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Social Process Theory

In: Social Issues

Submitted By niki42
Words 2186
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(a) Basic Idea and Major Theorists (b) View of Humans, Human Nature, and Human Behaviour (c) View of Society and the Social Order (d) The Role of Law, the Definition of Crime, and the Image of the Criminal (e) Causal Logic (f) Criminal Justice System Implications, including Criminal Justice Policy and Correctional Ideology and Techniques of Crime Control (g) Criticism/evaluation

(a) Carlisle, A. L. (1993). The Divided Self: Toward an Understanding of the Dark Side of a Serial Killer. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 17(2), 23-36. (b) Hale, Robert L. (1993). The Application of Learning Theory to Serial Murder. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 17(2), 37-45. (c) Linden, Rick. (2012). Criminology: A Canadian Perspective (7th ed.). Toronto: Nelson

(d) Feminism & Psychology (e) DOI: 10.1177/09593535091022242009; 19; 267 (f) Feminism Psychology (g) Ross Bartels and Ceri Parsons (h)

The application of learning theory to serial murder “you too can learn to be a serial killer”
Robert Hale

* Popular ideas see killings by deranged or irrational individual * This article: killer behaving in a manner which makes sense to killer perceived to be wrong * Viewed as senseless and violent form of criminal behavior * Holmes and DeBurger * Published comprehensive examination of serial murder * Rooted in Sigmund Freud * Furthered in Dollar and Miller’s theory of “frustration-aggression” * Internalized humiliation is a motive
Serial murder reviewed * Category of multicide * Differentiates between crimes of serial murder, spree murder, and mass murder * Holmes and DeBurger: 5 primary elements of serial murder (focuses on traits of perpetrator) * Murders usually one on one relationships * Relationship between victim and assailant: that of stranger (non-affiliative) * Killer’s motives are not immediately obvious * Serial murderer is motivated to kill * Repetitive homicide * Most serial murders not sensationalized like Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer * Most maintain low profile * Holmes and DeBurger: relationship between victim and offender * Not intimate relationship * Serial killer thought to kill for motives other than internal emotion * Report diverges from views of Holmes and DeBurger * Want to focus on typologies of serial killers & killings through understanding internal motives

Learning serial murder * Katz: details steps involved in killing as means to overcome humiliation and lost power * Act of murder becomes passionate attempt to perform sacrifice to restore what’s good and right * Ted bundy: victims based on resemblance of former girlfriend * Jerome henry brudos: felt never accepted by mother; mutilated womens bodies * Ed Gein: hated his mother * Represent early humiliation that can trigger a serial murder rampage * Richard Biegenwald: humiliation over being rejected by young beautiful women * Proposed hypothesis that early humiliation can translate into most vicious of criminal acts: applies if killer recognizes and internalizes humiliation as the motive * Everyone experiences some form of humiliation * The serial killer has internalized the wrong and uses it as rationale for murder * Abraham’s Amsel’s FRUSTRATION THEORY * Killer associates certain cues from situation in which humiliation occurred with the humiliation * Nonreward situation: reward did not occur in a situation in which a reward previously occurred * Produces unconditioned frustration response (Rf) * Cues present during Rf become conditioned to produce anticipatory frustration response * That produces distinctive internal stimuli (Sf) which motivates person to avoid potentially humiliating situations in the future * Bundy & Hansen: frustration rooted in social and dating scheme; others were able to, they weren’t * Maternal deprivation for Brudos, Gein, Bianchi, Bruono * Saw others receiving this type of love, they were denied * They internalized cues from environment, and this directed their behaviours * THIS INTERNALIZATION DIFFERENTIATES SERIAL KILLER FROM OTHER PEOPLE IN SOCIETY * Killer has internalized cues that predict a frustration * Hull Spence theory of discrimination learning * Exposure to Sd indicates reinforcement is available * S0 indicates reinforcement is not available * Serial killer has encountered S0 but not Sd as much * Dearth of Sd situations does not allow killer to discriminate * But in all situations which the cues indicate potential humiliation, killer associates nonreinforcement of S0 situation * Why does killer not go back to what originated this humiliation? * Dollard and Miller theory: individual instigated toward behavior * Instigated behavior serves as origin * Can be an antecedent condition, either observed or inferred (pg 41) * Serial killer no different than any other individual who is instigated to seek approval from others * All individuals learn to strive for human motives of sociability, need to receive and show affection, and seek approval * Upon successful completion of instigation, “goal response” has occurred * When occurs at proper time, people are satisfied * In serial killers, this resolution does not occur: interference that occurs is called FRUSTRATION * Frustration: when motivated individual encounters some barrier that prevents person from reaching desired goal * Social frustration frustration experienced and internalized involving some critical period of social development which causes these individuals not to experience the social successes of other persons * Aggressive drive blocked (Dollard & Miller) * Aggressive drive basic impulse; drive may be blocked by objective danger or anxiety about expression of aggression * Gein and Bianchi: former type * Bundy and Hansen: latter * Emotion of aggression surpressed, but eventually released leading to frustration or anxiety * When direct discharge is blocked, aggressive impulses may be released indirectly through displacement to less threatening objects Dollard and Miller got from Freud * Achieved through “transference” in which a learned equivalence increases extent to which responses can be transferred from one object to another * Applying TRANSFERENCE to serial murder * Killer remains in control of person who humiliated * May release aggression on person; but that person has control over killer through humiliation so prohibits killer from approaching this person * By creating humiliation, person has blocked a basic drive within the killer * Killer cant confront the real cause- if this were possible, humiliation would have been challenged earlier and would not have become suppressed and internalized * Internal humiliation is set in, not corrected * Actual murder victims scapegoats for intended victim
Unlearning social murder * Most people would judge serial killer as being beyond rehabilitation * Dollard and Miller: treatment process * Serial murder is result of learned behavior * Major problem with serial killer is lack of ability to discriminate * Similarity or difference between stimuli specified by gradient of generalization * Bundy generalized that all women with body shape, colour, or style as ex-fiancee represented a threat; transferred his humiliation onto innocent victims * Alexander and French hypothesis * Therapist could concentrate serial killers’ attention on past to uncover basis for these fault generalizations in an attempt to expand learning process of killer * Killer could retrieve past descriptions * Therapist could explain these don’t have to be taken so seriously * This process of extinction can overcome unconscious humiliation * Concern with approach: “spontaneous recovery” might occur * Pavlov says concept of extinction only temporary * Monster could reemerge * Peculiar situation where serial killer compelled to kill over time when other types of killers seem to overcome humiliation in a single act * Luckenbill: noted effect that having an audience has on killer’s satisfaction with act * When humiliation occurs, aggrieved party cannot simply walk away from challenge; this would reinforce humiliation and acceptance of situation by victim * So, response must occur in public and preferably in front of same audience that witnessed the insult; this way humiliation can be rectified and what is right be restored; killer feels justified in answering the challenge * Serial murderer experiences a humiliation but does not perform in front of audience * Until serial killer can correct this humiliation, killer must continue in his quest to set matters right * Must kill to overcome humiliation, while no audience survives to verify that right has been restored * Destined to kill for 2 reasons: no audience is present to bear witness that the killer has restored “right” and killer is failing to remove the actual target of his humiliation so the killings continue

The divided self: toward an understanding of the dark side of the serial killer
Carlisle

* Dual personality: Ted Bundy, Christopher Wilder, John Wayne Gacy achievers and murderers
Is the serial killer mentally ill? * Each of the three were able to carry out a fairly high level of daily functioning while committing crimes * Did not see indications of mental illness nor of violent tendencies * Some deviant or pathological process occurring within them directly related to the commission of multiple homicides * A psychopath: person who has a clear perception of reality, but one who seems to lack feelings of guilt and commits criminal acts for his own immediate gratification, with little regard for pain or suffering caused by his acts = person who has no conscience * Serial killers experience strong remorse when they kill in the beginning but they go on to kill again * Concepts of fantasy, dissociation, compartmentalization which results in dark, sinister twisted self that hungers for experiences which would have created deep feelings of revulsion earlier in killer’s life * Purpose of article: suggest how sinister dark side of person is sparked into existence and develops through common psychological processes

Dissociation and the separate self * Freud: the subconscious mind generally not accessible * Traumatic memories and emotions from past can be housed in subconscious which could later have strong effect on emotional life and behaviours of that person * Breuer and Freud: connection between behavioural symptoms and subconscious memories which are referred to as “splitting of consciousness” or dual consciousness processes * John and Watkins: found presence of “egostates” within many people which are more than simply attitudes or moods * These ego states are personality systems which have split off from the main personality; have a controlling effect on the person * Process of dissociation is a normal psychological process which allows person to avoid presence of memories and feelings which are too painful to tolerate * Dissociation is continuum of experiences: like watching a movie, MPD * Ego states: sub MPD level states of consciousness which have been created by the person in an attempt to better adapt to his world

Role of Fantasy * Walter Young: traumatized person who became MPD would incorporate fantasy imagery into personal identity * May reach the point where identity generated through fantasy becomes a controlling factor in persons life * When a person is totally involved in fantasy, he dissociates everything around him * Anger and emptiness become energy and motivating form behind fantasy; while in fantasy, person experiences excitement and relief; however still feeling of emptiness because it is an appetite for the real thing * Over time person can turn into a pseudo-existence with increasing rapidity when he feels stress, depression or emptiness leads to dual identity * One: associated with reality and people he associates with everyday (Carl Jung’s Persona) * Other: secret identity which is able to manifest the power and control he would like over others (Carl Jung’s Shadow concept) * As person shifts back and forth, may become equal part of him * Over time dark side becomes stronger than good side and person begins to experience being possessed or controlled by this
The Creation of the shadow * Self-sustained hypnotic trance * Begins to dominate life * Offender may attempt to curtail problem developing * When this doesn’t work, indulge in the fantasy rather than fight it * Process begins to get more and more out of person’s control * Ultimately when person has visualized killing over and over again, a time may come when actual event presents itself and offender may find himself automatically carrying out an act he has practiced in his mind * Person may partially or completely dissociate the crime * Following the event, offender’s mind returns to the realm of the real world and often experiences surprise, guilt and dismay that such an act could have happened * By acting out fantasy, dark side becomes more permanent part of person’s personality structure * There is revulsion, but also sense of excitement, satisfaction and peace * If feeling of peace is profound, especially likely to become serial killer * Shadow becomes stronger because person has transcended final boundary and most inhibitions are gone and feelings and beliefs are suppressed * Good side isn’t dead, just pushed away; thus a period of time before another homicide occurs * Offender may allow himself to engage in some of his earlier pre-homicide activities thinking this will satisfy need growing in him
The Obsession * He has become the being he visualized in his fantasies * The only way to handle guilt is compartmentalize it and not consciously experience it * Homicides not as satisfying as the first one, do not reach level of satisfaction of his fantasies * So killer’s search for ultimate high becomes obsessive * The Shadow has become The Controller * He may toy with the police; savours knowledge that he is so skillful he can kill people and no one can catch him * Uncontrollable urge expressed by Charles Hatcher * Compulsion a combination of the planning, hunt, capture, power, and control over victim

Habituation, Decline, and Fall * Habitation occurs and the act does not produce the anticipated satisfaction * Killer escalates activities in form of increased frequency of acts to obtain level of excitement * Often deterioration in self-image of the offender; becomes repulsed by his acts and begins to hate himself; feels mastered by Dark side * Offender often seeks psychological counseling out of a need to understand how he developed into the person he became * Finding that the killer has an inner part that compels him to kill again and again doesn’t justify the persons actions * Person created his own monster…...

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