Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

5.1 Explain how the early, pre-Darwinian theories, such as craniometry and phrenology, are different from (and similar to) post-Darwinian theories, such as Lombroso’s theory of offending.
5.2 Identify the key assumptions, propositions, and weaknesses of Lombroso’s theory of atavism and the born criminal.
5.3 Discuss the shift to more psychological areas, namely IQ testing, and how it affected the field in terms of policy and thinking about individuals’ risk of criminality.
5.4 Evaluate the key propositions, concepts, and weaknesses of Sheldon’s body type theory and how he measured the various body types of this perspective.
5.5 Identify and explain some of the policy implications that used Lombroso’s theory and IQ testing as a theoretical framework.