Psychologists (and wider society) are becoming increasingly aware that we make political decisions using intuitions – non-conscious gut feelings – rather than through rational debate and consideration of evidence. In this post, I want to outline one influential theory that helps us to explain how and why we do this: moral foundations theory.
The BBC Panorama documentary on HMP Northumberland, which aired on 13th February 2017, told a story that has been known by criminologists and forensic psychologists for a long time. First, our prisons are overcrowded, underfunded, and there aren’t enough staff to maintain effective control. Added into that now, though, was the detrimental effect that the… Read More »
Over the past year or so, I have tried to force myself into the cut-throat world of academic research. As a masters student of forensic psychology, based in rural Lincolnshire, trying to forge a name for myself in the pursuit of doctoral funding has at time felt like a long and lonely struggle, and I’ve… Read More »
Channel 4’s recent ‘Lifers’ documentary has bought the issue of whole-life tariffs to the forefront of people’s minds. To the more conservative members of society, this sentencing option gives judges the power to permanently lock up some of the most dangerous people (at least, those who have committed the most heinous crimes). However, to those with… Read More »
Desistance theory is a criminological phenomenon which describes how criminal offenders stop their offending behaviour. It is particularly pertinent in terms of conceptualising offender rehabilitation and the career of a criminal, as well as having practical applications for probation workers working with convicted criminals in the community.