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OCR Psychology Turning to crime: Morality key study.

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Presentation on theme: "OCR Psychology Turning to crime: Morality key study."— Presentation transcript:

1 OCR Psychology Turning to crime: Morality key study

2 Palmer and Hollin (2000) Aim: To find out whether there are differences in thinking patterns between young male offenders and male non-offenders of similar age.

3 Palmer and Hollin (2000) Sample: Experimental: 97 convicted male offenders aged between 13 and 21 years (mean age yrs) (Type of offences - ‘delinquent ‘ behavior, such as burglary, car theft, joyriding and assault.) Control: 77 non offenders aged between 12 and 24 years (mean age yrs) (Not matched for SES : offenders typically unemployed /unskilled- manual ; non-offenders skilled-manual/ intermediate non- manual)

4 Palmer and Hollin (2000) Procedure: P’s completed three psychometric tests, to measure level of moral reasoning perceptions of parenting attributions of intentions. Plus a CONTROL for criminality self-reported Delinquency Checklist

5 Palmer and Hollin (2000) level of moral reasoning Sociomoral Reflection Measure (short form). 11 questions based on Kohlberg’s moral dilemmas. scores show the level reached (preconventional; conventional; post-conventional ) Offenders were found to have less mature moral reasoning than non-offenders. Offenders were typically at Kohlberg’s pre- conventional level where moral decisions are made on the basis of what behaviours are rewarded or punished.

6 Palmer and Hollin (2000) perceptions of parenting used extracts from the Own Perceptions of Parenting (EMBU) This assesses perceptions of parenting (by mother and father separately) including rejection, emotional warmth and overprotection. The offender group perceived both their fathers and their mothers as significantly more rejecting than the non-offender group (the effect was stronger for paternal rejection )

7 Palmer and Hollin (2000) Attribution of Intent ( hostile attribution bias ) It included 12 scenarios 4 acting with hostile intent, 4 acting with prosocial intent 4 ambiguous. Participants have to suggest reasons for why people behaved as they did. These reasons could be a. ‘to be mean or horrible’, b. ‘to be helpful or nice’ or c. ‘not sure’. If someone consistently interprets the ambiguous scenarios as hostile, then they can be said to have a hostile attribution bias.

8 Palmer and Hollin (2000) Hostile Attribution Bias Offenders made more hostile attributions of intent when shown ambiguous scenarios than did non-offenders. Perceived parental rejection was associated with a high hostile attribution style in both offenders and non-offenders

9 Palmer and Hollin (2000) Self-reported Delinquency Checklist (SRD). self report scale of 46 offences respondents indicate which offences they have committed how often they were committed. This was used as a CONTROL to check whether the ‘offenders’ and ‘non-offenders’ REALLY were different in their level of offending. Results confirm that the groups differed in terms of their offending behaviours. The modal score for the non-offender group was 6 and for the offender group it was 25.

10 Palmer and Hollin (2000) Conclusions The following differences in thinking patterns were found between the young male offenders and the non- offending group :- The young male offenders were less mature in their moral reasoning than the non-offenders YMOs were more likely to perceive their parents as having rejected them (especially their fathers) YMOs were more likely to show a hostile attribution style when thinking about ambiguous social situations.

11 Palmer and Hollin (2000) OCR: how does this study relate to the forensic syllabus? Levels of Moral Reasoning: supports Kohlberg’s Theory Hostile Attribution: Demonstrates differing social cognition


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