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  1. WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE 5 items
    In this session, we introduce the course and course text. We discuss a little of the separate and (occasionally) combined histories of both psychology and criminology and try to understand why these subjects have not generally been ‘on speaking terms.’ We underline some core points about the nature of crime and criminality and look forward to the context of each lecture and book chapter
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING 1 item
      1. Psychological Criminology: An Integrative Approach - Richard Wortley 2011 (electronic resource)

        Book  Available as a MyiLibrary ebook. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 3 items
      1. The Oxford handbook of criminology - Maguire, Mike, Morgan, Rodney, Reiner, Robert 2012

        Book Recommended CH3 CLIVE HOLLIN. 'CRIMINOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY'

      2. The psychology of criminal conduct: theory, research and practice - Ronald Blackburn 1995

        Book 

    3. SEMINAR #1: Classicism & positivism 1 item
      We begin this course, not with a ‘psychological’ reading as such, but with one that contextualises and makes sense of many points from week one. This chapter describes two currents of thought that have contributed to the development of the discipline of criminology: classicism and positivism. Underlying these broad positions are competing models of human nature with the capacity for freewill and agency at their heart. Most psychological theory (and most of the ideas you will encounter in the first half of this course) is seen to be positivist in nature – a terms of abuse to many criminologists – however, much non-psychological criminology is positivist, and key areas of psychology (see weeks 8 and 9 especially) can be seen to be classicist in important respects. A familiarity with these concepts will lay a strong foundation for the remainder of the course.
  2. WEEK 2: HUMAN NATURE 5 items
    Life on earth has been evolving for some 4 billion years, with Homo sapiens emerging as a distinct species only 300,000 years ago. Despite our status as a co-evolved animal, many people remain resistant to the idea that ways of thinking, feeling and acting (the realm of psychology) have their basis in our evolutionary past. This lecture introduces some basic tenets of evolutionary psychology and makes the bold claim that most forms of violent, sexual and acquisitive crime can be understood as basic strategies to increase ‘fitness’ – the proportion of one’s genes passed on to the next generation. The same logic is applied to the explanation of sex and age differences in criminality. How credible are these claims? What are the implications?
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING 1 item
      1. Psychological criminology: an integrative approach - Richard Wortley 2011

        Book Essential CHAPTER 2: HUMAN NATURE

    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 2 items
    3. SEMINAR #2: Evolutionary accounts of sex differences in violence. 2 items
      Women have the capacity to be violent and often are. Yet males display more violent anti-social behaviour and commit more violent crimes than females at all ages. Despite several waves of feminist thought and activism, real social change and improvements in criminal justice, women remain subject to domestic (intimate partner) violence endemically across the world. Why is this? While the explanations are likely to be complex, this seminar samples two chapters accounting for aspects of these empirical facts in relation to evolutionary theory. What do you make of them?
      1. Violence and Aggression in Women - Catharine P. Cross, Anne C. Campbell

        Chapter Essential SEMINAR 2 READING

      2. Intimate Partner Violence in Evolutionary Perspective - David M. Buss, Joshua D. Duntley

        Chapter Essential READING FOR SEMINAR #2

  3. WEEK 3: HEREDITY 4 items
    It has often been noted that ‘crime runs in families’, that is, parents who are officially labelled as ‘criminals’ are more likely to have children who are also labelled as such. Why is this? This lecture introduces the field of behavioural genetics to give an account of why we resemble our close kin behaviourally as well as physically. By examining the logic and findings of twin and adoption studies, we explore how it is possible to separate out the intertwined influences of ‘nature’ (genes) and ‘nurture’ (environment) as they predict various types of criminal behaviour. What have been the ethical issues with twin studies historically, and what do we do with this knowledge? We also make time to describe early findings from this week’s BigPsyCrim survey.
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING 1 item
      1. Psychological criminology: an integrative approach - Richard Wortley 2011

        Book Essential CHAPTER 3: HEREDITY

    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 3 items
      1. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the intergenerational transmission of criminal behavior - Sytske Besemer, Shaikh I. Ahmad, Stephen P. Hinshaw, David P. Farrington 11/2017

        Article 

  4. SEMINAR #3: Heredity & biosocial criminology in context 3 items
    This week, we reinforce some messages from last week’s lecture on the promise and (historical) perils of ‘biosocial’ criminology – the study of the interactions between human biology and antisocial behaviour.
  5. WEEK 4: THE BRAIN 3 items
    THIS WEEK, WE LOOK AT WHAT GENES DO IN COMBINATION WITH ENVIRONMENTAL INPUT: SHAPE BRAIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING 1 item
      1. Psychological criminology: an integrative approach - Richard Wortley 2011

        Book Essential CHAPTER 4: THE BRAIN

    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 1 item
    3. SEMINAR #4: Genes, brains, behaviour 1 item
      This week, we underline some key messages from weeks 3 and 4 using a short, (relatively) accessible and integrative paper from Adrian Raine. You can also watch a documentary for a change of pace!
      1. From Genes to Brain to Antisocial Behavior - Adrian Raine 2008

        Article Essential SEMINAR READING

  6. WEEK 5: PERSONALITY 3 items
    Personality expresses an enduring style of relating to the world (people and situations) that makes you characteristically ‘you’ and allows others to agree on the ‘type’ of person you are. This week, we explore some basic tenets of personality theory, in particular, (1) the contention that there are only a small number of important personality characteristics (or ‘traits’) that everyone has present in different combinations, and (2) that this mix has consequences for health and wellbeing, romance, friendship and career choices and – key for us – antisocial behaviour. How do we ‘measure’ personality and what characteristics most strongly predict involvement in crime? How do these characteristics relate to brain structure and functioning? Finally, we ask if there is such a thing as an ‘antisocial personality’.
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING: 1 item
    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 2 items
      1. Personality, antisocial behavior, and aggression: A meta-analytic review - Shayne E. Jones, Joshua D. Miller, Donald R. Lynam 2011-7

        Article 

    3. SEMINAR #5: First 'mock exam' 0 items
      This week, we take a break from reading and discussion to give you the chance to test your learning by answering an exam-style question in the seminar. Revise a topic from weeks 2-5 and, in the seminar, compose an answer to one of the following questions. You can obviously prepare a skeleton response beforehand or come to it ‘cold’ in the seminar. Bring some paper and a pen!
  7. WEEK 6: DEVELOPMENT 5 items
    Developmental psychology is the study of age-patterned change in major aspects of functioning, for example, physical co-ordination, communication, cognitive and social skills. Large longitudinal research studies that track the same people throughout their life agree on which key aspects of a person’s background shape these skills and abilities, and also predict problematic outcomes like antisocial behaviour. In this lecture, we identify these key ‘risk factors’ as they occur in the individual, the family and broader environment and make the point that some risks are particularly influential during ‘sensitive periods’ of rapid development: early childhood, and adolescence. We recall the relationship between age and crime and contend that there are at least two distinct groups of offenders underlying this relationship, each with a separate set of risks factors linked together in different ways at different ages.
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING 1 item
    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 3 items
    3. SEMINAR #6: Personality 1 item
      The insertion of last week’s mock exam throws the relationship between lecture and seminar content out slightly, so, in this seminar, we revisit the literature on personality (week 5) in order to further understand how it is measured – you will test your own personality! In the reading, we appreciate the power of ‘self-control’ as a predictor of a wide range of risky behaviour.
      1. Lifelong Impact of Early Self-Control - Terrie E. Moffitt, Richie Poulton and Avshalom Caspi 2013

        Article 

  8. WEEK 7: LEARNING 4 items
    Research on the psychology of learning dominated the discipline in the twentieth century and its widespread application granted it a powerful and central place in Western civilisation: from education and health promotion, to advertising and work productivity, to psychotherapy and offender management, to parenting programmes and Cold War ‘psy-ops’! In this lecture, we outline the three principle mechanisms by which behaviour changes in interaction with a changing environment: by reflex association; by the balance of rewards and punishment experienced; and through observation, imitation and self-reward. We explore the proposition that crime and antisocial behaviour are simply one sub-set of the huge repertoire of behaviours we acquire through learning.
    1. ESSENTIAL READING 1 item
    2. FURTHER READING 2 items
      1. The Empirical Status of Social Learning Theory: A Meta‐Analysis - Travis C. Pratt, Francis T. Cullen, Christine S. Sellers, L. Thomas Winfree 12/2010

        Article 

    3. SEMINAR #7: Applying developmental findings to preventative interventions 1 item
      This week’s seminar spans weeks 6 and 7 by showing how a knowledge of developmental risk factors and the principles of (especially social) learning can be used to design interventions that ‘nip crime in the bud’ before it becomes an established part of the behavioural repertoire that society punishes with increasing vigour. Key sets of ‘evidence-based’ - that is, well designed, well-described and robustly evaluated – interventions working with parents, schools and community actors are reviewed.
      1. Forensic psychology - Graham J. Towl, David A. Crighton 2010

        Book  Also available as a ProQuest ebook. SEE FARRINGTON CHAPTER ON PREVENTION FOR SEMINAR READING

  9. WEEK 8: COGNITION 8 items
    For the first half of the twentieth century, psychologists tended only to be interested in overt, observable behaviour. However, the development of computer science in the decades following the second world war encouraged the analogy of brain as information processing unit and turned attention to the importance of internal thought processes – cognitions - that come between (mediate) environment and action. In doing so, the possibilities for agency and freewill were introduced back into psychology after a long absence. In this lecture, we sample important concepts emerging from this ‘cognitive revolution’ to understand how experience and knowledge is organised by the mind and how this influences how we perceive and act in concrete situations, including those with moral content.
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING 1 item
      1. Psychological criminology: an integrative approach - Richard Wortley 2011

        Book Essential CHAPTER 8: COGNITION

    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 4 items
      1. Cognitive skills programmes for offenders - Clive R. Hollin, Emma J. Palmer 02/2009

        Article 

    3. SEMINAR #8: Applying learning theory: the link between screen and actual violence. 3 items
      Since the birth of the moving image in the late nineteenth century, society has expressed concern that exposure to on-screen violence encourages actual violence in society, particularly among ‘impressionable youth’. Exponential increases in computing power and the advent of immersive ‘shoot-em up’ gaming offer further contemporary targets for these concerns. Lay theories behind these debates are implicitly psychological in that they suggest moral perception and action are shaped – or pro-violent attitudes and behaviour learned – via the observational and rational processes described by Bandura’s social cognitive learning theory. But what is the evidence? This week, we survey one or two useful papers describing key findings in this area.
      1. Media Violence and the General Aggression Model - Craig A. Anderson, Brad J. Bushman 06/2018

        Article 

  10. WEEK 9: SITUATIONS 4 items
    In key respects, ‘situations’ (this week’s subject matter) are not easily divorced from ‘cognitions’ (last week’s subject matter) as the latter are critically active in the former. This being the case, we focus this week on key factors in the social and physical environment that researchers have proposed to be important ‘shapers’ of moral perception and action. What is the science behind the ‘peer pressure’ many people think is at the heart of (especially adolescent) antisocial behaviour? How and why do people behave differently in crowds? And, for those of you ‘hot under the collar’, ‘boiling with rage’, or seeking to ‘take the heat out’ of an old argument, is there a relationship between ambient temperature and risk of violence?
    1. ESSENTIAL READING 1 item
      1. Psychological criminology: an integrative approach - Richard Wortley 2011

        Book Essential CHAPTER 9: SITUATIONS

    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 3 items
      1. Social Influence: Compliance and Conformity - Robert B. Cialdini, Noah J. Goldstein 02/2004

        Article 

    3. SEMINAR #9: 2nd 'mock exam' 0 items
      This week, we take another break from reading and discussion to give you the chance to test your learning by answering an exam-style question in the seminar. Revise a topic from weeks 6-9 and, in the seminar, compose an answer to one of the following questions. You can obviously prepare a skeleton response beforehand or come to it ‘cold’ in the seminar. Bring some paper and a pen!
  11. WEEK 10: CONCLUSIONS 6 items
    This week we summarise learning from the course and reinforce key messages using your ‘BigPsyCrim’ data. We also look forward to the final exam and discuss good revision practice as grounded in the psychology of learning and academic performanc
    1. ESSENTIAL LECTURE READING 1 item
      1. Psychological criminology: an integrative approach - Richard Wortley 2011

        Book Essential CHAPTER 10: CONCLUSION

    2. FURTHER LECTURE READING 3 items
      Note, the sources below relate to learning and revision effectiveness, not to course content per se.
      1. Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques - John Dunlosky, Katherine A. Rawson, Elizabeth J. Marsh, Mitchell J. Nathan 01/2013

        Article 

    3. SEMINAR #10: Applying social & cognitive psychology to the prevention of global violence 2 items
      In this final week’s session, we first return non-assessed ‘mock’ essays from seminar 9 and underline good revision and exam practice. We then apply key ideas from the last two weeks of the course to analyse issues of pressing planetary significance. What are the human dangers associated with population growth, climate change and mass migration? How can we learn from past conflict to prevent future violence based on inter-group prejudice? Can a knowledge of human psychology help your and future generations prevent catastrophe?
      1. Anderson CA and Delisi M (2011) 'Implications of global climate change for violence in developed and developing countries.' in J Forgas, A Kruganski and K Williams (Eds) The Psychology of Social Conflict and Aggression. New York: Psychology Press. Pdf offprint available via: http://anderson.socialpsychology.org/publications