Cognition - Moral Development, Palmer and Hollin

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Aim
to compare moral reasoning between male delinquents and non-delinquents.
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Participants
126 convicted offenders and 332 non offenders in the control group, both male and female. They were aged 13-22 and lived in the Midlands.
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Method
the participants were given 11 social moral dilemmas (socio-reflection measures) to complete.
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Results
delinquents showed less mature reasoning than non-delinquents. The male offenders mainly functioned at pre-conventional level while most non-delinquents were at conventional level.
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Conclusions
people with underdeveloped moral values might be more at risk of becoming criminals.
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Moral development
is a cognitive process in which children learn to differentiate right from wrong, usually from parents. It is believed that in the UK, that by the age of 10, children know the difference b/w right and wrong=held accountable for their crimes
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Kohlberg's theory of development
Level 1-preconventional- personal gain/avoid punishment; Level 2-conventional- law/to please authority; Level 3-postconventional- doing whats right even though its against the law
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Kohlberg's study
found that the younger boys performed at stages 1&2(L1), while the older boys performed at stages 3&4(L2). He concluded that younger boys cannot be held criminally responsible as they havent developed the cognitive abilities to understand their acts
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Participants

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126 convicted offenders and 332 non offenders in the control group, both male and female. They were aged 13-22 and lived in the Midlands.

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Method

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Results

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Conclusions

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