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Positivism is a theoretical and methodological approach in contemporary criminology. Positivists believe that human behavior is shaped by biological, psychological or social factors and forces. These factors and forces are called individual pathology which deter the decision-making and control ability of an individual and results in behavioral problems. To extend to legal definition, crime is defined as individual pathology to obey law and to conform to moral consensus of the society. Positivism approach in criminology examines the trait distinctions between offenders, rather than on the criminal acts as the focus of analysis. Also, positivism determines how these differences predispose a person towards criminalit. Positivists believed that these traits observed can be diagnosed and treated by dealing with and removing the factors and forces that cause the offending behavior to occur.In a positivist view of the world, science was seen as the way to get at truth, to understand the world well enough so that we might predict and control it. The world and the universe were deterministic — they operated by laws of cause and effect that we could discern if we applied the unique approach of the scientific method. Science was largely a mechanistic or mechanical affair. We use deductive reasoning to postulate theories that we can test. Based on the results of our studies, we may learn that our theory doesn’t fit the facts well and so we need to revise our theory to better predict reality. The positivist believed in empiricism — the idea that observation and measurement was the core of the scientific endeavor. The key approach of the scientific method is the experiment, the attempt to discern natural laws through direct manipulation and observation.


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