Classifying Reactions to Wrongdoing: Taxonomies of Misdeeds, Sanctions, and Aims of Sanctions

By R. Murray Thomas | Go to book overview

Interviewer--"Would one of your aims in jailing the burglar be to scare other people so they would obey the law."

21-year-old respondent--"No, not scare others. When people get scared, they get excited and so they're likely to go out and try it themselves. I'd not publicize this man specifically."

An impasse in deciding on a suggested consequence can result either if the person judges that the case lacks sufficient evidence to estimate the outcome which a sanction might produce or if the person expects that a counter-balanced mixture of good and bad outcomes would follow.

Interviewer--"What about putting the boy and girl in a drug rehabilitation program?"

17-year-old respondent--"It might be worth a try. I had a girl friend who went through such a program, and she quit using drugs. It might make them think about what they've done. But my friend said there's barely anyone who quits after being in the program. It just depends on whether they really want to quit, so you really can't count on it."


CONCLUSION

The following four chapters offer aims and sanctions in the form of two distinct typologies. Although the practice of separating aims from sanctions is a convenient way to organize the taxa that make up the two lists, such a static and sterile mode of presentation fails to suggest what actually goes on in people's minds when they are proposing consequences wrongdoers should face. The purpose of the present chapter has been to ameliorate that shortcoming somewhat by offering a graphic model of hypothetical components of people's thought processes as they explain the aims of sanctions for cases of moral transgression. Ten variables identified as affecting the way people link sanctions and aims when judging misdeeds have been illustrated with excerpts from interviews conducted with young people who were explaining why they suggested particular consequences for offenders in a series of case descriptions.

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Classifying Reactions to Wrongdoing: Taxonomies of Misdeeds, Sanctions, and Aims of Sanctions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles In Contributions in Psychology ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1- Characteristics of Taxonomies 1
  • Conclusion 18
  • 2- Conceptualizing Wrongdoing 21
  • Conclusion 48
  • 3- Classifying Misdeeds 49
  • Conclusion 53
  • 4- Modes of Reasoning About Aims and Sanctions 55
  • Conclusion 76
  • 5- Foundations of an Aims Taxonomy 77
  • Conclusion 113
  • 6- Types of Aims 115
  • Conclusion 126
  • 7- Foundations of a Sanctions Taxonomy 127
  • Conclusion 178
  • 8: Types of Sanctions 179
  • 9- Applications 193
  • Conclusion 201
  • References 203
  • Index 211
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