What is it about?
The roles of shame and guilt, and their relationships to empathy, have not been modelled adequately as key factors in moral decision-making in the study of violence. This research will test the different roles of empathy, shame, and guilt in violence decision-making using a situational action theory perspective. Data taken from the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+), a longitudinal study with a large representative sample, provides quantitative questionnaire indices. A striking majority of violent offenders report that they do not think it is wrong to commit violence, and do not care about it, i.e. they lack shame and guilt. Furthermore, violent offenders do not register the predicament of their victims; there is a distinct lack of empathy. This paper demonstrates a key finding which has rarely been explored to date; individuals with weak shame and guilt, combined specifically with weak moral rules, are more likely to commit acts of violence. In order to reduce the possibility of crime being seen as an action alternative, moral development programs should be developed and administered in childhood.
Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash
Why is it important?
The roles of shame and guilt, and their relationships to empathy, have not been modelled adequately as key factors in moral decision-making in the study of violence. The role of moral emotion has been neglected in existing criminological research and this study seeks to develop current explanations of the comprehensive myriad of factors that play a role in moral crime decision-making.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The Combined Roles of Moral Emotion and Moral Rules in Explaining Acts of Violence Using a Situational Action Theory Perspective, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, June 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0886260519852634.
You can read the full text:
The following have contributed to this page