A Major Psychological Theory On Moral And Intellectual Development

1080 Words Apr 6th, 2016 5 Pages
A third major psychological theory is the cognitive theory. In recent years, significant gains have made in explaining criminal behavior within the cognitive theory framework. Here, psychologists focus on the mental processes of people. More important, cognitive theorists attempt to understand how criminal offenders perceive and mentally represent the world around them (Knepper, 2001). The relevance to the cognitive theory is how people solve problems. Two prominent pioneering 19th-century psychologists are Wilhelm Wundt and William James. The two subdisciplines of cognitive theory are worthy of discussion. The first subdiscipline is the moral development branch, the focus of which is understanding how people morally represent and reason about the world. The second subdiscipline is information processing. Here, researchers focus on the way people acquire, keep, and retrieve information (Siegal, 2009). Ultimately, scholars had concerned with the process of those three stages (i.e., acquisition, retention, and retrieval). One theory within the cognitive framework focuses on moral and intellectual development. Jean Piaget (1896–1980) hypothesized that the person reasoning process had developed in an orderly fashion. Thus, from the birth of a person will continue to develop. Another pioneer of cognitive theory is Lawrence Kohlberg (1927–1987), who applied the concept of moral development in criminological theory. Kohlberg (1984) believed that people pass through stages of moral…

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