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Flashcards in 7 - Morality, Psychopathy and Psychopathology Deck (52):

Define Morality

Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong, or good and bad behaviour


Early Views on morality: Rousseau and Golding

> Rousseau believed societal corrupted children's morality

> Golding believed children have inherently bad impulses that society reigns in
(lord of the flies)


Cognitive, Behavioural and Emotional aspects of morality

- Cognitive
> knowledge of ethical rules and judgements of behaviour

- Behavioural
> behaviours that invoke ethical considerations (from adults)

- Emotional
> feelings that invoke moral and ethical decisions


Approaches to morality (3)

Forensic Anthropometry


Evolutionary Approach to morality

- how might evolution select for particular moral traits?
> sharing and empathy gives an advantage, encourages reciprocal behaviours
> fewer enemies, more mates, more survival success


Cultural approach to morality

- how do cultures install moral sense?
- moral similarities across cultures may indicate nativism


Forensic Anthropometric approach to morality

- you can tell a criminal by the morphological features of their faces


Piaget's 3 stages of moral development

Piaget believed there was a strict stage-development of morality

Pre-moral development (0-4)
Heteronomous Stage (4-10)
Autonomous Stage (10+)


Pre-moral development stage

> no explicit awareness of rules
> no use of moral principles
> no notions of justing
+ supports Golding


Heteronomous Stage

> rules are seen as unchanging and external, like physical laws
> judgements of culpability are based on the consequences rather than intentions
> little sense of appropriate punishment


Autonomous Stage

> rules are seen as human agreements that can be changed
> judgements of culpability are based on intentions and punishment should be appropriate
+ more sophisticated evaluation of judgement


Piaget's Morality task and limitations

- Children have difficulty integrating the intention of the actor into their judgements of morality

- Two Scenarios:
> A: the child unknowingly causes multiple cups to smash
> B: the child knowingly attempts to grab a glass, and breaks one cup

- children think that A is a worse transgression (due to consequence)
- adults think that B is a greater transgression (due to intention)

- Social Conventions vs. Moral Laws
> driving side of road vs. stealing
> the problem Piaget was looking at did not encapsulate rules necessarily, if these laws are not that distinct early on


Kohlberg's view on morality

Believed that there's a lot of limitation previously, due to lack of looking at what morality itself is
- theorised that children learn to become moral thinkers, which takes time to develop accuracy
- they often confuse morality with power coercion or authority


Kohlberg's 6 stages of morality development (3 stages)

Level 1:
Pre-conventional morally (2-10)
{arises from basic needs}
- Stage 1
> Obedience and punishment orientation
+ moral judgement is driven by the need to avoid punishment
- Stage 2
> Instrumental-relativist orientation
+ moral judgements are driven by the desire to meet personal needs

Level 2:
Conventional Morality (9y+)
> arises from conforming to expected roles and pleasing others
- Stage 3
> Good boy/good girl orientation
+ moral judgements are driven by a need to be accepted by others as a good person
- Stage 4
> Law and order orientation
+ moral judgements are driven by a desire to adhere to the law

Level 3:
Post-conventional morality (12y+)
> arises from abstract principles that transcend individual circumstances are local cultural contexts
- Stage 5
> Social contract orientation
+ moral judgements arise from adherence to laws that are set up as social constructs for the common good
- Stage 6
> Principled conscience-driven orientation
+ moral judgements arise from adherence to personal principles (i.e. the Golden Rule)


Kohlberg's Heinz Dilemma

Kohlberg used to measure morality using a moral dilemma
> Heinz's wife is dying of cancer
> a druggist has a potential cure he discovered, that costs $200 to make and he's charging $2000
> Heinz can only make up $1000
> the druggist still refuses, on the basis of profiteering
> Heinz steals the medicine
- morally right or wrong?


Cognitive Theories of Moral Development

- distinguish moral judgements from social rules
- many rules
> moral rules
> social convention, nonmoral rules (vary across cultures)

- tend to be selective of beliefs that they tolerate
- sensitive to variations across different belief domains
- responses of other socialising agents affects their moral learning (zone of proximal development)


Development of Self-regulation and delay of gratification

> Control phase (12-18m)
> Self-control phase (preschool)
+ passive inhibition system (fear and anxiety)
+ active inhibition system (conscious control)

- Self-regulation phase
> child learns to delay gratification and a strong sense of moral self


Development of consciousness

- there are several ways in which consciousness develops
> requires some sense of anxiety and fear
+ individuals that do not develop anxiety may have impaired consciousness

- there is an affective side of morality
> fearful people may achieve better self control through guilt, a result of temperament and parental socialisation
> a child's early ability to inhibit impulses and delay gratification may enhance later competence


Prosocial (altruistic) Behaviour

- voluntary and intended to benefit another
- evident between 12-18m
- increases in repertoire as children age

Developmental trends
- 13-14m: approach others when distressed
- 18m: approach in a specific way
- 2y: verbal advice, helping, sharing, distraction, defence


Psychopathy and it's 2 types of development, primary and secondary

- children that are high in Callous and Unemotional traits have a high risk of becoming Psychopaths

Karpaman defined 2 types:
- Primary
> biologically rooted

- Secondary
> environmentally mediated
> normally struggled through adversity


What is the specifier for psychopathy type?

* anxiety is the type specifier
- no anxiety indicates primary psychopathy

- high anxiety indicates secondary psychopathy (developed through the adversity)


Aggression and it's development

- unwelcome, negative behaviour that is threatening to others

- infancy (0-2): anger and frustration

- preschool (2-5): instrumental aggression
> use aggression to get what they want

- early years (6-7): hostile aggression

- elementary school (7-10): physical and relational aggression
> rumours, social media
- adolescence: selective aggression

- there is a strong relationship between childhood physical aggression and criminal convictions
> especially amongst males compared to females


When is the peak of physical aggression?

Preschool age (2-3) is the peak of physical aggression
- because individuals cannot desist from using it to solve problems



study of disorders of the mind

- dysfunctional adult behaviour often seen as a product of development
- resilience is a factor


The 4 basic principles of Developmental psychopathology

- frequency and pattern of symptoms

- deviations from normal behaviour

- early, precursor behaviours of disorder

- the pathways to normal and abnormal development


Measuring abnormality in psychopathology, 2 methods

- Statistical Model
> abnormality is a deviation from the average
+ IQ of 100 is normal, 70/130 is abnormal

- Alternative Model
> abnormality is a deviation from the ideal
+ what determines ideal?
+ differs by culture and subculture


Diagnostic and Empirical approaches to classifying child pathology

Diagnostic Approach
- rooted in medical tradition
- uses diagnosis for etiology (causes) of disorder
- classification system forms DSM-5 (diagnostic manuals)
- diagnostic reliability is needed
> do different psychologists make the same diagnoses?

Empirical method
> alternative to diagnostic approach
> behaviours are rated
> statistical tests
> useful for identifying risk factors


What are the two types of child psychological disorders?

- Undercontrolled
- Overcontrolled
> such as phobias, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders

- based on the amount of control the child has over them


Child anxiety disorders

- first shown is separation anxiety

- before 7y, specific phobias can begin to appear

- Generalised anxiety disorder
> age 8,9,10

- Social anxiety disorder
> fear about social evaluation
> emerges around 12 (adolescence)

- as you grow, anxiety changes it's focal point


Anxiety and Comorbidity

Anxiety shows Comorbidity
> if someone is diagnosed with 1 disorder, they are 50% likely to show symptoms of another disorder


Causes of child anxiety

- insecurely attached children, may have had caregivers with higher levels of anxiety or depression
> can result in overactivity of vulnerability of anxiety related schemas
> can increases attention or memory biases to situational interpretations that can enhance anxiety


Childhood depression

- frequency of diagnosis increases as children age
> anxiety is more common earlier on, depression later
> high anxiety early on predisposes to depression

- depression seems to be at it's fullest in late childhood-adolescence
> when child reaches the stage of formal operations

- rates of depression are increasing among young males

- depression is associate with increased risk of suicide


Causes of childhood depression

- biological theories show it's heritable (twin studies)
> gene-environment studies show different genotypes can improve vulnerability to depression

- Social and psychological theories

- Cognitive theories
> children raised in certain circumstances can develop learned helplessness that filters into other aspects of life

- depression symptoms more present in females than males


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

- being obsessed to a focal point
- Obsessions that relate to factors to create compulsions
> sexual obsession
> forbidden thoughts (factor)
> checking compulsion

- effects 2-3% of population
- begins to emerge 6-15y
- diagnoses follow observation of unwanted behaviour
- adults recognise their behaviour is not rational, children do not


Eating Disorders

- Anorexia Nervosa
> body weight voluntarily maintained at below normal
> intense fear of gaining weight
> amenorrhea (in females)
+ abnormal absence of menstruation

- Bulimia Nervosa
> large uncontrolled eating binges at least twice weekly
> inappropriate compensatory behaviour (vomiting)
> self-esteem closely linked to body weight/shape

- both disorders are much more common in females
- anorexia nervosa has an earlier onset
> more consistent historically and across cultures
> more closely associated with genetic influences


Causes of Eating Disorders

- Body dysmorphia
> inaccurate representations of our own body weight/shape
- little evidence that parenting style causes anorexia


Conduct disorder

repetitive and persistent behaviour in which a child or adolescent violates the basic rights of others or violates age-appropriate societal norms

- an Undercontrolled behavioural disorder
> lack of remorse or empathy for one's actions


3 categories of conduct disorder

- Aggression against people or animals
- Wilful destruction of property
- Theft or violation of trust
- Violation of major rules

Conduct disorder is diagnosed when 3 or more of these behaviours are present within a 1-year interval


Categories of conduct disorder in more detail

- Aggression against people or animals
> bully
> fights a lot
> using weapons to threaten another
> physical cruelty to people or animals
> robbing a person through force or intimidation
> forcing someone into sexual activity

- Wilful destruction of property
> sets fires intentionally to cause damage
> intentional destruction of others' property

- Theft or violation of trust
> has broken into a place
> lies for personal gain
> has stolen items in a way that does not involve direct confrontation of the owner (i.e. using someone's card)

- Violation of major rules
> stays out late at night opposing strict rules against it
> bunks school as preteen
> run away from home overnight at least twice


Treating Conduct disorders

- Social learning and behavioural techniques
> time out for inappropriate behaviours
> intervention programs
> prevention and abstinence programs
> detoxification and counselling

*the earlier the intervention, the higher the chance of success


Define Substance abuse

the excessive use of drugs in a way that interferes with one or more important areas of functioning

Substance use
- correlated with:
> friends, family and peers who use drugs
> under controlled and impulsive behaviours
> poor academic records and truancy (bunking)
- even the best programs have a high rate of recidivism


Disorders associated with substance abuse (3)

Conduct Disorder


Psychopathy Checklist

- impress management (superficial charm)
- grandiose sense of self-worth
- stimulation seeking
- pathological lying
- manipulation for personal gain
- lack of remorse/guilt
- shallow affect (no deep emotions, but pretends to)
- callousness (lacks empathy)
- parasitic orientation (exploits others)
- poor anger control
- promiscuous sexual behaviour
- early behavioural problems
- lacks goals
- impulsivity
- irresponsibility
- failure to accept responsibility
- unstable interpersonal relationships
- serious criminal behaviour
- serious violations of conditional release (from jail)
- criminal versatility (engages in at least six kinds of criminal behaviour


Psychopathy and Fear Processing

- children that show symptoms of high callousness are slower to recognise fear
> indication of affective disorder



Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- most common disorder in males
- problem in being able to delay gratification

- children:
> have conflicts with adults and peers
> perform poorly in school
> create serious classroom-management problems for teachers
> often low self-esteem


Characteristics of ADHD

- overactivity and impulsivity
- problems following instructions and rules
- poor attention
- inappropriate activity seems to diminish in adolescence, other problems persist


Causes of ADHD

- Biological Factors
> psychostimulant medications (caffeine, ritalin)

- Psychological factors
> social stressors
> appears to be a heterogenous disorder with multiple causes


Treatment for ADHD

- Medication approach
> rapid and noticeable improvement

- Behaviour therapy
> psychological intervention

- Combined treatment


Classical Conditioning as a treatment

- good for phobias and OCD
> extinguish relation between trigger and response


Operant Conditioning as a treatment

- good for phobias and OCD
> use reward and punishment to modify behaviour


Modelling as a treatment

- good for conduct disorder
> role model to model appropriate behaviour


Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT)

- requires effort on part of the patient
> must identify a behavioural goal
- makes the patient aware of thoughts that are habitual
> when I'm stressed i wash my hands
- make the irrationality of thoughts and behaviours apparent