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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 103
Ehor Boyanowsky

CRIM 103 Chapter 7: Cognitive basis of differentiating right from wrong Moral Development and Criminality  Jean Piaget: studied cognitive processes (through his own three children)  Brain builds schemas – representation in the mind of a set of perceptions, ideas, or actions which go together  Cognitive development occurs as we acquire new schemas, and as our existing schemas become more complex  We adapt to the world through assimilation and accommodation  Assimilation: the process by which new experiences are incorporated into existing schemas. (take material into mind and may require altering senses to take it on) o Eg see cow with 4 legs, calls it big doggie – trying to make sense of new experience by applying her familiar schema  Accommodation: process by which new experiences cause existing schemas to change. (difference to mind/concept by the process of assimilation) o Eg realize cow doesn’t bark, sit, fetch, or act like dog. The imbalance between existing schemas and new experience forces schemas to change. Child will develop new schemas (horse, kitty, etc) Basic ideas of Piaget  Classification – ability to group objects together on the basis of common features (eg realize there is more than just mom and dad’s face, so group them all as humans)  Class inclusion - the understanding, more advanced than simple classification, that some classes or set objects are also subsets of a larger class (eg dog + animal, but dogs are also animals, so the class of animals include that of dogs)  Conservation realization that objects or set of objects stay the same even when they are changed about or made to look different  Decentration – ability to move away from one system of classification to another one as appropriate (eg from human to dogs, also basis of ‘making strange’ as childe react fearfully when seeing stranger faces)  Egocentrism – belief that you are the centre of the universe and everything revolves around you - inability to see the world as someone else does and adapt to it. (Not moral ‘selfishness’, just an early stage of psychological development )  Operation – the process of working something out in your head. Young children (in the sensorimotor and pre-operational stages) have to act, and try things out in the real world, to work things out (like count on fingers): older children and adults can do more in their heads Piaget’s Four Stages of Cognitive Development  Stage – a period in a child’s development in which he/she is capable of understanding some things but not others  Sensorimotor – birth to 2 years o Understand world primarily through sensory experiences and physical interactions with objects  Eg bang spoons, take things apart, “make things happen” o Recognises self as agent of action and begins to act intentionally (eg pull a string to set car in motion) o Achieve object permanence: realize that things continue to exist even when not visible  Preoperational – 2-7years o Symbolic thinking; child uses words and images to represent objects and experiences o Do not understand conservation (mass volume stay same even if shape change) o egocentric thinking (can’t see from other’s perspective) o Classifies objects by a single feature: all dolls regardless of size or dress or color  Concrete operational (7-11) o Can think logically about objects and events. (but still has difficulty with hypothetical problems requiring abstract reasoning) o Achieves conservation of number (age6), mass (age7) and weight (age9) o Grasps concepts of serial ordering: arrange objects according to several features (eg shortest to tallest) o classifies objects according to several features and can order them in series along a single dimension such as size  Formal operational – 11 years and up o Can think more logically, abstractly, flexibly o Can form hypothesis and test them systematically o Become concerned with the hypothetical (becoming a rockstar) , the future (being grown up and having money, marrying), and ideological problems (justice, sharing, fairness) Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development Level Stage Characteristics of Stage/Level (id) PRECONVENTIONAL Punishment-obedience orientation 1  obey rules to avoid punishment, only external obedience (classical, operant learning) to authority  based on actual anticipated punishment or reward, rather Instrumental-relativist orientation than internalized values (classical 2  based on gaining reward and own interest conditioning) CONVENTIONAL Interpersonal concordance orientation (social learning) 3  Do things to gain approval of others  Getting along, give and take, cooperation  conformity to social Authority and Social-Order Maintaining Orientation expectations, laws, duties; 4  Conform to law of society, avoid chaos, respect to adopts other’s values authority, maintain social order Social-Contract Legalistic orientation POST-CONVENTIONAL 5  Recognize importance of societal laws, but also taking (superego) individual rights into account Universal Ethical Principal Orientation  moral principles that well  Abstract ethical principles based on justice and equality thought out and part of one’s 6 belief and value system  Change the world even at the expense of one’s personal freedom/lives Research Findings  Kolhberg’s theory base on justification of behavior, not actual behavior.  So does the theory determine criminal behavior? Predict/reflect likelihood of offending?  Can measure relationship in three ways: 1. Promote moral developing through training and measure effect on delinquency a. Arbuthnot and Gordon (1986) – advances in moral development can be promoted and are associated with better behavior, improved academic performance, less police contacts 2. See correlation between severity of criminality with the level of morality achieved a. Stems (2006) – found strong correlation between lower stage moral judgement and juvenile delinquency b. (controlling for SES) 3. Measure level of moral development and probability of recidivism a. Huge metal analysis comparison (van vugt, gibbs, hendriks, etc) 2011 – found high moral development – lower recidivism  Eysenck: resistance to temptation base on conditionability – if arousal is low, it is very difficult to progress past stage one (they don’t learn/fear/classically condition to fear and punishment) = === Low arousal = low moral development  Mischel: kids who resist temptation early in life do better later  Turiel: progress through stages do not skip a stage nor regress  Empathy: ability to feel same as someone else  Sympathy: feel sorry for someone The neurological bases of violent and aggressive behavior (If damaged frontal lobe - damaged, nasty agrresive, lack self-control (guy with rod in head)) Case: Charles Whitman  loved his mom, wife, but had bad relationship with dad  Became increasingly angry, homicidal thoughts, went to see counselor, no help, Feelings became compelling, increasing headache  Killed wide and mom, went to Texas tower, highest point on campus, killed 16, injured 32  Had a glioblastoma, brain tumor Limbic system (below cerebrum) – contains several structures whose function are involved in emotional arousal (animals AND human)  Hypothalamus: (below thalamus, on either side of ventricle) – maintain homeostasis (restoring optimal state), control feelings of hunger, thirst, response to pain, pleasure, sexual satisfaction, anger, aggression, thermoregulation, etc  Amygdala: emotional control Stimulation of the hypothalamus  John Flynn – raised cats and rats together in harmony, put electrodes in cat brain o Stimulate lateral hypothalamus – attack rat, ignore experimenter – hunting and killing strategically o Stimulate medial hypothalamus – ignore rat, attack experimenter – still ‘organized’ kill and went for face– attacked larger animal  Moyer – Rhesus monkey, electrodes implanted in the anterior hypothalamus o When stimulated, Monkey not aggressive toward inanimate objects (eg dolls) nor to experimenter o But when in monkey colony, attacked dominant monkey, persisted until monkey’s consort (girlfriend) started to change sides o When dominant monkey gone, no signs of aggression. o This means stimulation only triggered a specific type of behavior that is evoked only by certain stimuli in the environment.  Boyanowsky – environmental effects on core temperature in humans. o Increase ambient temperature and HT temp, subject’s anger and aggression rose accordingly o Unless subjects were made aware of the environmental source of their distress with thermometer set in front of them – hostility dropped in spite of increasing temperature o Activation of HP interacts with cognitive processes (attributing to person or environment) Stimulation of the Amygdala  King: stimulation of sweet little old lady’s amygdala o 4 amps - no change; 5 amps - hostile and aggressive o When turn back town, she was ashamed for her behavior, couldn’t control self, overwhelmed with anger  Mark & Ervin (1970): electrodes in amygdala of an epileptic girl o Calm, when stimulated became aggressive, stimulation stops she clams too  Naraobayashi (1963)– bilateral amygdalectomy produced 85% reduction in aggression  Heimberger (1966) – 92% increase in docility (obedience, peaceful) o However, became too docile and became vegetated, which promoted law suits and new ethical standards against such operations Reducing Aggression through Brain Stimulation Jose Delgado A. Stop a charging bull by stimulating caudate nucleus remotely B. Famous monkey colonies experiment o Monkey colonies run by dominant Boss monkey (Get first dibs at food, sex, etc) o Delgado implanted electrode in his caudate nucleus, Stimulated – became calm and sweet o Young punk monkeys took over, Stop stimulation, boss knocks everyone back down o Delgado then left stimoceiver within cage, One monkey learned to use the control box, when pressed, can control boss monkey’s rage, That one monkey eventually took over.  He consider CN as inhibitor, a suppressor or shut down device  Aron et al - Modern day fMRI shown that CN is associated with strong feelings of affection and love (thus monkey was actually turned into affectionate creature) And a less ominous applicataion  Kari Weiner was confined to a wheelchair for 7 years  Dystonia, a condition that cause uncontrollable muscle spasms  Now she walks without assistance, thanks to batterypowered electrodes that were implanted in her brain when she was 13, and to surgeries that repaired her twisted muscles and lengthened her tendons Chapter 8: Social Learning and Situational Factors in Criminality  Reciprocal determinism – cognitive processes and social environment both affect the indvidiual and each other  Freud – aggression was simply an instinct  Miller – frustration experienced by an individual (having a goal blocked) increase the probability of committing an aggressive act  Besides frustration, other irritations lead to aggression too, and aggression is not always the outcome of frustration  Rapping – origins of verbal retaliation / insult / deflecting aggression  Punishment – any event that reduces behavior (doesn’t have to be painful or physical)  Patterson – coercion theory (make them do things against their will for our own desire )– parent use authoritarian approach to discipline based on their desire rather than providing rewards for good behaviour and punishment for bad. Child develop negative reaction to parent’s demands which escalates if parent then withdraws its demands and child use coercive techniques in its interaction with children and other adults. As this continue child become progressively more antisocial –  Parsimony – simplistic explanation that covers all the theory is the best theory??  Gottfredson and Hirschi – low self control – social bonds, discipline, constancy Albert Bandura – social learning  Bandura – precursors of aggression: A) any aversive experience (negatively emotionally arousing – eg insult, pain, noxious nose) B) merely an incentive inducement – reward offered - the anticipation of certain consequences (eg being paid, havin sex, gaining admiration of peers) or any combo  Can also lead to achievement (ill show them), withdrawal and resignation (getting out of here), psychosomaticization (physical symptom – blushing, out of breath, asthamatic attack, pain in gut)  Individual can also take drugs, drink alcohol or most rationally engage in constructive problem solving  Can calm down by mediating or verbal retaliation – fixed action pattern (origins of rap)  Akers social learning theory and Sutherland theory of differential association o Criminal as learned behaviour in small intimate groups o Reinforcement through reward  Bandura believed that direct reinforcement could not account for all types of learning  His theory added a social element; observational learning: vicarious learning through modeling  People can learn through observation of behaviour of others/’models’ o ‘bobo doll’ studies, The children in Bandura’s studies observed an adult acting violently toward a Bobo doll. When the children were later allowed to play in a room with the Bobo doll, they began to imitate the aggressive actions they had previously observed, without instruction or reward  Types of Models 1) A life model, which involves an actual individual demonstrating or acting out a behavior (eg parents, siblings, peers, gang members, authority figures) 2) A verbal instructional model, which involves description and explanations of a behavior (eg from teachers, preacher, coach telling us to do/not to do specific things) 3) A symbolic model, which involves real or fictional characters displaying behavior in books, films, television programs, or online media. o Philips 1986 – boxing matches and increased homicides o Kotcheff – suicide in film and imitation in real life o Bandura argues that just because a child does not imitate, it does not mean he has not learned it o Reinforcement or reward influence its performance o Not everything seen is learned – some are not attended to significantly, others are too complicated, limited physical capacity  Besides external award, there are internal cognitive rewards o Intrinsic reinforcement is a form of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, sexual gratification, satiation of hunger euphoria, laughter o The emphasis on internal thoughts and cognitions helps connect learning theories to cognitive development theories such as Piaget’s , Kohlberg’s and Freud’s Factors affecting Learning  Selective attention: we remember what we think is important o External reinforcement/reward o Internal cognitive award  Attention: in order to learn you need to pay attention. Anything that detracts your attention is going to have a negative effect on observational learning. If the model interesting or there is a novel aspect to the situation, you are far more likely to dedicate your full attention to learning  Retention: The ability to store information is also an important part of the learning process. Retention can be affected by a number of factors, but the ability to pull information later and act on it is vital to observational learning.  Reproduction: once you have paid attention to the model and retained the information, it is time to actually perform the behaviour you observed. Further practice of the learned behavior leads to improvement and skills advancement.  Motivation: observed reinforcement and punishment of models affects performance of the learned behavior. The origins of delinquency  Long ago, Aichorn argue that delinquency emerges as a function of life events, not necessarily traumatic, for a subset of individuals who already contain the latent elements in their constitution  Farrington and Welsh – describe the most important individual factors in predicting offending is low intelligence and attainment, personality and temperament, lack of empathy and impulsiveness  Strong family factors are large family size, poor parental supervision, parental conflict, disrupted families  Environmental factors are growing up in a low socioeconomic status household, associating with delinquent friends, attending high delinquency-rate schools and living in deprived areas  Terrie Moffitt – identified two vectors of offending o 1) those whose antisocial behaviour is limited to the adolescent years – the largest group o 2) those whose offending is life course persistent o Bio vs env: negative environments worsen negative traits and negative traits increase the exposure to negative environments o But those adolescent-limited behaviour that are not driven by individual traits and come to be abandoned. o She also argue that minor physical anomies that reflect neurological impairments along with mistreatment by parents is one of the significant causes of future serious delinquency  Raine – Birth complications combined with maternal rejection were strongly predictive of future offending. Media effects on aggressive behaviour and violent crime  Negative effects of crime comic books exist potentially for all children and may be exerted along these lines: o Comic is an invitation to illiteracy o Crime comic books create an atmosphere of cruelty and deceit o Create a readiness for temptation o Stimulate unwholesome fantasies o Suggest criminal/sexually abnormal ideas o Furnish rationalization for them, which may be ethically even more harmful than the impulse o Suggest the forms a delinquent impulse may take and supply details of techniques o Tip the scale toward maladjustment and delinquency  Children who watched violent tv age 6-10 engaged in more deviant and delinquent acts o 15 years later, follow up studies show that those who preferred violent programs were more likely to engage in aggressive behaviours as adults  However violent crime was been falling – perhaps the earth population is aging, considering people usually commit crime when young  Counterphobic response – watch violent film to cope with fear of assault - exposing self to fear in a safe environment allows one to cope with fear and translate into a thrill o Help us in life – so we don’t develop phobias to everything that frightens us  Link between television and delinquent behaviour - Predispotiion? Aging? Catharsis? Coping with fear? The nature of political environment and potentiation of individual predilections to violence and aggression  Aggression towards individual and groups, limitless in intensity and magnitude, sometimes use by groups (eg atomic bomb in japan)  Justification often saying it is for the greater good- saving lives, revenge, saving lives o Holocaust, deportation, internment, systematic execution  To create the circumstances for mass killings at a technologically primitive level involving the repeated intimate involvement of thousands of previously innocuous people in the carnage, there is a multistage process that must be followed. Several psychological/social conditions must be fulfilled.  Target must be identified o Societies often make different groups, Christian vs jew, jew vs arab o Perceived threat to one’s group initiate hostility GENOCIDE - Pyramid of Crime  Identifying two groups, treat other group as animals – it makes it okay to kill them. The lower you go on the pyramid, the more likely for genocide – eg boy camp eagles example TIER 1. Maximum Homogeneity and Control  Totalitarian, maximum social control  In-group/out-group loyalties and discrimination are minimized  Still crime, but only small percentage  Causes of crime: idiosyncratic, mental deficiency, psychosis, psychopathy, crimes of passion, or ‘out-group’ crimes  Government is swift and harsh with massive general deterrent effect  Eg former Soviet Union, North Korea, Communist China TIER 2. Social Democracy  Social democratic promoting equality for food shelter, health, education  There should be opportunity for everyone to offset in-group/out-group hostilities  Eg post war UK, Canada  Still relatively less crime  But individual constitutional rights allow those with psychopathic tendencies (lack of conscience, empathy, lack of shame) to exploit the system and give them more room to operate  Group diversity expanding due to immigration – total integration-assimiliation is not achieved – lack of consensus of values – crime increase – eg Mafia, Asian triad, Iranian gangs, aboriginal gangs in Canada.  Significant minority is involved on a regular basis in violent crime  Fear of crime is not a significant motivating force TIER 3. Right wing Individualistic Democracy  Success or failure are largely attributed to the individual and protected by a strong constitution of individual rights  A society of winner and losers – more influence on society if they are the winner eg Christian in US, or connected to the political process  But if one perceive themselves as a out-group member whose purpose is to support primary group, they don’t achieve attachment to a larger societal ideal or unity of purpose and existence  Primary psychopaths have even more room to operate, more secondary psychopath (sociopaths – traumatized by personal developmental experiences, inadequate empathy, muted CNS arousal, stress, fail moral development)  Those with psychopathic tendencies expanding their influence in street gangs and white collar crime, recruiting losers, exploiting entrenched individual rights  They recruit others to join their lifestyle rather than subscribe to universal moral/behavioural code  Significant portion of marginalized group who are not so easily detected, can prey on public on street or in office eg USA  Fear of crime is a major motive guiding many lifestyle, political, economic decisions  central consensus is weak but can be strengthen if constitution is strong, minimal immigration and successful assimilation of newcomers
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