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Theories of Crime Causation

Explores various perspectives and explanations for the causes of crime, including biological, and providing a comprehensive understanding of criminal behavior.













differential association


routine activities

Biology or genetics gives an individual a predisposition to behave in a certain way.

  • Positivist Approaches

The prevention of people in general or society at large from engaging in crime by punishing specific individuals and making examples of them.

  • General deterrence

This theory emphasize that human beings live in social groups and that those groups and the social structure they create influence behavior.

  • Sociological Theories

The removal or reduction of a stimulus whose removal or reduction increases or maintains a response.

  • Negative reinforcement

As actors in the society and everywhere, behave and act always as rational beings, self-calculating, self-interested and self-maximizing, these individual social actions are the ultimate source of larger social outcomes.

  • [No Answer]

This is a product of the Enlightenment, based on the assumption that people exercise free will and are thus completely responsible for their actions.

  • Classical Theory

According to Anomie or Strain Theory, people adapt through the following (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • Justice
  • Rebellion
  • Punishment
  • Innovation
  • Conviction
  • Conformity
  • Retreatism
  • Ritualism

Various types of group sentiments could exist, such as cooperation, unselfishness, charity, which initially may seem to be contrary to individual optimality.

  • [No Answer]

This is a condition in which the usual controls over delinquents are largely absent, delinquent behavior is often approved of by parents and neighbors, there are many opportunities for delinquent behavior, and there is little encouragement, training, or opportunity for legitimate employment.

  • Social disorganization

This assumption states that the actions of the individual are concerned entirely with his or her own welfare.

  • [No Answer]

This refers to an individual’s tendency to become upset or emotional, while stability refers to the tendency to remain emotionally constant.

  • Neuroticism / Emotional Stability

Individuals will often find a way to exercise action optimally, hence the rational choice model may not necessarily show harmony, consensus, or equality in courses of action.

  • [No Answer]

The prevention of individuals from committing crime again by punishing them.

  • Special deterrence

All individuals act in ways that would benefit them more.

  • [No Answer]

A theory that emphasizes the criminalization process as the cause of some crime.

  • Labeling theory

The theory developed by Ernst Kretchmer and William Sheldon.

  • Body-Type Theory

A theory that assumes that society is based primarily on conflict between competing interest groups and that criminal law and the criminal justice system are used to control subordinate groups.

  • Conflict theory

This theory of crime causation are associated with the work of Sigmund Freud who believed that people who had unresolved deep-seated problems were psychopaths.

  • Psychoanalytic Theories

This involves directing attention on inner experiences, while relates to focusing attention outward on other people and the environment.

  • Introversion / Extraversion

The presentation of an aversive stimulus to reduce a response.

  • Punishment

This is aimed at making an individual feel good or could be a means of raising one’s social esteem in the eyes of others.

  • [No Answer]

The presentation of a stimulus that increases or maintains a response.

  • Positive reinforcement

According to this theory, a criminal’s innate physiological makeup produces certain physical or genetic characteristics that distinguish criminals from non-criminals.

  • Biological Theories

Universal Trait Theory (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • Psychoticism
  • Reward and punishment
  • Neuroticism / Emotional Stability
  • Introversion / Extraversion
  • Deterrence Theory

The diagrammatic elements include concepts that denote and highlight certain features of the universe.

  • True
  • False

A modification of classical theory in which it was conceded that certain factors, such as insanity, might inhibit the exercise of free will.

  • Neoclassical Theory

This is a theoretical statement that specifies the connection between two or more variables.

  • Propositional Scheme

Abell (2000) argues that structures and norms that dictate a single course of action are merely special cases of rational choice theory.

  • [No Answer]

Scientific theories transcend into infinite idea and time.

  • True
  • False

Types of Causation (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • Crime Causation
  • Legal Causation
  • Criminal Causation
  • Factual Causation
  • Justice Causation

Most criminologists believe that criminal behavior is the product of a complex interaction between biology and environmental or social conditions.

  • Positivist Approaches

The tendency to be sociable, fun-loving, and affectionate vs. retiring, somber, and reserved.

  • Extraversion

This is considered an essential prerequisite to adequate theory building.

  • Meta-theoretical schemes

This theory argues that once a person commits a first criminal act, they are labeled negatively as a criminal.

  • Labeling theory

An imaginary agreement to sacrifice the minimum amount of liberty to prevent anarchy and chaos.

  • Social contract

These are typically easier to understand than those that are more formal, but the weakness is that the variables and forces highlighted and the dynamic relations among them are vague and imprecise.

  • Discursive Schemes

It can be either tangible or intangible.

  • [No Answer]

For some individuals, and in some situations, choices may be limited while for others there are multiple options.

  • [No Answer]

Three Trait Theory (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • Secondary Traits
  • Social Traits
  • Criminal Traits
  • Cardinal Traits
  • Central Traits

In taking the course of action selected by the actor, he or she expects that his or her interests and preferences will be met to the best extent possible.

  • [No Answer]

This theory introduces the idea of premeditation as a measure of the degree of free will.

  • Neoclassical Theory

This is to develop a tightly woven system of categories that is presumed to capture the way in which the invariant properties of the universe are ordered.

  • Naturalistic Schemes

Basic Principles of Rational Choice Theory (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • [No Answer]

Each social actor has some options concerning possible courses of action.

  • [No Answer]

Individual choose their actions optimally, given their individual preferences as well as the opportunities or constraints with which the individual faced.

  • [No Answer]

These are the traits that are sometimes related to attitudes or preferences and often appear only in certain situations or under specific circumstances.

  • Secondary Traits

A process in which behavior that previously was positively reinforced is no longer reinforced.

  • Extinction

It is individuals who ultimately take actions.

  • [No Answer]

These needs can change and they tend to be relatively stable over time.

  • [No Answer]

These are the general characteristics that form the basic foundations of personality.

  • Central Traits

This theory explains that human behavior, including criminal behavior, is motivated by a hedonistic rationality, in which actors weigh the potential pleasure of an action against the possible pain associated with it.

  • Classical Theory

Each option has an expected set of outcomes associated with it that involve benefits and cost.

  • [No Answer]

This is the study of criminal human beings.

  • Criminal Anthropology

This theory explains that criminals are, by birth, a distinct type.

  • Criminal Anthropology

Theory is a scientific and financial activity revolving around the process of developing ideas that explain how and why events occur.

  • True
  • False

This is a diagrammatic representation of social events.

  • Analytical Modeling Scheme

This is related to moodiness versus even-temperedness.

  • Introversion / Extraversion

The theory coined by Cesare Lombroso in 1876.

  • Criminal Anthropology

Traits that dominate an individual’s whole life, often to the point that the person becomes known specifically for these traits.

  • Cardinal Traits

The social actor’s decision is an optimal one in sense of maximizing difference between benefits and costs.

  • [No Answer]

The tendency to be soft-hearted, trusting, and helpful vs. ruthless, suspicious, and uncooperative.

  • Agreeableness

This theory explains that delinquents were more mesomorphic than non-delinquents, and serious delinquents were more mesomorphic than less severe delinquents.

  • Body-Type Theory

Defined as taking place when no other course of social action would be preferred by the individual over the course of action the individual has chosen.

  • [No Answer]

This consist of generalizations from specific events, in particular empirical contexts.

  • Empirical Formats

The inability to dominate other groups in society.

  • Relative powerlessness

One of the earliest secular approaches to explaining the causes of crime.

  • Classical Theory

Defined as a person who reverts to a savage type.

  • Atavist

Types of propositional scheme (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • Criminalistic format
  • Axiomatic formats
  • Deterrence format
  • Empirical formats
  • Formal formats

Novus Actus Interveniens (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • Act of the victim
  • Act of 3rd party
  • Act of the criminal
  • Act of God/Nature
  • Act of the defendant

This scheme vary in the way propositions are organized into formats.

  • Propositional Scheme

Theorists generally assume (Choose all appropriate and correct answers).

  • Traits differ among individuals
  • Traits are relatively stable over time
  • Traits can be inherited
  • Traits are also bipolar
  • Traits influence behavior

This scheme vary in the level of abstraction.

  • Propositional Scheme

The tendency to be calm, secure, and self-satisfied vs. anxious, insecure, and self-pitying.

  • Neuroticism

A theory is a proposed relationship in a single concept.

  • True
  • False

The tendency to be imaginative, independent, and interested in variety vs. practical, conforming, and interested in routine.

  • Openness to Experience

This theory introduces the idea of mitigating circumstances as legitimate grounds for diminished responsibility.

  • Neoclassical Theory

The theory developed by Abraham Maslow and Seymour Halleck.

  • Humanistic Psychological Theory

Individuals who are high on this trait tend to have difficulty dealing with reality and may be antisocial, hostile, non-empathetic and manipulative.

  • Psychoticism

The range of choices in other circumstances differs from choices in a strong structural circumstance, where there may be only one choice.

  • [No Answer]

The theory that explains on the belief that criminals are physiologically different from non-criminals.

  • Biological Theories

The ability of some groups to dominate other groups in a society.

  • Power differentials

These are more loosely assembled congeries of concepts intended only to sensitize and orient researchers and theorists to certain critical processes.

  • Sensitizing Schemes

The tendency to be organized, careful, and disciplined vs. disorganized, careless, and impulsive.

  • Conscientiousness

Each social actor has a set of needs, interests, and preferences.

  • [No Answer]

These include resources that affect others, personal attributes, and resources that can be exchanged with others.

  • [No Answer]

The diagrammatic elements include symbols that mark the connections among concepts.

  • True
  • False

This deal with the basic issues that a theory must address.

  • Meta-theoretical schemes

A view in which people are expected to commit crime and delinquency unless they are prevented from doing so.

  • Social control theory

The result may not always turn out to be optimal, given uncertainty about the future, unexpected outcome, or unintended consequences of the social action.

  • [No Answer]

The explanation of criminal behavior, as well as the behavior of police, attorneys, prosecutors, judges, correctional personnel, victims, and other actors in the criminal justice system.

  • Criminological Theory

This is a classification scheme that denotes the key properties, and interrelations among these properties, in the social universe.

  • Analytical Scheme

The principle that a policy should provide the greatest happiness shared by the greatest number.

  • Utility

The diagrammatic elements include the arrangement of these concepts in visual space so as to reflect the ordering of events in the universe.

  • True
  • False
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