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4. Cognitive Distortions
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about cognitive distortions, i.e. specific thinking patterns which may lead criminals to believe that their actions are moral and justified. In particular, we focus on the cognitive processes of ‘minimisation’ and ‘neutralisation’. We discuss how the latter can be divided into five sub-categories, (i) denial of responsibility, (ii) denial of injury, (iii) denial of victimhood, (iv) condemnation of the condemner and (v) appealing to higher loyalties, and discuss how each of these cognitive distortions serves to justify criminal behaviour in the offender’s mind.
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 Distortions [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/criminal-psychology/cognitive-distortions
Pakes, F. "Forensic Psychology – Criminality – Cognitive Distortions." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Oct 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/criminal-psychology/cognitive-distortions