The Philosophy Forums
Tips? admin [at] philosophy-forums.com

The philosophy forums is a small community involved in discussing issues of philosophical significance. If you wish to participate in the discussion, you can register (it only takes about a minute) and start posting your ideas.


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
May 5th, 11:44 AM   #31
WhoIsToSay
Settling In
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 55
Default

Rebecca wrote:
"But, if you think about the reasons people have for harming one and another, you'll find that many are due to social pressures which can be related to economic pressures. Not always, but many times.
Muggings, domestic disputes over financial concerns, losing one's job, or being passed up for a promotion or not given a needed raise, causes fighting..Also, fighting over what to spend the income on, budget preferences, etc., "

Wow. So this debate is good... anyways... back to the quote...

This is not true. It has been psychologically proven (I have read about it in numerous books and took psych 101 in college where it was brought up) that most criminal activities develop because of the nature of the human being's psychy, i.e. their chemical makeup to act out situations that normal humans would disregard.

Numerous tests have been done to inmates for serious crimes; and what the tests have proven is that the inmate has a tendency to act out their "day dreams," while a normal person will have a "day dream" of having sex with a person they see on the street, yet the inmate will act out this "day dream." The vast majority of people will disregard the notion of doing this and move on with their day.

I have received this information from multiple sources, including books, professors, and psych students.
 
May 5th, 11:57 AM   #32
WhoIsToSay
Settling In
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 55
Default

Rebecca's rebuttal:
Lomax wrote:
"Everyone else follows suit, and soon you have a country as lazy"

Lomax, Russians are not lazy. You don't really believe that do you?


In defense of Lomax, he did not say Russian's were lazy, he was stating that this type of government or society will tend to lead to people not caring as much for their job; because they are paid similar wages no matter the weight of the production or output they generate for the society.

When a human understands that if they are not rewarded for the relative extra effort that is put forth, they will tend to not want to give this extra effort. There is no incentive to try harder.

And to make note, the human will put forth the extra effort in the hopes of making future returns relatively higher; for once the human realizes the money he has received, it follows that they would spend more time on leisure and less on work.

So if the hope of receiving something extra for their extra effort is not possible, then why do it? For the help of society? Eh... I will be the first to say "Show me the money!"

And a good example: doctors would stop trying as hard to perform their duties as doctors; or most would leave the country for better wages and a better life; and that is a proven fact.
 
May 5th, 06:37 PM   #33
Rebecca
Neophyte
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 19
Default

Hi WhoIsToSay;

So good to have you commenting-thanks! I don't have much time to answer right now, but will do what I can.. and hope for the best..smile.

WhoIsToSay wrote:
"This is not true. It has been psychologically proven (I have read about it in numerous books and took psych 101 in college where it was brought up) that most criminal activities develop because of the nature of the human being's psychy, i.e. their chemical makeup to act out situations that normal humans would disregard."

Yes, there can be chemical imbalances in the mind that will lend to a tendency to act, and I do agree with you on this point. But this is hardly an area of non-dispute, and certainly environmental factors have to be taken into account not forsaken as you suggest. A quick google search provided me with ample evidence for refuting your claim that the whole affair has been settled.

Here's what just one criminal psychologist and profile detective wrote:

"The development of crime theories is an evolutionary process that continues today. Crime is still a vastly complex, poorly understood phenomenon, and of course, there are no absolutes when it comes to human behavior. Whether the cause is demons, bumps on the head, genetics, DNA, food allergies, phases of the moon, brain injury or a package of Twinkies, crime is much too diversified to be neatly packaged under one heading. The motivational factors behind white-collar crime, for example, are much different from those for a sexual offense. No single cause can account for all types of criminal behavior. Theorists today generally agree that it is a blending of many factors, such as environment, hereditary considerations and psychological development that form the need to commit crime. But that doesn't stop criminologists and scientists from introducing new theories of crime causation whenever possible."

Or here in a University's course curriculum on criminal psychology:

"Develop the understanding of the biological, psychological, social, and environmental causes and correlates of violent and criminal behavior."

Or here's another example from a criminal psychologist:

"Causation of criminal behavior comes from no one place. Often it is a mixture of environmental factors (such as child abuse or neglect, low socioeconomic status) and inherent genetic traits, such as low functioning of the prefrontal cortex.

I would have to side with the nature debate althought there is strong evidence that they both play a very important role in development. And Psychology as a field has decided that there is no debate anymore, that it is a happy medium.

The only documented psychopathological disorder that leads to criminal behavior is Anti-Social personality disorder, also known as psychopathy."

Here's another:

"Therefore normal criminals and abnormal criminals are better accounted for there behavior by both biological and psychological theory though the more comprehensive theory is psychological as this takes into account biological factors as well as environment, the individual, cognitive processes and social and group processes. To explain these concepts of criminal behavior theories from biological, learning and social cognition are outlined and evidence is presented that shows why more than just biological determinants of criminal behavior are important."

Here's a recent book Criminal Behavior-2007 on the subject and a few of the chapters from the table of contents page:

"takes into account biological, genetic, developmental, familial, social, educational, cultural, political, and economic factors correlated with crime;

Biological Roots of Crime.
Psychological Roots of Crime.
Social and Environmental Roots of Crime.
Economic and Property Crimes."

Here's another;

"Genetic and Environmental Influences on Criminal Behavior-2005

Criminal behavior has always been a focus for psychologists due to the age old debate between nature and nurture. Is it the responsibility of an individual's genetic makeup that makes them a criminal or is it the environment in which they are raised that determines their outcome? Research has been conducted regarding this debate which has resulted in a conclusion that both genes and environment do play a role in the criminality of an individual. This evidence has been generated from a number of twin, family, and adoption studies as well as laboratory experiments. Furthermore, the research has stated that it is more often an interaction between genes and the environment that predicts criminal behavior. Having a genetic predisposition for criminal behavior does not determine the actions of an individual, but if they are exposed to the right environment, then their chances are greater for engaging in criminal or anti-social behavior. Therefore, this paper will examine the different functions that genetics and the environment play in the criminal behavior of individuals."

I think that's more than enough to show at least a reasonable doubt over the issue.

But what is in the environment that triggers these reactions? The desire to have sex or the sensation of experiencing lust upon seeing a sexy girl walking down the street, or a naked girl in a magazine? Yes, that's one trigger. The desire for money? Yes, that's another environmental factor that would trigger a response to behave criminally and probably would incite someone to act with criminal intent. The loss of your job and the pressures of financial set-backs could have a triggering effect on the mechanism that causes the lack of resistance to commit an associated crime. Say, embezzlement, fraud.. you certainly need an environment that exposes you to a monetary system of some sort in order to commit these crimes don't you? If you take away the environmental exposure to money, then you have, as I claim, eliminated that triggering effect in the environment that would cause that type of criminal behavior would you not?

And another question.. why do people give justifications for their behavior? If they just couldn't help it, why do they feel remorse for their actions, or provide excuses? How many times have we heard someone say, "I didn't mean to do it, it's just that I got so frustrated and angry." Psychopaths don't show remorse at all, while other criminals do-I wonder why, if not for social upbringing and learning conditional behaviors-again environmental factors.

And how do we explain the fact that these crimes were not committed by people in many societies of our historical past? Did no one have this chemical imbalance? Is this a newly developed condition for humans? Is there a reason why they went for sometimes hundreds of years without any crime being committed? Even when they had private ownership to possessions no one robbed another for that possession... no one raped another, and murder was virtually unheard of ... sometimes for many, many generations. Did they just have the luck of the genetic gene pool lottery?

However, there are psychopathic people who need no environmental triggers to act with criminal intent. They don't even know why they did whatever it is they did. They have no reason whatsoever, or the reasons they provide are absurd. For instance they just hold to a fantasy of being all powerful and stalking a particular person they've selected and targeted to murder has nothing to do with any environmental factors.. Well, that's not the criminal activity or behavior I'm talking about is it?

WhoIsToSay wrote:
"Numerous tests have been done to inmates for serious crimes; and what the tests have proven is that the inmate has a tendency to act out their "day dreams," while a normal person will have a "day dream" of having sex with a person they see on the street, yet the inmate will act out this "day dream." The vast majority of people will disregard the notion of doing this and move on with their day."

See all of my comments above...

WhoIstoSay wrote:
"I have received this information from multiple sources, including books, professors, and psych students."

Care to share any of these resources?

Cheers, Rebecca
 
May 5th, 07:00 PM   #34
Rebecca
Neophyte
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 19
Default

Hi Again WhoIsToSay;

I forgot to add this last quote:

"Psychologists and criminologists have studied not only the causes of violence
that occur in individuals, but also patterns of the incidence of violent crime. For example, they have looked at the question of whether violent people tend to have certain income levels. Income is one factor that is external to individuals but closely related to their life and choices and thus possibly relevant in the cause of their behaviors. Because external factors can be so important in the causes of all types of behavior, including violence, I begin to examine the causes of violence."

I'm sorry I don't have the time right now to get to your other posting, but hopefully I will very soon.

Cheers, Rebecca
 
May 6th, 09:22 AM   #35
WhoIsToSay
Settling In
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 55
Default

I do see your points; and it has been informative. I think for now I will say there is no fundamental correct answer to how criminal activity develops in the human. The most likely answer, as I think you would agree, and I do as well; for I was only quoting your statement to shed light on the other possibilities of where criminal activity could originate from.

If you would like to know my sources: a psychology professor at the University of California, a book that I am currently reading called The Tipping Point. In the book the author tells a story of a man in New York City who shot and killed 3 men because he was being mugged; but he goes on further to say that the point of this story is to inform the reader that this man has a history of activities similar to, but obviously not murder related; that are from his psychy; and would have happened anywhere, regardless of the environment, or his social status/well-being.

And I think this is a good add to the debate; hopefully with the intent to be informative. It comes from Dr. Zombardo - a prominent psychologist at Stanford University. It is the well-known prison experiment.

Dr. Zombardo took a group of grad students at Stanford and made half become prisoners and half become prison gaurds. These are all normal men, very educated; yet within a few days the prison gaurds were torturing the inmates; and in the end it resulted in the prisoners revolting against the prison gaurds, and Dr. Zombardo calling off the experiment.

Quoted from Tipping Point:
"Zimbardo's conclusion that that there are specifi situations so powerful that they can overwhelm our inherent predispositions. The key word is situation. Zimbardo isnt talking about environment...He's not denying that how we are raised by our parents affects who we are, or that the kind of schools we went to, the friends we have, or the neighborhoods we live in affect our behavior. All of these things are undoubtedly important. Nor is he denying that our genes play a role in determing who we are.

Most psychologist believe that nature - genetics - accounts for about half of the reason why we tend to act the way we do. his point is simply that there are certain times and places and conditions when much of that can be swept away, that there are instances where you can take normal people from good schools and happy families and good neighborhoods and powerfully affect their behavior merely by changing the immediate details of their situation." (p. 154)

So I was not saying you were out right wrong; I was merely saying your statement was not true. You were missing premises in your argument that "most pyschologists would believe" constitute half of what makes up your behavior.

That is why I said your statement was false; and I do agree that there are many factors that play into behavior; but I was merely saying your statement was false, and then gave my reason why. That being, that it has been proven that "most criminal activities develop because of the nature of the human being's psychy."

So I hope the excerpt from the Tipping Point on Dr. Zombardo's study helps informs the debate, and makes known that I do understand there are multiple factors that play into behavior, more strictly criminal behavior, but that genetics plays a major role; something that Rebecca had failed to point out as a premise to her argument.
 
May 7th, 06:45 AM   #36
bjb
A Forum Regular
 
bjb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Durham, U.K.
Posts: 182
Default

I think its "Zimbardo" but anyway.

Sorry, just being incredibly pedantic as normal.
 
May 7th, 09:15 AM   #37
WhoIsToSay
Settling In
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 55
Default

haha you are right. my bad.
 
Yesterday, 07:19 PM   #38
Rebecca
Neophyte
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 19
Default

Hi WhoIsToSay;

Well...smiling, that was a graceful reply. Thank you.

I do understand that there are other factors and am familiar with that prison experiment-It's an older experiment, and I just saw on the science channel, or some channel like that, a show on it. Dig into that experiment deeper and do a bit of research and I think you'll find some sound criticisms. If memory serves...

What I claim is that many crimes are committed which have environmental triggers related to money, and I don't think that's an overly complicated conceptualization, nor an inaccurate one. It is part of the human condition, that is to say, our human natures, that historical and social factors have, and can, suppress certain aspects of human personality and bring forth other aspects. This is just a fact of our biology. Capacities that are part of our human nature can be influenced depending on the conditions in our environments and I agree with what most biologists and psychologists claim..that it is mostly nature and some nurture, so to speak.

I didn't know our discussion was so formal either. I don't always receive in my email in-box a notice that a reply has been made-so sorry, if I miss anything.. I just found these because I came over to check it out.

Cheers, Rebecca
 


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.