Positivist Theory - Crime

Topics: Sociology, Crime, Criminal justice Pages: 3 (906 words) Published: May 29, 2014
Outline three major features of the positivist theory approach to crime?

Positivism is a theory of knowledge which states that science is based upon theories that have been derived solely upon empirical evidence. The positivist theory approach to crime consists of three major features which include biological, psychological and social positivism. Biological: The biological component of positivism seeks to examine data from sources such as twin studies, family studies, genetic patterns and biochemical aspects in an attempt to conjure an explanation for a particular behaviour. Biological positivists generally look for biological causes generally in genetic inheritance. Psychological: The psychological component of positivism also seeks to observe biological factors but also adds behavioural factors such as child rearing practices and brain abnormalities that cause identifiable behaviour outcomes. Those who are extroverts are easy to condition and easy to de-condition those who are introverts are difficult to condition and also difficult to de-condition. Psychological positivism emphasized counselling and improving the lot of potential criminals. Social: Sociological positivism claims that societal factors such as poverty, membership of subcultures, or low levels of education can influence people to conduct criminal behaviour. Adolphe Quetelet made use of empirical evidence such as data and statistical analysis to investigate the relationship between crime and sociological factors. It was found that age, gender, poverty, education, and alcohol consumption were important factors related to crime.

This is the theoretical aspect of this unit. Criminal theory is the study of criminal behaviour and is often known as the study of criminality or of law breaking behaviour. Some criminal theories take a psychological approach, some a biological approach other emphasise the sociological aspects of criminality and of course many emphasise all - taking a...
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