to inform interventions and prevention strategies. Additionally, understanding the thought processes of offenders can help investigators and prosecutors build a strong case against them in court.

Several different psychological approaches can be used to obtain information about an offender or the offending behaviour. 

One example is the use of psychological profiling, which involves using information about an offender’s background and the circumstances of the offence to try and build up a picture of their personality. 

Another example is offender interviews, which involve talking to an offender about their offence to try and understand their motivations and thought processes.

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Assignment Activity 5: Illustrate how psychological approaches can be used to influence change in offending behaviour.

A large amount of research has looked at how psychological approaches can influence change in offending behaviour. Some of the most common interventions are based on Social Learning Theory, Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Social learning theory suggests that people learn new behaviours by observing others and imitating them. This means that if we want to change someone’s behaviour, we need to provide them with role models who behave in the desired way. observational learning is thought to be particularly important in developing anti-social behaviours, as they are often acquired by copying peers or other high-status individuals.

Behavioural therapy is another common approach to changing offending behaviour. This type of therapy focuses on changing the environment in which the person lives, to change their behaviour. For example, if someone is engaging in criminal activity as a way of gaining attention, then behavioural therapy would focus on providing them with alternative ways to get the attention they need.

Assignment Activity 6: Apply theories and concepts in psychology to crime prevention.

Several psychological theories and concepts can be applied to crime prevention. Some of the most relevant include:

  • The broken window theory posits that small acts of vandalism or disorder lead to more serious crimes because they create an atmosphere of lawlessness and chaos.
  • The theory of deterrence holds that increasing the penalties for criminal behaviour will deter people from committing crimes.
  • The social learning theory, suggests that people learn how to behave by observing the behaviours of others.
  • The theory of self-control, argues that people who lack self-control are more likely to commit crimes.

Applying these theories to crime prevention efforts can help to create a more effective and comprehensive approach. For example, using the broken window theory, police could focus on cracking down on small acts of vandalism to prevent more serious crimes from occurring. Similarly, increasing penalties for criminal behaviour may deter some people from committing crimes in the first place. And finally, helping people learn self-control skills could reduce crime by making it less likely that people will act on impulsive urges.

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