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Heaven Study (1996)

into delinquency, extroversion,

psychoticism and self-esteem

• Research has shown a range of attitudinal and individual differences to be implicated in
antisocial and delinquent behaviour (e.g. Farrington, 1992; Heaven, 1993. 1994).
• Many studies on the relationship between personality and delinquency have used the
Eysenckian model which proposes that the three personality dimensions of extroversion
(E), psychoticism (P) and neuroticism (N) are implicated in criminal behaviour.
• Although there is considerable evidence to support the role of these three personality
dimensions in relation to criminal behaviour and delinquency, not all research ndings are
supportive (e.g. Farrington, 1992; Furnham and Thompson, 1991).

What is delinquency? Watch the FIRST 2:15mins of this clip:

CONTEXT OF STUDY: Let’s take a trip to where the study occurred

This study was designed with one specific aim in mind:

To test the model that psychoticism, extroversion and self-esteem
at Time 1 are significant predictors of self-reported delinquency
two years later.

N.B. It was decided to include self-esteem rather that neuroticism because:

(a) Furnham and Thompson (1991) and Farrington (1992) had questioned the
value of N in predicting self-reported delinquency.
(b) Low self-esteem is often regarded as a facet of neuroticism and several
researchers have argued that delinquent behaviour serves as compensation for
youths with low and inadequate self- esteem (e.g. Rice, 1992).



Measures of psychoticism, extroversion and self-

esteem are significant predictors over time of self-
reported delinquency.
METHOD – Research Design

Longitudinal study
Assessed ability of the personality factors
(extroversion, neuroticism, and *self- esteem* to
predict self-reported delinquency over a two-year
period. Longitudinal study: same group of participants,
data gathered over a period of time

Questionnaire booklet was used at the beginning Cross-

of the study and 2 years later to gather data. This study: two
was a self-report method. or more
groups of
Data was analysed through CORRELATIONS. gathered at
same time &
METHOD – Research Design
Research & write the explanation for the terms below

Correlation Positive correlation No

study Negative Correlation correlation
Draw an example scatter graph to show each of the correlations above to show the correlation between
amount of sugar eaten (IV) and numbers of hours of sleep each night (DV). Remember to clearly title
each graph and label the x-axis (IV) and y-axis (DV).
Participants attended two Catholic high schools in New South Wales, Australia.

School in a large provincial centre,

classified as independent rather
than private- modest fees so
attracted relatively wise socio-
economic background.

TIME 1 (1992): 282 adolescents (146 females, 136 males). Students ranged from
13 to 15 years, modal age = 14 years.

TIME 2 (1994): 135 adolescents (123 females, 112 males). Modal age = 16 years.
PROCEDURE – Time 1 (1992) & Time 2 (1994)

Student completed a questionnaire booklet:

TIME 1 & again at

(a) Measures for psychoticism and extroversion

(b) Measure for self-esteem using 10-item

(c) Self-reported delinquency (4 response
options – Never to Often)
What about Ethical Considerations?
• Questionnaire were anonymous
• Right to withdraw (some did before Time 2)
• Assured confidentiality (not given to school authorities)

1. Draw a scatter graph for psychoticism (V) and delinquency (DV) for Time 1 and Time 2.
2. Draw a scatter graph for extroversion (V) and delinquency (DV) for Time 2
3. What was the best measure of delinquency?
4. How strong was the correlation between the personality traits and measures of delinquency?


For each of the conclusions above, explain how the findings can be used as evidence to prove or
explain the conclusion.
CRITICISMS – Evaluation Carousel

In your group, you will research and explain the evaluation issue you have been allocated. Use the table
below to structure your explanation.

Area of Criticism What is a strength about this area in What is a weakness about this area in the
the study? (include an example) study? (include an example)

Use of self reports

Use of correlation




Complete the final Goal or set of questions.

If you need further support, use your textbook or visit
New Learning: How is delinquency Next step: How can this research be used to reduce
influenced by the Criminal Personality traits? criminal behaviour in our society?

L 1. I can explain the conclusions drawn within the study & add
Progress Step 3
e Use your research to complete the
them to my study chart.
2. I can explain the criticisms of the study and include the
study chart and explain the criticisms of
a the study.
graph of the findings.
3. I can support my peers so that they also understand this
r study by asking key questions and guiding their learning.
n Success
Progress Step 2 I can use the resources around me (website, textbook, my peers) to
i Use your research to complete the complete a study chart that includes:
study chart on the Heaven study.
n Remember that a study chart MUST
1. The background, aim and hypothesis.
2. The method (research design, sample, procedure).
g include pictures to support 3. The results and findings of the study, including an accurate
understanding. graph showing the findings.

p Progress Step 1
1. I can use the information from the Master class and on the website
a Explain the background of the to explain the background and aim of the study:
Heaven study and the aim of the
t researchers in studying delinquency. 2. I can actively read the outline of the study in the textbook and using
h the summary on the website.
3. I can explain the study to my teacher or my partner.

Prior Learning: understanding how criminal behaviour can be caused by Criminal

Personality traits.