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

By R. Murray Thomas | Go to book overview

decisions about the consequences wrongdoers will face. Such positions include those of court judge, prosecuting attorney, supervisor or personnel director in a business organization, school teacher or principal, coach of an athletic team, leader of a social club, and more. The type of position for which candidates are applying will dictate the types of misdeeds to be represented in the cases they are asked to judge. For example, in the selection of school personnel, the cases of wrongdoing should be ones typically faced by teachers and principals. In a review of applicants for a supervisory post in a business, the cases should be those frequently met in such an organization. The screening procedure can consist of first presenting a candidate with a series of cases that offer the types of information identified by the taxonomies' categories. (The four cases at the beginning of chapter 2 illustrate the sorts of descriptions such cases might entail.) The applicant is then asked to tell what sanctions seemed warranted and to identify how the various aspects of the cases have influenced the decision about what sanctions to apply. This explanation can then be compared with the values and standards advocated by the people in charge of screening new personnel for the organization.

The misdeeds taxonomy can also serve as a training aid for people learning how to gather evidence that an authority can use in setting sanctions. For instance, in criminal court cases a probation official or social worker is usually obliged to compile evidence about the offender before the judge passes sentence. This presentence report is supposed to contain information that will be significant in determining the kind of penalty or treatment the law breaker should experience. The questions posed in our misdeeds taxonomy can serve as a guide to the sorts of information trainees collect, with trainees responsible for explaining which of the questions are most important to answer and to suggest other types of information that should also appear in the report.


CONCLUSION

The intent of this final chapter has been to demonstrate practical uses for the taxonomies described earlier in the book. The three sets of applications have focused on (1) conducting research about psychosocial phenomena, (2) teaching about morality and misdeeds, and (3) judging and training personnel.

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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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