Criminological Theory





Crimecausation is a complex field, with the majority of philosophersrelating it to human behavior. Some people believe that poverty isthe primary cause of crime while others believe that it is due toadverse reactions of individuals. Research shows that most people donot know the causes of other people`s behaviors as well as their own(Siegel, 2012). Researchers find it insufficient to ask those accusedof committing a crime why they did so. They consider the issuecomplex and their modern research attempts to answer the question.Majority of the criminals commit crimes that most people could not dothemselves. The criminal misconduct occurs in an extensive range, andtheir sources differ thus making the area of crime causationchallenging. For instance, the objects of property crime differ fromthose of one time, and the causes of violent crimes differ with fromthose of the repeated criminality (Siegel, 2012). Criminologyidentifies three theories that explain crime causation. They includebiological, sociological and psychological theories. The threemethods attempts to answer the question “Why did they do that”that most people ask themselves when a crime is committed. Eachapproach tries to demonstrate a high level of reliability.

Thefirst theory of crime causation that affects human behavior andactions is the natural theory. Most people confuse the terms naturaland generic due to their level of influence. Research shows that theconcept of crime causation can be best understood if both thebiological and genetic factors are considered. Biological factorscomprise of biochemical, neurological, genetic as well asphysiological factors (Rafter, 2011). Criminology research shows thatbiological factors have and influence on criminal behavior. Thetheory argues that most of the human behaviors such as criminalityare physically influenced by the principles of this theory. It refersto the brain as the organ that influences behavior.

Further,the approach demonstrates that the human characteristics determinantsare passed from one generation to the other to a certain degree(Rafter, 2011). The type of criminality varies according to thegender differences which in turn results to biological differencesbetween racial groups. Research shows that women who commit crimeshave higher hereditary predispositions for this behavior as comparedto men. In addition, it shows that there is a higher probability thatthe biological parents of these females were also involved in suchcrimes. The origin of these human behaviors is concealed with most ofthe conduct being inherited from the old development stages (Rafter,2011).

Thesecond theory of crime causation that affects human behavior andactions is sociological theory. It reveals three differentassumptions namely stress, social learning, and control. Theyexplain crime in relation to their social environment such as family,community, peer group and society among others (Deflem &amp Emerald2010). The three theories differ from one another and focus ondifferent issues of social conditions. In addition, they give reasonswhy these circumstances cause crime and show different individual andgroup accounts in crimes. The first theory that explains why peopleengage in crime is stress theory. It demonstrates that peopleexperience stress and upset that finally leads to criminal acts.Researchers found that most of these people engage to crimes toreduce these experiences (Deflem &amp Emerald 2010). For instance,they may steal from others to overcome financial difficulties or evencause violence to eliminate intimidation from others. In addition,they also engage in crimes to be after revenge.

Thesecond assumption under sociological theory is a social learningtheory. It explains that people learn about crimes throughassociation with criminals. It means that they accept evil is enoughand are exposed to criminal acts. They learn that a crime isjustifiable in particular situations. The last postulate is thecontrol theory. The theory analyzes factors that push an individualto the crime. Unlike other theories, control theory tries to answerquestions as to why people conform to criminal acts (Deflem &ampEmerald 2010). It explains that people have desires that can befulfilled more easily in crime than in any other legal means. Forinstance, it is easier to rob someone and steal money than work forit. The theory focuses more on fulfillment of needs rather than whyhe engages in crime.

Thefinal theory of crime causation is the psychological theory.Researchers find it hard to specify the speculation. It focuses onthe influence of family and individual factors on the offender.Psychological premise is developmental whereby it tends to analyzethe development of the offender from early childhood to adulthood(Siegel, 2012). In general, they follow a person over a long period.These behaviors are evidenced early in life, and they tend tocontinue as one matures. Psychologists identify the criminal act asbehavior that relates to other types of rebellious actions and hencethe knowledge of these distasteful practices can help in the study ofcrime. According to psychiatric classification, some of theserevolutionary personal disorders include drug taking, relationshipdifficulties and employment problems among others.

Moreover,psychological theories include decision making, learning as well asmotivational processes. One of the motivational ideas is that peopleare mean, and they seek excitement by avoiding torment thus makingthem disruptive (Siegel, 2012). The other argument is that themotivation allows people to sustain a certain level of emotion if thelevel falls they attempt to boost it and vice versa. The theoryconcludes that people who are bored at times seeks excitement. Inaddition, the decision-making processes explained by psychologicaltheory show the reasons why people choose to commit crimes inparticular ways. The primary assumption argued by this theory is thedistress act rational, and offenders will continue to commit crimesas long as the benefits outweigh the costs expected (Siegel, 2012).Psychologists study human behavior and emphasize on assumptions thatcan be systematically observed, measured, quantified and controlled.The recent studies have focused to the extent to which factors suchas inadequate parenting promote offending.


Deflem,M., &amp Emerald. (2010). SociologicalTheory and Criminological Research: Views from Europe and the UnitedStates.Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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Rafter,N. H. (2011). Thecriminal brain: Understanding biological theories of crime.New York: New York University Press.

Siegel,L. J. (2012). Criminology.Belmont: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.