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Cognition (turning to crime)

A2 Forensic Psychology

Rajiv Ariaraj

on 28 January 2016

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Transcript of Cognition (turning to crime)

Criminal Thinking Patterns
Turning to crime:


Moral Development and Crime
Social Cognition
What is cognition?
Mental processes that determine our actions, feelings and beliefs.
Do criminals
differently to non-criminals?
How do we normally find out what someone is thinking?
Write down your answers to the following scenarios.
a) The child knocked over the drink on purpose.
b) The child knocked over the drink by accident.
a) The child in blue is trying to make the other child feel better.
b) The child in blue is trying pick on the other child.
are the way you
explain behaviour.
Internal attributions (explaining the behaviour because of the person)
External attributions (explaining behaviour due to outside forces).
One type of attribution is called
Self Serving Bias
This is attributing your successes to yourself (internally) rather than other factors (externally).

I passed A2 Psychology...
a) Because I revised and worked hard.
b) Because My teacher was amazing.
The attribution that we will focus on is...
Hostile Attribution Bias
(Dodge 1986)
When you attribute negative behaviours as hostile rather than neutral.
For example, thinking someone pushed into you on purpose instead of it being an accident.
Look at your answers to the questions I gave you. Do you have hostile attribution bias?

Investigated whether criminals were likely to have hostile attribution bias.
Investigated how criminals use neutralisation to deny their wrongdoing.
Read and summarise
Page 12 and 13
Page 14
Pamler and Hollin
The offenders group was more likely to make hostile attributions than the non-offenders group.
Bryers et al
The offenders committing hate crimes against the Amish used a proportion of neutralisations in their attribution of blame.
Who are The Amish?
Another cognitive thinking pattern that can be used is
This is a thought technique that allows people to rationalise their wrong doing. See examples on page 14 of your pack.
Can you see how neutralisation has been used in the following clip?
What are morals?
Principles of right and wrong
Could it be a lack of morals that lead people to turn to crime?
Are you a moral person?
How would you decide who is a more or less moral person?
Ranking morality is difficult
Suggested that morals were based on rules and logical decisions that develop in stages as we get older.
Similar to Piaget, Kohlberg identified
in which moral development occurs.
How would you test who is more moral than who?
Initially only testing boys in America, Kohlberg went on to test moral development (using dilemma's he wrote) in different countries (see pack and answer the questions).
Do different countries have different moral rules to each other? Why?
Are there any morals that apply to ALL humans regardless of culture?
In each stage there are two levels to progress through.
See page 16 and 17 of your pack.
When testing moral levels, Kohlberg was interested in both what answer children gave but more importantly, WHY they gave their answer.
What would be your answer to the following scenario
and why?
Mike is supposed to be the best man at a friend’s wedding in Maine this afternoon. He is carrying the wedding rings with him in New Hampshire, where he has been staying on business. One bus a day goes directly to the coast. Mike is on his way to the bus station with 15 minutes to spare when he realizes that his wallet has been stolen, and with it his bus tickets, his credit cards, and all his forms of ID.

At the bus station Mike tries to persuade the officials, and then a couple of fellow travellers, to lend him the money to buy a new ticket, but no one will do it. He’s a stranger, and it’s a significant sum. With five minutes to go before the bus’s departure, he is sitting on a bench trying desperately to think of a plan. Just then, a well-dressed man gets up for a walk, leaving his jacket, with a bus ticket to Maine in the pocket, lying unattended on the bench. In a flash, Mike realizes that the only way he will make it to the wedding on time is if he takes that ticket. The man is clearly well off and could easily buy himself another one.

Should Mike take the ticket?

In America:
The majority of adults and children say Mike SHOULD NOT take the ticket.
In India:
98% said he SHOULD steal the ticket.
Americans are more driven by justice and fairness.

Indians are focus on personal relationships and obligations and view missing the wedding as more of a crime than taking the ticket.
Important Note
Kohlberg's theories referred to moral development and
to crime.
For example just because you answer a questionnaire in a certain why doesn't mean you will act like in that way (remember Milgram?)
Kohlberg himself never researched a correlation between underdeveloped morals and a predisposition towards crime.
What studies have had links to morals so far?
Palmer and Hollin (2000)
Re-read the studies and find the link between the Kohlberg and these studies.
Read in your packs the controversy that surrounded Kolhberg's research.
Answer the evaluation questions
Complete the worksheet.
Is it okay to sell drugs to raise money for a good cause?
Kohlberg said that some principles (justice, equality and respect for life) are universal.
One cultural difference he found was that Americans were more interested in prolonging life, while the Japanese were concerned with life being purer and cleaner.
Social cognition refers to the understanding of a social interaction.
Can understanding what others think of you turn people to crime?
You find out that someone you fancy finds you attractive.
How does this make you feel?
How does this make you behave?
Your teacher tells you that you doing really well in a subject.
How does this make you feel?
How does this make you behave?
After you start a new job, it's pretty obvious that everyone there has taken a dislike to you.
How does this make you feel?
How does this make you behave?
Answer the following:
A famous study:
The pygmalion experiment
investigated the idea of:
Self Fufilling Prophecy
In what ways do you feel the expectation of other peoples' opinion of you?
The way people act towards you.
Reading body langage.
Through text messages/ social networking
One thing you may not have thought of is your birthday.
Different cultures have different ideas on how your birthday affects your personality.
The Chinese believe that the year you are born in affects your personality.
Many people in western cultures attach a significance to the month that you are born in.
Day of the week also has significance.
“Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day,Is bonny, and blithe, and good, and gay.”
What does your birthday say about you?

Jahoda (1954)
Investigated if there link between delinquent behaviour and the name they had been given.
Jahoda investigated "The Ashanti" an African tribe that had settled in various parts of Africa. The people he studied were the Ashanti in Ghana.
The Ashanti people believe the day of the week a boy is born on is significant.
Ashanti boys receive the name from the day on which they are born. This is called a "soul name".
Whats your soul name?
Famous Ghanians
Emmanuel Yaw Frimpong
Arsenal Footballer
Born on a Thursday?
Kofi Annan
UN Secretary General (1997 - 2006)
Born on a Friday
Kwame Nkrumah
First leader of Ghana following it's independence from Britain in 1957
Born on a Saturday
Tynchy Strider
Real name: Kwasi Danquah III
Born on a Sunday
Your Tasks
Summarise the Jahoda study in your packs.
Answer the evaluation questions.
Complete the comparison page at the end of your revision pack.
(Rosenthal and Jacobson)
Work out what day of the week you were born on.
Soul names are meant to decide what someone's personality is like:
E.g. Monday's boys (Kwadwo) are mean to be laid back, while Wednesday's boys (Kwaku) are meant to be violent and aggressive.
Have you ever met someone that you've immediately disliked?
Has anyone you've just met disliked you for no apparent reason?
Examples of attributions
Which attribution would best describe Milgram's results?
Read and summarise
Write down a immoral action you did when you were younger that you feel really bad about now.
Wikstrom (2012)
Remember the
you don't need to remember all of the

This section will focus on how mental processes (like ways of thinking) can turn someone to crime.
"Heinz Dilemma" YouTube
Full transcript