individual differences - cognitive factors

  • Created by: Elyseee
  • Created on: 27-02-21 12:17
View mindmap
  • cognitive factors
    • Cognitive distortions
      • Hostile attribution bias
        • attribution is what we think when we observe actions, draw inference on what it means eg) someone smiling at you means they like you
        • Hostile attribution bias means someone tends to always think the worst of other’s actions eg) someone smiles but they are thinking bad thoughts about you
        • Negative interpretations lead to more aggressive behaviour
        • Hostile attribution bias linked to increased levels of aggression
      • Minimisation
        • distortion where consequences of action are under-exaggerated, minimisation can explain how an offender can reduce negative interpretations of their behaviour before/after a crime was committed
        • Helps individual accept consequences of their behaviour, negative emotions can be reduced
        • eg) burglar thinks stealing from a wealthy family has less of an impact on their lives, the burglar doesn’t feel as bad about the crime
      • Form of irrational thinking
      • Distortions are ways reality has become twisted, what is perceived doesn’t represent what is true
      • Person’s perception of events is wrong but they think it is accurate
      • Distortion allows criminal to defend/rationalise their behaviour
    • Level of moral reasoning
      • Link to offending behaviour
        • Longitudinal study - 10% of adults reach postconventional level, most common level is conventional level (Colby et al 1983). Adults at this stage who break the law feel their behaviour is justified because it helps maintain relationships in society, may feel it is acceptable to break the law to protect their family/others
        • Most criminals likely to be in pre-conventional stage (Hillon et al 2002), believe breaking the law is justified if rewards outweigh risk/cost/punishment
        • Fits with idea of ‘age and criminal responsibility’ - England and Wales children under 10 cannot be charged with crime, believed that they do not understand idea of moral responsibility, thought to be at pre-conventional level where they judge right and wrong in terms of consequences rather than morality principles
        • Kohlberg's longitudinal study - 20% of children under 10 at stage 1, 60% at stage 2
      • Kohlberg 1969 - interviewed boys and men about reasoning for their moral decisions, constructed stage theory of moral development
      • Each stage represents more advanced moral understanding, resulting in more logically consistent and morally mature form of understanding
      • Three levels - preconventional, conventional, post-conventional
      • People progress through the stages as consequence of biological maturity and opportunity to develop their thinking eg) learning to take another’s perspective


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all criminal behaviours resources »