Technical Notes
Review articleOpen access
Abstract:

Publisher SummaryThis chapter presents technical notes on various aspects related to criminal behavior. It explores variability in criminal behavior and illustrates the extent and magnitude of the variation. Variability is found within most samples of individuals, be they male or female, black or white, young or old, upper-class or lower-class. The age (being young), gender (being male), and several other variables are major correlates and predictors of criminal behavior. The chapter discusses some definitional issues when no act is intrinsically criminal and aggregated crime rates and the ecological fallacy. The regional or aggregated correlates of aggregated crime rates have something to say about the correlates of individual behavior. The ecological fallacy is the assumption that the aggregated correlates of aggregated crime rates imply knowledge of the correlates of individual behavior. The ecological fallacy is a particular threat when the aggregated correlate is a measure of the membership composition of the area. The effects of social structure on individual behavior are best established through studies of individuals in different social contexts.

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