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Psychology has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of criminal behaviour - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Psychology has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of criminal behaviour. Discuss Introduction There are various approaches in psychology, which serve as perspectives that explain some assumptions regarding human behaviour…
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Psychology has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of criminal behaviour
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Download file to see previous pages Some of the psychological perspectives include biological, cognitive psychology, humanism, behaviourist perspective, psychodynamic perspective, and psychoanalytic approach. The biological approach centres on the impact on biological aspects such as genetics in determining human behaviour. In the biological perspective, theorists focus on the impact of genes on human behaviour. According to these theorists, biological aspects such as hormones, chromosomes, as well as the brain have a profound impact on the behaviour of human beings such as gender. The behaviourist perspective encompasses the impact of the environment on people as well as animals. Therefore, behaviourism is concerned with the impact of environmental factors on observable behaviour. To behaviourists, people learn from their environment through two main processes known as operant and classical conditioning. Psychologists in the cognitive perspective study the process through which humans acquire knowledge. As such, this perspective centres on the mental functions such as perception, memory, and attention (Wood 2004, p. 44). Humanism emphasizes the study of a person as a whole; this commonly encompasses holism. Humanistic psychologists look at human behaviour through the eyes of the person behaving as well as the eyes of the observer. As such, humanistic psychologists hold the belief that the behaviour of individuals has some connections to his self-image and inner feelings. The psychoanalytic approach centres on the impacts of childhood events in explaining human behaviour. According to Freud, childhood events can significantly affect the behaviour of human beings during their adult life. Psychoanalysts believe that the behaviour of humans is determined by childhood experiences as well as the unconscious mind. All the psychological perspectives and approaches play a crucial role in explaining human behaviour. Human behaviour tends to be related to any of the approaches in psychology; this stems from the fact that all the approaches in have diverse explanations of human behaviour (Brewer 2000, p. 23). Discussion With their explanations of human behaviour, the psychological approaches have contributed significantly to the understanding of crime and criminal behaviour. Criminal psychology entails the professional study of the thoughts as well as behaviours exhibited by criminals. Criminal psychologists focus on studying why people commit crimes, assessment of criminals, evaluating the risk of recidivism, and make guesses that may have been taken by criminals after committing crimes. Criminal psychologists also help law enforcement agencies analyze how criminal offenders behave and help them solve crimes. In addition, criminal psychologist may also take part in providing expert testimony in courts (Wood 2004, p. 46). The most common role played by criminal psychologists includes criminal profiling, a practice that took centre stage during the Second World War. Organizations dealing with criminal offenders, such as the FBI, rely heavily on the offender and criminal profiling as a means of apprehending criminals. Criminal profiling helps law enforcement agencies with psychological evaluations and assessments of the suspected criminals. As a result, the agencies can come up with suggestions and strategies to be used in the process of interviewing criminals (Blackburn 1993, p. 35). Psychological research conducted over the years reveals a strong connection between psychology and criminal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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