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3. Cognitive Explanations: Moral Reasoning
About this Lecture
In this module, we consider cognitive explanations of crime, focussing in particular on moral reasoning. We discuss how moral dilemmas such as Kohlberg’s ‘Heinz’s dilemma’ have been used by researchers to investigate the types of reasoning that may lead a person to commit a crime. We then look at Kohlberg’s proposed levels of moral reasoning and how these are linked to offending behaviour. Next, we consider a more recent study by Palmer and Hollin (1998) which confirmed that juvenile delinquents on average tended to reason on a lower moral level. Finally, we examine the limitations of Kohlberg’s research, highlighting its failure to consider such factors as gender or cultural differences and to sufficiently interrogate the relationship between moral reasoning and actual behaviour.
In this course, Prof. Francis Pakes (University of Portsmouth) discusses some issues in Criminal Psychology. In module one, we think about Lombroso and the notion of the ‘born criminal’ before moving on, in module two, to discuss genetic explanations of crime more broadly. Next, we examine cognitive explanations of crime, focussing in particular on moral reasoning in module three and cognitive distortions in module four. In the final part of the course, we turn to consider the criminal justice system, focussing on the aims of imprisonment in module five and the problem of recidivism in module six.
Francis is Professor in Criminology. He studied psychology in Groningen (the Netherlands) and received his PhD from Leiden University (the Netherlands). He joined the University of Portsmouth in 1998. Francis has a keen interest in comparative criminal justice and the role of globalisation and shaping criminal justice across the globe. His background in psychology serves him well in studying issues of mental health and criminal justice and other vulnerable and excluded populations. He is an expert on prisons, crime and justice in the Netherlands and regularly features in the media discussing prisons, violent crime and other crime and justice related issues.
Cite this Lecture
Pakes, F. (2019, October 22). Forensic Psychology – Criminality - Cognitive Explanations: Moral Reasoning [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/criminal-psychology/cognitive-explanations-moral-reasoning
Pakes, F. "Forensic Psychology – Criminality – Cognitive Explanations: Moral Reasoning." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Oct 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/criminal-psychology/cognitive-explanations-moral-reasoning