Psychology Assignment help online on Society: Crime & Society essay writing help on moral development theory

Psychology Assignment help online on Society: Crime & Society essay writing help on moral development theory

Q?? Write an assignment essay writing help on moral development theory in society??

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What is meant by Moral Development Theory?

Moral Development Theory is among the most discussed topics from the field of Psychology and education. The best know theories developed on this field were by Lawrence Kohlberg who worked on the existing model by Jean Piaget which was expanded and explained in detail for moral reasoning. As per Piaget moral development is a 2 stage process whereby Kohlberg expanded and outlined 6 stages where it comes with 3 different levels. (Tigger.UIC n.d.)


There were several other theories which were developed by many researchers where the domain theory by Elliot Turiel discusses the domain theory that tries to distinguish between Morality and Convention. Moral Development has also been referred to as age or stage theories which are found in various fields of psychology, cognitive psychology, sociology, criminology, and the adolescent Psychology. ( Psychology n.d.,)


Moral Development Theory in Criminology

It should be noted that Moral Development Theory for criminology is way different from the ordinary development theories. As per the developmental theories, Siegel (2004) believes there are either latent trait theories that hold criminal behavior which gets controlled by a master trait. This master trait is said to be present at the time of birth or just after birth which usually is stable and unchanged throughout the life of an individual. The other trait described by Siegel is the life courses theories where criminality is viewed as a dynamic process which usually is influenced by individual characteristics supported by social experiences.

All the developmental theories are embraced by different individuals, which are:

  • Moral Development Theory:Individuals who have interest in ethics
  • Latent trait theories: Individuals having interest in the root of psychology for causes of crime
  • Life Course Theories: Individuals and researchers who have interest to ask why and when do offenders stop offending.

Although there are several good ideas in the study of criminology, moral development theories have been termed as the eclectic theories in the field of criminology. The word Eclectic means “everything causes delinquency or crime.”

Henry Hill

The Background

Henry Hill was a resident of Brooklyn NY( Famous Dead 2012). From childhood Hill was surrounded by working class activities and his parents were mostly involved in their job. At early age Hill started enjoying and admiring the gangster activities and even got involved in the mobster activities that took place around him. As time passed Hill was named in some of the famous crimes that took place in New York and couldn’t get out of the criminal world. These famous heists are still present in the criminal histories that took place around New York. Since he was the associate of Lucchese family that was famous for its criminal activities, Hill had money and power at his dispense. People feared Henry Hill and some even respected him. Most of the people that lived around Henry Hill were violent people that were from the gangster community. But he was always under danger of getting knocked off by police or other gangster community. He had once said that he remained scared of the situation around him and had to take well measured steps.

Henry Hill suffered Latent Trait Theory

Based on the background above, Latent Trait Theory seems to be responsible for the criminal behavior that was the reason for Henry to step in the world of crime. Starting from his early childhood right after his birth he had been in an environment where most of them he came across had a link with some or the other crime.

Moral Development: The Story

As Hill grew old he understood many things about the wretched world he lived in. He considered everyone around him to be a maniac and said that they were subculture (The Berlin Citizen 2012). Hill got involved in different charity work and tried to do as much as he can for the poor people. He had always stated that he cannot make any changes in his past but will try to do more good work in the coming future. Since he got intoxicated in this unruly world at the age of 10 he wanted other kids to remain far from these things and help them as much as possible. It is visible that Hill was forced into this world at an early age and couldn’t get out once he got involved. In a way it was also due to the society as they divided people into class and did help Henry to get out of this. If Hill got the right support at the right age he would have been a different person. It is really hard to explain these things to people who are far from this intoxicating world but government and society can come together to change this and help the people at young age.

What could have been the theory which could have brought a change earlier?

Henry got connected with the criminal society at early age and started fascinating about the criminal word. Here the social approach is most important as the society where Henry lived was full of mobsters and they took him in the world of gangsters at the early age of 10. Here society could have played an important part and helped Henry get out of this world at the start but even his mother and father couldn’t do so. Henry also started by committing victimless crimes that happens with people who get into this world at an early age. Instead of this if the society would have created good opportunities for Henry then the result could have been different. We cannot use the biological model here as henry’s parents were not from criminal background but the psychological model comes into play. If proper sanctions and punishments were given to Henry with a view to improve his behavior then he could have come out of this world. But as mentioned above that the Psychological model is never applied effectively same was the case with Henry. Even the law couldn’t apply the psychological model and there was no re-education or rehabilitation for Henry.

Moral Development Theory Model that should be used for Henry Hill – Psychological Treatment

In case of Psychological Treatment when investigations begin the professionals start by studying the scene on broader basis. During the examination the investigators examine sociological, psychological, biological, economic factors and also focus on the Henry’s history. There is every possibility of a new theory emerging into place through research and examining the data that support the hypothesis. Some factors that are commonly studied are evidence, factors related to criminal behavior and the relationship of victim and criminal.

During the psychological treatment of Henry one has to go through all the aspects and look at all the antisocial activities. While doing this it is important to make sure that Henry does not become focus of attention. While treating him one should also keep a copy of the developments that took place while the observation is conducted. This would help in future investigations and make the treatments much easier. Even the smallest event and facts that were found during the crime are of huge importance. The prevention also involves things like educating people like Henry about the things that are morally wrong and activities that should not be adopted in real life. Both legal and illegal aspects should be there in front of the person who is going through the learning and teaching process. It is important to give importance to both legal and illegal activities while trying to prevent the activities he did. (DRT MO Connor n.d.)

One more fact that should be understood is that criminality and delinquency are two different things (Psychology Campus n.d.). Delinquency is a behavior where immoral or illegal activities take place that are not in accordance with social values. Whereas criminality is something where a person breaks laws and in no way can a person make it similar to legal behaviors. While we measure criminal behavior in some way or the other we try to predict the future activities that might take place. Some points that can be included in the measures for understanding criminal behavior are arrests, the convictions, offences that were reported by the criminal himself, etc. All these are debatable and contradict each other in some way or the other. The main reasons that make them debatable are the accuracy of each and every case. The behavior of each and every person differs and their way of self-portrait will always be different. We should try to study the things known about the criminal such as Henry and go through a true and fair trial.

This model or treatment is something which could be as solution for the Moral Development of a criminal such as Henry Hill. It would help in establishing the things which was done wrongly from him, making him realize the reasons for why the things were wrong, and stabilizing his mind to understand the difference between criminal activities and things which are expected out of morality.

Psychological Treatment:The Model

While studying this one may come across many areas that can be related with psychological model. It ranges from Freudian notions to cognitive models. Some of the fundamental observations of psychological model are:

  • In this analysis the primary unit is the individual under study
  • The major motivating element that drives the behavior of the individual is his personality
  • According to social consensus normality can be defined to be general
  • Some aspects of criminal behavior address certain needs and may seem to be purposeful
  • Abnormal or defective mental process has different variety of causes.

These principles help in establishing basic explanations for the psychology of individual criminal. Operant learning model is used while dealing with a criminal and it follows the process of imprisonment, fine or court sanctions. The Operant model has been based on the utilitarian concept that says that people always focus on maximizing pleasure and minimizes discomfort and pain. All the punishments and sanctions have been made to decrease specific behavior of an individual. A punishment will be effective only if it is applied properly but rarely do we see cases where they are effectively applied. All the punishments have been developed as per the behavioral psychological principles. In cognitive behavioral principles the rehabilitation, retraining, relearning, are basic forms methods are used to control crime. All these educational programs use the cognitive behavior method of teaching proper functional response in place of a dysfunctional one. This program can take place in a prison or outside prison but they have been able to be successful. So we can say that reeducation, retraining, and reentry programs are all based on the psychological model of reform and criminal psychology.

Psychological principles and sociological principles are inter-related and not fully independent. There are various formulations in sociological approach that help in understanding control and cause of criminal behavior. Following points will help us understand sociological formulations better:

  • Trying to connect issues related with individual’s criminal behavior with cultural values and social structures.
  • How these contradictions between interacting groups affect criminality.
  • How these cultures, structures, and contradictions developed with time.
  • The change these groups have been going through.
  • Criminality will be viewed from society’s point of view and the social causes.

Traditional theories of sociology have proposed that any wrong doing or a crime happens due to anomie i.e. “normlessness.” Sociologists have time and again used this term to specify that criminality comes out when people face lack of opportunity and are not able to meet their aspirations. Individuals that fail to socialize and groups that face the problem of unequal opportunities are more inclined to criminal behavior. Sociological theories have even suggested that criminality is constructed by the society we live in. But there are also crimes that do not affect others in the society and have been named victimless crimes. One of the best ways to sociologically control criminality is to create equal opportunities and obtainment of wealth in those areas where they don’t exist. The sociological controls can originate in Federal level government as well as local governments and the main aim would be to evolve reforms that create opportunities for each and every individual. Sociological policies have always advocated harsh and stronger penalties and it is a well-known fact that crime will not disappear from society even if we bring harder interventions.


There have been many factors defined under criminal psychology and they have always contradicted each other. But while trying to prevent crime sequences one needs to go through all the aspects and get a fair idea of the crime patterns. (Karisoosaar.wordpress 2012)

We had a look at all the aspects that are considered to understand the mind of the criminal. The main points that came into light were the social issues and opportunities every person. If we take the example of Henry Hill then we would understand that if government starts educating people at the start then they can come out of the criminal world early. Even if they are not able to come out of this then there should be a good rehabilitation process that can improve the condition of the criminal. The psychological aspects and sociological model mentioned above are very important to develop strong moral values. The model above could prove highly beneficial for people like and helping them move through the process of moral development.

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