Morality and Crime Psychology of Crime
Morality and Crime • Kohlberg’s Theory • Freud’s theory • Pavlov’s theory
Social/Moral Development • Piaget argues that moral development is closely related with cognitive development • for e.g., children have difficulties forming moral judgments until they get out of egocentric thinking and are able to assume another’s perspective • rule-based games are a manifestation of concrete operations in children’s social interactions • these games provide structures circumstances in which children balance the rules of society against their own desires • methods for studying children’s moral ideas • behavioral observations of games • clinical interviews about rules and moral dilemmas
Rules in marble games • Piaget observed children’s rule-following behavior during the game of marbles (bilye) • and asked the children what the rules meant to them • alterability: Can the rules be changed? • historicity: Have they always been the same as today? • Origins: How did the rules begin?
Boys playing marbles • Piaget observed how children actually played the game, and found that preschoolers typically played in an egocentric manner • if 2 boys were playing, each would play in his own way • they had little sense of winning, one might yell ¨I won and you won too!¨ • after age 7, children tried to follow common rules that determine who wins • at the beginning, Piaget found that children believed that rules were fixed and unchangeable • they said the rules came from some prestigious authority, from the government or God • after age 10, children were more relativistic • they said the rules probably had changed over the years • began to treat rules as social conventions that could be changed if the other players agreed
Stages of moral development: Piaget • P. argues that moral development follows the children’s understanding about the rules of games • P. found two qualitatively different forms of moral judgments, which follow an amoral stage • presocial/amoral stage: from age 2 to 4, child is extremely egocentric and not engaged in real social interaction • heteronomous morality • autonomous morality • Heteronomous morality (Age 4-7): ¨subject to another’s law¨ • child regards adult rules as sacred and unchangeable • moral wrongness is defined in terms of adult sanctions • acts that are wrong are ones acts that adults punish • moral responsibility is understood as obedience to authority
Stages of moral development: Piaget • Heteronomous morality (continued) • the child’s cognitive limitations lead him to think of wrongdoing in highly literal, objective terms without regard to intentions • evaluate actions in terms of its consequences • for e.g., a well-intended act with a big physical damage is considered to be more naughty than a negatively intended act resulting in less physical damage • the idea of immanent justice: a wrongdoing will inevitably be followed by a punishment
Moral judgments • Piaget used stories to assess the nature of moral judgments of children. Examples (see others in Textbook) • Ali was outside when his mother called him in for dinner. As he opened the dining room door he accidentally knocked over a tray of cups, breaking all eight of them. Compare him with Osman who came home from school hungry. Though his mother told him not to eat before dinner, he climbed up the cupboard anyway to steal a cookie; while up there, he broke one cup. Who is naughtier, Ali or Osman?
Moral judgments • After school Michael ran into a market, stole three large, read apples and ran out he door. As he fled a policeman saw and chased him. In attempting to escape, Michael crossed a bridge. As he reached the top, the bridge cracked, Michael fell into the water, and he was captured. Would the bridge have broken if Michael had not stolen the apples? • What would a younger/older child say?
Stages of moral development: Piaget • Autonomous morality (Age 8 on): ¨subject to one’s own law¨ • moral flexibility: rules can be changed • rules are now regarded as products of group agreement • wrongdoing interpreted in terms of subjective intentions, not objective consequences • the idea of immanent justice abandoned
Factors causing moral development (Piaget) • general cognitive development from egocentrism to perspective-taking • changed social relations • peer relations are based on reciprocal negotiations based on consensus, not on unilateral respect for authority figures or constraint • early on, child-parent relations are predominant. But peer interactions increase during middle childhood…affecting moral development
Kohlberg: moral development • Modified and elaborated on Piaget’s ideas about moral thinking • used interviews with individuals based on moral dilemmas (e.g., the Heinz dilemma) • In Europe, a woman was near death from cancer. One drug might save her, a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The druggist was charging $2,000, ten times what the drug cost him to make. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could get together only about half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said no. The husband got desperate and broke into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife. Should the husband had done that? Why?
Kohlberg: moral development • Found 3 kinds of morality that form a developmental order • The preconventional morality: the child shows no internalization of moral values, just based on punishment (stage 1) or reward/benefit (stage 2) • Stage 1 (Heteronomous morality) (Age 4-7): • obedience for its own sake • involves deference to powerful people, usually the parents, in order to avoid punishment • the morality of an act is defined in terms of its physical consequences • Heinz should not steal the medicine because he will be put in jail
Kohlberg: moral development (cont’d) • The preconventional morality • Stage 2 (Instrumental morality) (Age 7-10): • the child conforming to gain rewards • although there is evidence of reciprocity and sharing, it is a manipulative, self-serving reciprocity rather than one based on a true sense of justice, generosity, or sympathy • justice is seen as an exchange system; you give as much as you receive • I’ll lend you my bike if I can play with your wagon. • Heinz should steal the drug because someday he might have cancer and would want someone to steal it from him
The conventional morality: the child’s internalization of moral values is intermediate. He/she abides by certain standards of other people such as parents (stage 3) or the rules of society (stage 4) • Stage 3 (Good-child morality) (Age: 10-12) • good behavior is that which maintains approval and good relations with others • the child is concerned about conforming to hiş friends’ and families’ standards to maintain good-will and good relations • a social-relational moral perspective develops, based on feelings and agreements between people • Heinz should steal the drug for his wife. He loves his wife and his wife loves him. You can do anything for love!
Stage 4 • Stage 4) "He should steal it. Heinz has a duty to protect his wife's life; it's a vow he took in marriage. But it's wrong to steal, so he would have to take the drug with the idea of paying the druggist for it and accepting the penalty (of) breaking the law later." (Rest, 1979)
Stages 5 and 6 • (Stage 5) "Although there is a law against stealing, the law wasn't meant to violate a person's right to life. . . . Heinz is justified in stealing in this instance. If Heinz is prosecuted for stealing, the law needs to be reinterpreted to take into account (certain) situations. . . ." (Rest, 1979)(Stage 6) "If Heinz does not do everything he can to save his wife, then he is putting some value higher than the value of life. It doesn't make sense to put respect for property above respect for life itself." (Kohlberg, 1969)
Convention vs morality • In a study by Nucci (1981), children were asked about dilemmas based on conventions and dilemmas based on morality. An example of a convention dilemma is: There is a school in a faraway place where boys can wear dresses. Is it okay for a boy to wear a dress in that school?
Convention vs morality • An example of the matching moral dilemma is: There is a school in a faraway place where there's no rule against hitting other kids. Is it okay to hit other kids if you go to that school? When these two types of dilemma are juxtaposed, even very young children (ages four to six) show that they understand that moral transgressions are worse than violations of social convention (e.g., it's okay for boys to wear dresses, but it's still not okay for kids to hit each other).
Moral Development and fairness: Damon • Studied 4- to 12-year-olds’ ideas about positive justice, how resources should be divided or rewards distributed. An example story: • A classroom of children spent a day drawing pictures. Some children made a lot drawings; some made fewer. Some children drew well; others did not draw as well. Some children were well-behaved and worked hard; others fooled around. Some children were poor, some were boys, some were girls, and so one. The class then sold the drawings at a school bazaar. How should the proceeds from the sale of the drawings be fairly distributed?
Moral Development and fairness: Damon • In studies in the USA. Israel, Puerto Rico, and parts of Europe, he found that the ideas of fairness develop through a sequence of levels • under age 4: children simply state their desires, giving no reasons for their choice • 4- to 5-year olds state their desires but justify their choices on the basis of external characteristics (¨we should get more because we are girls/ the biggest¨)
Moral Development and fairness: Damon • 5- to 7-year-olds tend to believe that strict equality is the only fair treatment when dividing resources • no mitigating circumstances • from age 8 on, notions of deservingness and merit enter into children’s reasoning • they start to take into account all the factors involved to ensure a fair outcome in a particular situation
Reasoning and actual behavior • How does children’s reasoning about fairness correspond to their actual behavior? • Damon did a study in which 6-year-old and 10-year-old groups were asked to divide candy bars given to their group as ¨payment¨ for making bracelets • 6-year-olds insisted that fairness means equal outcomes • older children were better able to adjust the outcome to fit the profile of abilities and contributions in the group • in about 50 % of the cases, children’s behavior matched their reasoning level in hypothetical situations • in 10 % of the cases, their behavior was at a higher level • in 40 % of the cases, it was lower • real candies make a difference!
Fairness • Thorkildsen studied children’s ability to consider context in reasoning about fairness • she told to children from 6- to 11-year olds that there is a classroom where everyone is trying hard to learn how to read, but some children finish the assignments more quickly than others • then asked them to rate the fairness of fasters readers helping slower readers in each of these 3 situations • is it fair for the teacher to ask the fast readers to help the slow readers during a reading lesson? • is it fair for the good readers to help the slow readers by whispering answers during a spelling bee? • is it fair for the good readers to help the slow readers during a test?
Fairness • The nature of the activity made a difference in the judgments of all the children • All children thought it was fair to have a reading lesson in which children work independently or help each other • but it would be unfair to introduce competition • if the activity was a spelling bee or a test, they thought it would be unfair to help • 6-year-olds were as good as 11-year-olds in taking social context into account
Evidence for Kohlberg • Researchers have concluded that delinquent adolescents are more likely to display Stage 1 or Stage 2 moral reasoning whereas nondelinquent youth are more often in Stage 3 (Arbuthnot et al., 1987).
Evidence against Kohlberg • Poor reliability • Correlational data • Inconsistent for different crimes • Moral dilemma method • Self-reports
Evidence against Kohlberg • 1. The failure to control for variations in personality; • 2. The failure to control for the type of offence. (Thornton and Reid (1982) reported that convicted criminals who had offended for no financial gain (assault, murder, sex offences) showed more mature moral judgement than those who offended for money (robbery, burglary, theft, fraud)).
Evidence against Kohlberg • 3. As both Ross and Fabiano (1985) and Arbuthnot and Gordon (1986) point out, research has focused on the offender’s beliefs and attitudes (content), this can be contrasted with the offender’s actions (process). Ross and Fabiano suggest: ‘One can argue eloquently and convincingly about social/moral issues yet have a personal set of values which are entirely self-serving, hedonistic or anti-social’ (1985: 169) (Consider politicians such as Jeffery Archer who during the course of their office espouse virtue but do not practice it, by committing perjury for example.)
Evidence against Kohlberg • 4. Several well-known experiments have shown that people will behave in ways which they believe or know to be wrong, being influenced by the present situation rather than their individual disposition to behave morally (Asch 1952; Milgram 1963).
Evidence against Kohlberg • 5. Tests of moral development which assess answers to hypothetical moral and social issues have also been criticized as having little relevance to the type of thinking an offender engages in when deciding whether to commit a crime (Jurkovic 1980). Indeed, studies of thinking prior to offending show that the criminal is not concerned with moral issues, but rather with the likelihood of being successful (J. Carroll and Weaver 1986).
Freud’s Theory Morality and Crime
Structural (Tripartite) Theory • Freud’s second model of the mind to explain psychopathology • Developed in the early 1900’s
The ID • Home of instinctual Drives • “I want it and I want it NOW” • Completely unconscious • Present at birth • Operates on the Pleasure Principle and employs Primary Process Thinking
To Review: • Pleasure Principle: constant drive to reduce tension thru expression of instinctual urges • Primary Process Thinking: Not cause-effect; illogical; fantasy; only concern is immediate gratification (drive satisfaction)
The Superego • Internalized morals/values- sense of right and wrong • Suppresses instinctual drives of ID (thru guilt and shame) and serves as the moral conscience
The Superego • Largely unconscious, but has conscious component • Develops with socialization, and thru identification with same-sex parent (via introjection) at the resolution of the Oedipal Conflict • Introjection: absorbing rules for behavior from role models
The Superego- 2 Parts: • Conscience: Dictates what is proscribed (should not be done); results in guilt • Ego-Ideal: Dictates what is prescribed (should be done); results in shame
The Ego • Created by the ID to help it interface with external reality • Mediates between the ID, Superego, and reality • Partly conscious • Uses Secondary Process Thinking: • Logical, rational
“Ego” Defense Mechanisms • The Ego employs “ego defense mechanisms” • They serve to protect an individual from unpleasant thoughts or emotions • Keep unconscious conflicts unconscious • Defense Mechanisms are primarily unconscious
“Ego” Defense Mechanisms • Result from interactions between the ID, Ego, and Superego • Thus, they’re compromises: • Attempts to express an impulse (to satisfy the ID) in a socially acceptable or disguised way (so that the Superego can deal with it)
“Ego” Defense Mechanisms • Less mature defenses protect the person from anxiety and negative feelings, but at price • Some defense mechanisms explain aspects of psychopathology: • Ex. Identification with aggressor: can explain tendency of some abused kids to grow into abusers
Primary Repression • Conflict arises when the ID’s drives threaten to overwhelm the controls of the Ego and Superego • Ego pushes ID impulses deeper into the unconscious via repression • Material pushed into unconscious does not sit quietly- causes symptoms
Classification of Defenses • Mature • Immature • Narcissistic • Neurotic
Mature Defenses Altruism Anticipation Humor Sublimation Suppression
Altruism • Unselfishly assisting others to avoid negative personal feelings
Anticipation • Thinking ahead and planning appropriately
Sublimation • Rerouting an unacceptable drive in a socially acceptable way; redirecting the energy from a forbidden drive into a constructive act • A healthy, conscious defense • Ex. Martial Arts
Suppression • Deliberately (consciously) pushing anxiety-provoking or personally unacceptable material out of conscious awareness
Acting Out Somatization Regression Denial Projection Splitting Displacement Dissociation Reaction Formation Repression Magical Thinking Isolation of Affect Intellectualization Rationalization Immature Defenses