Social psychology

Social psychology is a useful tool in trying to explain criminality. It could be said that the evidence is compelling in taking some responsibility away from criminals, especially if they were brought up in areas of high crime, from a broken home: criminality being the family way and for economic reasons. However, it could be argued that this does not mean that criminals have no responsibility at all. All this suggests is that some criminals haven’t had the best start in life.

There is a correlation between poorly educated individuals and crime and therefore should enlighten psychologists that if education in the UK was properly carried out and reached everyone without standards being higher in one area than the other, then crime could appear reduced. The same goes for unemployment, low economic status and poverty stricken areas. If those affected by unemployment were helped efficiently, criminality would not be so appealing to some individuals.Nevertheless, criminals have to be held accountable for their actions.

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There is always a choice, and, it could be said, there is always a choice when it seems there isn’t much of one. In desperate times such as this, it is the responsibility of the individual to ask for or acquire the help they need.As already pointed out, certain imbalances in the human body can cause certain arousals.

In spontaneity or irrational behaviour, for example, it could be argued that the fault of the individual is reduced due to the impulsivity. However, as already noted above, there is a choice. Someone may choose crime as the rewards of the crime far out weigh the negatives of crime. Robbing a bank may seem worth it due to the substantial amounts of cash that one person could gain. So 15-25 years in prison ‘if’ they are caught is a low risk compared to how much money they will get.Psychology, no matter in which area it is being studied, is a very useful tool to use in life. It can give an impression on why humans act the way they do.

Correlations in human behaviour can be dated back to the primitive age as it is argued that some types of behaviour stems from the animal instincts that was once humans. However, there are no right or wrong answers in psychology as everyone is different, and everyone acts differently in different given situations. Theories are just that, theories. What theories such as criminal behaviour can do though is help social institutions such as Government make policy on education and health so that changes can be made to try and reduce crime and poor health and poverty. What it can’t do is change the world but it can try and help change a person.It is obvious, with studies such as Sheldon’s Body Types, that vanity played a very important role in society of the day.

To look different would mean to be ‘weary’. Just because someone is over-weight doesn’t mean the pie cupboard must be padlocked. There are diseases in the world that make people over-weight such as an under active thyroid, sugar imbalances, but this does not make that person a criminal.Many psychologists had many ideas back in the day. However, norms and values were different at the times many experiments and research took place, so it could be argued that research is bias due to the prudish norms and values of the day. It could also be said that psychology during the first half of the 19th century was relatively new and that research then was not as strong as the more modern experiments conducted by psychologists such as Zimbardo and Crowe.

 It is obvious that there can never be one single causal factor in criminality, but past and future experiments can give a great understanding of crime and its effects in a general manner giving way to a number of factors such as biological, social and psychological respectively.ReferencesBandura, Ross and Ross 1963- www.psych.upenn.

edu/courses/psych160_Spring2004/slt.ppt, accessed Saturday, 19 May 2007Blackburn, R. (2001) The psychology of Criminal Conduct: Theory, Research and Practice. Bookcraft Ltd, Bath. Pp.87-110Blackburn, R.

(2001) The psychology of Criminal Conduct: Theory, Research and Practice. Bookcraft Ltd, Bath. P. 87, paragraph 2, lines 25-27