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1. Palmer and Hollin (2004)To test the effectiveness of the Psychological Inventory of Criminal CognitiveThinking Styles (PICTS) Self-report with a sample of imprisoned…
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  • 1. Palmer and Hollin (2004)To test the effectiveness of the Psychological Inventory of Criminal CognitiveThinking Styles (PICTS) Self-report with a sample of imprisoned young offenders. Representative population 515 male young Cross-sectional (snapshot)offenders (18-22 years) study serving custodial sentences in 6 youngoffender institutions in England.
  • 2. Palmer and Hollin (2004)Research team of psychologists The PICTS measures thetrained in administration of the thinking styles associated PICTS collected data by with a criminal lifestyle. The scale has good levels of individual interview of young reliability and validity with offenders who had a variety of adult offenders. The scale convictions (from driving comprised 8 thinking styles offences to burglary and measured using a 4 point violence). Likert scale:
  • 3. Palmer and Hollin (2004)• Mollification: High scores = tendency to Results: externalise blame/make excuses No significant correlations between• Cutoff: High scores = low frustration tolerance number of previous convictions and• Entitlement: High scores = believing one is scores on PICTS were found. This entitled to things (can’t distinguish between contrasts previous research on wants and needs) adults where previous offending behaviour was related to the PICTS• Power Orientation: High scores = need for scores. control and authority over others Young offenders scored significantly• Sentimentality: High scores = unrealistic belief higher than adult offenders on the in self as a ‘good person’ despite criminal PICTS scales: actions cutoff, superoptimism, cognitive• Superoptimism: High scores = unrealistic belief indolence and discontinuity. that one can avoid negative consequences of criminal behaviour• Cognitive indolence: High scores = poor critical reasoning and tendency to seek easy answers (shortcuts)• Discontinuity: High scores = inconsistency in thinking and behaviour
  • 4. Palmer and Hollin (2004) Results offer mixed findings Young and adult offenders have with regards usefulness and different attitudes towards theirreliability of the PICTS measure criminal activity. The young of young offenders in England. offenders are likely to be It was less reliable than it had persistent offenders with fixed been with adults. attitudes rather than the older offenders who would have been at different stages of their offending career.
  • 5. Palmer and Hollin (2004) Evaluation: Debate Nature/nurtureIf offenders have different thought patterns than those who do not break the lawthen we need to understand why this is the case.We could assume this to be a result of nature – that these young people have beenborn with a criminal personality. However, the evidence from the studies byFarrington, Akers and Wikstrom provide support for the argument that experiencesand relationships with other people shape our beliefs and actions – providingevidence for the nurture side of the debate.
  • 6. Moral development and crimeKohlberg (1963) developed a theory of moral development that was not appliedinitially to criminals but which has been subsequently.His theory suggests 3 main levels of development, each with two stages of moralunderstanding.He believes that:• at first the young child does what is right to avoid punishment• then progresses to want to be good because right is what society expects• finally, the child does what is morally right and in a few cases, does what is rightbecause of principles of justice, equality and sacredness of human life.His evidence came from a study of 58 boys from Chicago, aged between 7 and 16years, to whom he gave ten moral dilemmas in 2-hour interviews. He later triedhis ideas on samples from other countries, including Britain, Mexico, Taiwan andTurkey.Kohlberg (1963) is criticised for not having girls in the samples (androcentric) andfor being ethnocentric. Today, moral dilemmas are used in the treatment ofprisoners to try to develop their moral reasoning.
  • 7. Moral development and crime Recent casesIn 1993 two-year-old James Bulger was taken from a shopping centre by two ten-year-old boys who later beat him to death. The two boys were tried at ages 11 formurder and were found guilty. During the trial the two boys were asked directly ifthey knew that it was wrong to take James and to hurt and kill him. This was toestablish mensrea, or criminal intent. They were released after 8 years and givennew identities. The case was in the news recently after one of the boys (now anadult) was re-imprisoned after being convicted of another serious offence.Recently two brothers (aged 10 and 12) carried out a brutal attack on a pair ofyoung boys during which they tortured, robbed and sexually assaulted theirvictims. The brothers were in foster care when they carried out the attack in 2009.In court the brothers admitted grievous bodily harm with intent, robbery andforcing a child to take part in sexual acts. GBH was an alternative to attemptedmurder, which the brothers denied. The prosecutors accepted the guilty plea to thelesser charge of GBH with intent and were sentenced to life imprisonment. Do you think these cases should have been tried in the adult judicial system?
  • 8. Chen and Howitt (2007) To examine moral reasoning development Snapshot study among young offenders Representative sample of Self-report young male offenders –330 aged 12-18 in juvenilecorrectional institutions in Taiwan. Representativesample of normal controls– 114 non-offenders from Cognitive/dev one junior and 2 senior elopmental high school classes.
  • 9. Chen and Howitt (2007) All offender Ps completed a The SRM-SF is based on Kohlberg’s questionnaire about their theory, but it doesn’t use dilemma-basedcriminal history and as a result moral situations. The SRM-RF consists of: of the information they 1. Contract and truth – The importance of provided, they were classified keeping promises and telling the truth according to type of offence: 2. Affiliation – Whether attachments to violent; theft; drug related. people make a difference in moral Both groups of Ps responded decision making to a short form of the 3. Life – The importance of saving a lifeSociomoral Reflection Measure 4. Property and Law – Moral judgements (SRM-SF). about ownership 5. Legal justice – Distinguishing between legal and moral justice
  • 10. Chen and Howitt (2007)Age correlated with moral The findings confirmed previousreasoning development in the findings that moral cognitivecontrol group. There was no development is less advanced incorrelation between age and offenders than non-offenders and thatmoral reasoning score in the less mature moral development is a riskoffender groups. factor for juvenile offending.Drug group had higher moral Drug offenders had the highest moralreasoning than the other reasoning of the three offender groupsoffender groups. but it wasn’t significant when age was controlled. Offender groups and controls Those with more developed moral showed lowest development of reasoning were less likely to be moral reasoning for 4 and 5. Life involved in criminal activity. was least developed for controls while second least developed for violent offenders and most developed for theft group and second most developed for drug group.
  • 11. Chen and Howitt (2007) Evaluation: Debate UsefulnessThis study is useful because it tests a psychological measure developed in the US ina different cultural context. This enables researchers to generalise findings fromstudies using the SRM-SF.Moral reasoning cognitive developmental delay models were of limited usefulnessin differentiating offender types but were good at differentiating offenders fromnon-offenders.This research is not ethnocentric because it allows cross-cultural comparisons to bemade.
  • 12. Social cognitionSocial cognition is the way our thoughts are influenced by the presence of others.The dimension of internal versus external attribution can be applied to criminalbehaviour. Internal attribution refers to people attributing the cause of theirbehaviour to factors located within them. External attribution happens whenblame is shifted to social and environmental factors.Gudjonsson (2002) sees a second dimension as important – the freedom toact, which he describes as ‘mental element’ attribution. Do you think these cases should have been tried in the adult judicial system?
  • 13. Gudjonsson and Sigurdsson (2007) Cognitive/indi To examine the vidual relationship between differences motivation for offending and Self-report personality, anger problems and attitudes towards offending 128 males aged 15-21 from Reykjavic, Iceland, who hade Ps were attending sessions with been given a conditional probation officer after pleading discharge after a guilty plea. guilty to an offence. Each P was Most of the offences were asked if he wanted to take part in property offences, followed by the study. Psychological scales car crimes, assault and criminal were administered – Offending damage. Motivation Questionnaire (OMQ), Gudjonsson Compliance Scale, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) and Eysenck Snapshot study Impulsivity Scale (EIS), Novaco Anger Scale and Blame Attribution Inventory.
  • 14. Gudjonsson and Sigurdsson (2007)Measure:The Offending Motivation Questionnaire (OMQ) (Gudjonsson and Sigurdsson, 2004):A 22 item questionnaire that measures the motivation behind offending whichcomprises 4 main factors:1. Compliance – Items relating to the offence being committed in order to please a peer or because they felt pressured into it (e.g. Gave into pressure from peers)2. Excitement – Items indicating that the main motive for the offence was fun or excitement (e.g. Did it for excitement)3. Provocation – Items involving taking revenge, losing control, and self-defence (e.g. To take revenge on somebody)4. Financial – Items reflecting a financial or monetary need as the explanation for the offence (e.g. in hope of financial gain)The Gudjonsson Compliance Scale (Gudjonsson 1997): A scale comprising eagerness to please and conflict avoidance. This is a 20 item scale rated with true or false measuring the tendency to go along with requests made by others in order to avoid conflict. Higher score = more compliant.
  • 15. Gudjonsson and Sigurdsson (2007)Measure:The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Eysenck and Eysenck 1975): A much testedpersonality questionnaire that measures three main ‘super-factor’ personalitydimensions (psychoticism, extraversion, neuroticism).The Eysenck Impulsivity, Venturesomeness and Empathy Scale (Eysenck andEysenck 1991): A 54 item questionnaire included because personality traits such asimpulsivity may be a better predictor of delinquency than the 3 super-factors.The Novaco Anger Scale (Novaco, 1994): A 2-part scale measuring anger reactions.Part A contains items in 3 domains: cognitive, arousal and behavioural. Part B consistof items providing an index of anger intensity in potentially anger provokingsituations.The Blame Attribution Inventory: A 42-item inventory, with a true-falseformat, measuring how offenders attribute blame for a specific criminal act. Itcomprises 3 subscales: External Attribution (blaming provocation andsociety), Mental Element Attribution (blaming mental factors such as poor self-control) and Guilty Feeling.
  • 16. Gudjonsson and Sigurdsson (2007)Results:103 out of 120 respondents (86%) committed offence in company of others.Gudjonsson and Sigurdsson concluded that motivation for offending must considerpeer influence and pressure.Highest means scores on OMQ were for excitement and financial motives. 38% saidthey did not think about the consequences and 36% were very confident that theywould get away with the offence.The researchers present the argument that there are individual differences inoffending motivation factors and that these relate to personality variables.Discussion:Compliant disposition is related to claims of being pressured into crime, or trying toimpress peers by committing the crime.Perceived peer pressure can encourage youths to offend.Excitement was the single most important motive for youth offending.Anger was also an important factor in offending motivation.
  • 17. Class activity Research indicates that young peoplesometimes seem to become involved in petty crime because they are bored or crave excitement. Working in pairs can you plan a scheme that could be introduced in your area that mighthelp people of your age channel this desire for excitement in a safer direction?
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