When talking about criminology and criminology, it is quite common to think that both words refer to the same thing or that, in essence, there is little difference between one concept and the other.
However, the way they relate to crime, what they study and the method of investigation behind the two disciplines is very different. Below we will see what are the main differences between criminology and criminology, Summary and some examples.
The most important differences between criminology and criminology
It is quite common to think, outside their respective spheres, that criminology and criminology are essentially the same, or at most one differs from the other on the basis of nuances.
However, this idea is quite wrong, given that criminology and criminology are disciplines which, although related to the forensic field, its object of study, its research methodology, its function in relation to society and even its origins are very different.. Let’s take a look at these differences in more detail below.
1. Origins and scientific classification
Although criminology and criminology are two complementary sciences, collaborating very closely in the forensic process, there are many things that make a difference, starting with their origins.
Criminology is a natural science, with a strong empirical component. Thus, the scientific method and induction are widely used. It has its origins in the ancient practice of fingerprinting (the study of fingerprints) and began in the 17th century with the development of forensic medicine. Later, in addition to medicine, physics, chemistry and biology will support this discipline.
However, criminology is a social science, Basing their knowledge on the deductive method and raises postulates about the deviant behavior of individuals, understood in legal terms.
This description of human behavior is made on the basis of knowledge drawn from psychology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy. It has its origins in the time of great philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, passing through Thomas Aquinas in the 12th century, who wondered what were the causes of a person to commit a crime.
2. Purpose of the study
Criminology aims to study the criminal act by analyzing it with the application of natural and legal sciences., Gather all physical evidence, identify and draw conclusions with the support of medicine, toxicology, anthropology and other sciences.
That is to say that its object of study is all that remains of the person who committed the crime and that can be used to incriminate (ex: hair loss, blood stains on clothes, type of bullet )., Knife force …)
However, the object of criminology is to study the behavior patterns of the individual, Their social trends in crime and the consequences that can cause the same in society. That is, it is responsible for studying the reason, why a crime has been committed, researching and analyzing the evidence or documents that testify to the evidence of a particular case.
This is why they would not only include in criminology the reasons that lead a person to commit murder or theft, but they would also be in their field of study to understand what causes a person to use drugs, who principle only hurts it, or commits it. suicide.
3. On the legal level
Regarding the legal aspect, forensics seeks to determine who is responsible for the crime, So that he receives the corresponding verdict and that corrective, repressive and punishable measures are applied to him according to what he has done.
In other words, it is not a question of why the person behaved the way they did, but of providing evidence to incriminate them and hold them accountable for their actions. It serves to define the truth and to establish the sentence of the criminal in question.
However, criminology has more to do with the illegal aspects of the criminal processIn other words, it does not focus on the harm caused or the legal consequences that the person should suffer, but on the why of what they did and how they could have been prevented from committing a crime.
Thus, criminology acquires a preventive aspect, with the intention of reducing crime by detecting signs of deviant behavior that can develop into serious antisocial acts. He tries to get into the minds of criminals so that he can regulate behaviors that are not appropriate in the face of society.
4. Manner of Investigating
In criminology, the way of investigating is practical, meticulously examine the crime scene. The use of specialized techniques of forensic sciences, medicine, biology and chemistry allows to recreate how the facts occurred, escefinicándolo indications that have to the victim, the part or other aspects.
Criminology, at the level of the research process, is rather theoretical, because it has the quality of study the behavior, causes, consequences and responses of crime, both of those involved and of society and government. This science is based on the theories of psychology, in particular clinical, forensic and social, as well as on the knowledge of anthropology, with the intention of seeking possible causes and viable solutions.
5. Question they answer
As we have seen so far, criminology and criminology have various differences in aspects such as their object of study and the sciences on which they are based, so it is to be expected that they will give answers to very different questions.
On the one hand, our criminalism seeks to answer the questions of how, when, where and who committed a criminal act, whatever its nature. However, criminology answers the reasons why this crime was committed. In other words, as we have already mentioned, it is about responding to the motivation that motivated the person to do what they did.
6. Related careers
Given their differences in the sciences they support and their relationship to the criminal process, there are many different professions related to criminology and criminology.
Within forensic pathology, the professionals who work in police departments, forensic laboratories and hospitals that we can find are:
- Crime Scene Examiner
- medical examiner
- Laboratory analyst
- forensic psychologist
- Criminal expert
In the case of criminology, careers that develop in government agencies, courts and law enforcement are:
- Drug agent
- Parole officer
- Victim care specialist
- private detective
- In charge of litigation
- Intelligence officer
- forensic expert
- Family and / or criminal mediator
- private security
- Investigative journalism
- Serra, JC, Jiménez, EM and Buela-Casal, G. (Eds.) (2006). Forensic Psychology: Manual of Techniques and Applications. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva.
- Ibáñez, V. and Ávila, A. (1990). Forensic psychology and legal liability. In A. Garzón, Forensic Psychology. Valencia: Promolibro.
- Urra, J. (1993). Confluence between psychology and law. In J. Urra and B. Vázquez (Comps.) Handbook of Forensic Psychology. Madrid: 21st century.