A, subsection two cognition studies for OCR forensic psychology. 

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Criminal Thinking Patterns; Yochelson & Samenow.

Cognitive psychologists believe it's possible to discover a thought process just by interviewing a person and asking them. 

Aims; 1) understand the make-up of the criminal personality. 2) establish techniques that could be used to alter personality disorders that produce crime. 3) encourage an understanding of legal responsibility. 4) establish techniques that can be effective in prevetning criminal behvaiour 

Participants; 255 men from different backgrounds. They had been confined in hospital as guilty but because of their insanity were suited to an indefinate secure treatment. Equal number of those not in confinement. 

Method; interviews conducted over a period of several years. 

Results & Conclusion; offenders were restless/dissatisfied.irritable and set themselves apart from others. want a life of excitement at any cost. lack a feeling empathy and feel under no obligation to anyone/anything except their own interests. Such thinking patterns may explain why serial killers/rapists John Duffy ***** and murdered 17 women and Peter Sutcliffe attacked several. (he is still in Boradmoor mental institution). 

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Moral Development; Kohlberg.

Morality - sense of right/wrong. criminals have a delayed morality. morality is a stage theory, and no stage cannot be skipped.  pre-morality - lowest level. conventional morality - mid level. post-conventional morality - highest level. 

Aim; To find evidence in support of a progression through stages of moral development. 

Method & Procedure; took place 1963 based 58 boys in Chicago - mc/wc. aged 7, 10, 13, 16. Each boy was given a 2 hour interview with 10 dilemmas they had to solve. most known is the Heinz Dilemma. some followed up at 3 year intervals up to the ages to 30-36. LONGITUDINAL STUDY. 

Results; Younger boys performed at stages 1&2 older boys performed at stages 3&4 suggest support for development through stages. These results were consistent in cross-cultural studies BUT progression was slower in non-industrialised societies. 

Conclusion; Does seem support across cultures for the stage theory. 

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Moral Development; Kohlberg.


The method has been criticised however more recent replications of this study by Thornton and Reid ('82) with criminal samples have suggested that criminals committing crimes for finanacial gain show more immature reasoning than those committing violent crimes suggesting that Kohlbergs stages can be applied to types of criminality. 

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Social Cognition; Gudjohansson & Baves.

Attributions - Internal - where a person attributes the cause of behaviour is within themselves. External - refers to social and environmental factors whivh include provocation and social pressures. Mental element - "i killed john because i was depressed and lost control" - offenders remorse about the offence. 

Aim; Examine the relationship between the type of offence and the attributions offenders make about their criminal act and then cross-validate earlier findings from an English sample. 

Method; using 42 Item 'Blame Attribution Inventory' (GBAI) to measure the offenders type of blame on the 3 dimensions internal/external/mental element. (p's - 80 criminals serving sentences in Northern Ireland. Divided into groups. Group 1 - 20 p's. committed violent crimes including homocide/GBH. Group 2 - 40 p's. committed sex offences including ****. Group 3 - 20 p's. committed property offences including theft and burglary. 

Results; Those who committed sexual offences showed most remorse followed by those who committed violent acts. Little difference in mental element for all offenders with regard to external attribution highest scores violent offenders lowest for sex offenders. 

Conclusion; Strong consistency in way offenders attribute blame for their crimes. 

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