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Durham e-Theses
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Characterizing criminal recidivists by means of tests- of cognition

Kipper, D. A. (1969) Characterizing criminal recidivists by means of tests- of cognition. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Previous investigations providing psychological tests for identifying the adult, habitual criminal have neglected the concrete-abstract facets of cognition. The present study explores the usefulness of the concrete-abstract dimension for such a purpose by means of the Kahn Test of Symbol Arrangement (the K.T.S.A.), and a Symbolization Test for Criminals (the S.T.C.), which was constructed by the author. Two selected groups were employed; an incarcerated 'criminal recidivists' group and a control group of 'non- criminals' from a vocational rehabilitation centre. The groups were matched for social-class and level of education. Controls as a group, however, were significantly older and scored higher on intelligence (p<.0l). Product moment correlations and analysis of co-variance indicated that the performance of both groups on these tests was independent of age and intelligence (measured by the AH4 part II). The results showed that controls scored significantly higher (more abstract responses) than criminals, on both tests. The criminals displayed a typical pattern of more concrete and repetitive types of symbolizations and fewer abstract responses. This has led to the formulation of typical K.T.S.A. and S.T.C. criminal ‘Symbol-Pattern’ which identified correctly 72% and 77% of all participants, respectively (chi-square, p < .001). A combined K.T.S.A + S.T.C. score elicited the best classification (80% correct identifications, chi-square, p < .001).).The results were interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that criminality is associated with an "arrested cognitive (and emotional) development on the decriminalization process", i.e. the process of socialisation. Future refinements of the S.T.C. were also discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:36

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