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Transcript of EPQ
To what extent can neurobiology be added to our knowledge of the basis of criminal behaviour?
Why I chose to investigate neurobiology and criminal behaviour...
Mostly completed throughout the summer.
No rushing or heavy workload.
Library sources - psychology review
Google Scholar - academic writing
Books (James Fallon, Introduction to Psychology)
Problems throughout my project...
Gantt Chart - style - used more of diary
Resources - not enough
Time Management - hard to keep up with EPQ - coursework commitments
Strengths of my project...
Stayed independent - only relied on myself
Enjoyed doing it - not a chore to research
Multi-tasking - managed all studies
Reviewing the process
In my opinion, to some extent neurobiology does add to our knowledge of criminal behaviour but we should stay open-minded due to the fact that other theories have potentially good answers for the cause of criminal behaviour.
Much like James Fallon, people may appear to be biologically a 'criminal' but have never committed a violent offence, there are other underlying factors.
To try and understand criminal behaviour better, popular topic
Further education - university - always something I considered to be an interest
Potentially led onto a career in forensic/clinical psychology
Read James Fallons book - initial idea to look deeper into the topic
Links well with A-Levels
What is Neurobiology?
Psychology - how it affects individual - impact life journey
Sociology - syllabus - how it affects society
Health and Social Care - how they react to diagnosis
Wrote what I had done on specific days in detail
To plan which week I wanted to complete general tasks
Scientific study of the biology of nervous system i.e. brain structures, patterns
Interdisciplinary science (collaborates with other fields)
Biology & Engineering, Medicine, Philosophy and Psychology
What did I learn....
Most important points in my report...
led onto other studies/research e.g. Hare's Checklist
(symptom rating scale)
Biological and Behavioural
Amygdala - seat of emotion
If I were to do my project again...
change my title to one of the three areas I researched
spend more time over the summer researching - could have done more
find alternative ways to plan my time effectively
What I found...
3 main areas of research:
Biological, Behavioural and Psychodynamic theories of criminal behaviour - operationalise: violent crimes (e.g. murderers)
PET Scans (positron emission tomography) show decrease in activity in orbital cortex (cognitive processing of decision making), amygdala (responsible for emotion).
Suggests that when making decisions to commit violent crimes, signals of expected punishments are less active/influential and feelings of fear and anxiety aren't transmitted making committing a crime 'easier' emotionally.
Adrian Raine, long term study, 1,795 children. 3 - 23 yrs old. 7% of these became criminals later in life. Response to fear test - how they reacted to fear (fear conditioning).
3 year olds who had a distinct lack of fear became criminals.
Suggests their behaviour/reaction to the fearful situation could be projected towards crime - not afraid to commit an offense, starting with vandalism at school, working up.
Bowlby - material deprevation = deliquency.
Age 5-16 attending child guidence clinic.
Before age of 2, 86% of these children had been in hospital or foster homes will little contact with biological mother.
Bowlby suggests that a continual disruption of a maternal attachment may cause 'affectionless psychopathy'.
This would make individuals act on impulse with little regard for consequences, reduction in intelligence and increase their aggression levels - making them more likely to be able to commit a violent crime.