Criminology refers to the scientific study of the
causes, nature, extent, and overall control of criminal behavior. This field
was created to view these characteristics of crime in both the individual and
the broader societal sense.
is a subcategory of science within the behavioral sciences family. Areas of research in the
field include: causes and consequences of crime, social and governmental
regulations and the reaction to crime, and incidence.
As a social
science, the field of criminology is concerned with not only the causes and
preventions of crime, but also the social impacts and subsequent reactions to
crime. Criminologists typically study
what exactly leads someone to commit an illegal action or a crime.
involved within the field of criminology typically work with law enforcement
agencies, either on a local or national level, to develop profiles and trends.
These formulas are then used by law enforcement agencies to help predict and
subsequently prevent crime from occurring.
The field of
criminology also develops theories to suggest why crimes are committed. The
most popular theories inspect the classical, positivist, and individual
classical theory of criminology believes that people commit illegal actions
when they perceive that the benefits of their crimes outweigh the possible
punishments or costs. Through this theory, the logical solution to further
prevent crimes from occurring would be to provide harsher punishments for
positivist theory of criminology states that crime is created through both
internal and external factors that are present outside of an individual’s
individual trait theory suggests that the biggest factors in distinguishing criminals
from functional members of society are biological and psychological traits.