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Biology and Psychology: Social Problems vs. Social Responsibility Perspective
How do psychological and biological theories support the causation of crime from a social responsibility and a social problems perspective? Can a man with paranoid schizophrenia who killed someone because “voices” told him to, be socially responsible for his actions? Does he deserve firm punishment as indicated by the social responsibility perspective or would a social program that addresses mental illness be more appropriate?
As indicated in your text, the social responsibility perspective explains criminal behavior as a person’s choice to commit a criminal act. Proponents of this perspective support firm punishment, strong rehabilitation programs, and increased security. A social problems perspective suggests crime is a result of social issues such as poverty, discrimination, poor education, poor values, pervasive family violence, and inadequate socialization at a young age. Proponents of this perspective believe crime prevention involves increasing social programs and education. Consider the merit of both of these perspectives as you complete your application this week.
To prepare for this assignment:
Review Chapter 4 in your course text, Criminology Today. Pay particular attention to central assumptions pertaining to biological theory as an explanation of crime and criminal behavior.

Watch the ABC News video “Losing It.” Think about how the major principles of biological theories apply to real life situations, and consider whether they sufficiently explain criminal behavior.

Review Chapter 5 in your course text, Criminology Today. Pay particular attention to central assumptions pertaining to psychological theory as an explanation of crime and criminal behavior.

Think about specific crimes or criminal behavior.

Reflect on how biological and psychological theories differ in terms of explaining the crimes or criminal behaviors you selected.

Consider how biological and psychological theories might support the social problems or social responsibility perspective of crime and criminology and why.

The assignment (1–2 pages):
Explain how a biological theory would support social problems and social responsibility perspectives on the causation of crime. Be specific. Explain which perspective resonates with you the most and why. Be specific.

Explain how a psychological theory would support social problems and social responsibility perspectives on the causation of crime. Be specific. Explain which perspective resonates with you the most and why. Be specific and use examples.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

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