Monday, 13 April 2020

Critically evaluate how psychological theories, Essay Example

Critically evaluate how psychological theories, Essay Critically measure how psychological theories, constructs and accounts have been applied by prison Psychologists in Prisons. Ever since the 1960s and 70s the function of prisons within the societal cloth has been questioned and deconstructed. Surveies such as Michel Foucault’sDiscipline and Punish( 1991 ) , G.M. Sykes’Society of Prisoners: Study of a Maximum Security Prison( 1992 ) and impressions such as Irving Goffman’s total institutions’ in his bookRefuges( 1971 ) have systematically asserted the importance of the prison in the psychosocial makeup of Western society. For these writers, the prison represents more than simply a topographic point of captivity or penalty, it goes to really bosom of a society’s relationship to the people that both transgress and continue the jurisprudence ; inSimulacra and Simulation( 2004 ) , for case Jean Baudrillard makes the observation that prison serves the map of a mask to conceal the existent carceral nature of the socius ( Baudrillard, 2004: 12 ) and, harmonizing to Foucault, prison is simply one of many enunciative modalitiesâ₠¬â„¢ ( Foucault, 1989: 55 ) that shape the episteme and make societal Others. 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Foucault’s work on prisons came after his doctorial thesisMadness and Civilization( 2004 ) and Goffman’s survey on establishments for the insane crosses over, at assorted points to discourse prisons and their utilizations ; in fact Goffman is rather blunt that, in his position at least, the prison and the insane refuge portion non merely intrinsic qualities but intrinsic societal maps and his description of a entire establishment could easy be used to depict the both: A entire establishment may be defined as a topographic point of abode and work where a big figure of like-situated persons, cut off from the wider society, for an appreciable period of clip, together lead an enclosed, officially administered unit of ammunition of life. ( Goffman, 1971: 11 ) It is small admiration, so, that more and more, as we shall see, the prison psychologist is seen as an of import practical and theoretical quilting point between the two impressions ; criminalism and the head of the felon. This essay attempts to look at this dialogical subject measuring the topographic point of the prison psychologist today and what they can state us approximately, non merely the wrongdoer and the whole impression of piquing but the prison and the pattern of imprisonment itself. In their 1963 workPentonville: A Sociological Study of an English Prison( 1963 ) , Barer, Morris and Morris describe the distinguishable deficiency of any psychiatric or psychological professionals working within the English penal system: The most dramatic characteristic of the medical services at Pentonville is their concentration on physical unwellness and their about entire deficiency of proviso for mental unwellness. The prison has no head-shrinker, no psychologist and makes no usage of advisers in these disciplines. ( Barer, Morris and Morris, 1963: 39 ) This state of affairs has changed enormously since 1963. Today there are 12 countries in England and Wales each with its ain squad of forensic psychologists and helpers who are expected to supply services for non merely the captives in their country but for those on probation as good [ 1 ] . As Graham Towl and David Crighton suggest in their essay Applied Psychological Services in the National Probation Services for England and Wales ( 2005:1 ) this state of affairs is non merely likely to go on but the sum of psychologists required will likely increase. Due in portion to the complex nature of the prison service, the function of the prison psychologist extends far beyond the bounds of the mentally ill. As we shall see, their function is every bit much concerned with the nature of imprisonment and with its consequence on those within it as with the captives themselves. One of the most celebrated illustrations of this, of class is the Stanford Prison experiment carried out in 1973 by Haney, Banks and Zimbardo. In this seminal piece of research a group of healthy, psychologically sound male college pupils were observed, throughout the class of six yearss, in a prison-like environment ( Haney and Zimbardo, 1998 ) . The results of the experiment, harmonizing to the experimenters themselves were shocking and unexpected ( Haney and Zimbardo, 1998: 1 ) : Otherwise emotionally strong college pupils who were indiscriminately assigned to be mock-prisoners suffered acute psychological injury and dislocations. Some of the pupils begged to be released from the intense strivings of less than a hebdomad of simply fake imprisonment, whereas others adapted by going blindly obedient to the unfair authorization of the guards. ( Haney and Zimbardo, 1998: 1 ) Interestingly, the experiment was repeated about thirty old ages subsequently by the BBC in a telecasting plan calledThe Experiment, that managed, unlike Zimbardo’s original research to finish the jutting class of two hebdomads ( BBC, 2002 ) [ 2 ] . The Stanford undertaking was instantly seized on by the populace, the media and the Government and became, as George Miller asserted an example of the manner in which psychological research could and should be given off to the public ( Haney and Zimbardo, 1998: 1 ) chiefly due to the of import lessons that it taught both society and the experimenters about the establishments that from so much a portion of our public cloth. At its bosom, the Zimbardo experiment dealt with the kineticss of prison life, the ways in which captives act with each other and the guards. It is non hard to see how such research can help us in our cognition of both the penal system and the wider society. A figure of psychological constructs arose from surveies such as the Stanford experiment that still shape the manner prison psychologists view their work today.Polarization, for case, mentioning to the internal psychosocial kineticss of the prison has been used non merely in the carceral state of affairs vis-a-vis the ways in which guards dainty inmates but besides, as Claster ( 1992 ) points out in the wider society that polarizes offense and felons themselves, adding to the sense of division that exists between the jurisprudence and its transgressors [ 3 ] . Prisonisation, a term foremost used by Clemmer ( 1940 ) to depict the psychological socialization of captives, had a pronounced consequence in the Zimbardo undertaking that noticed, among other things, the willingness of the inmates to demur their submissive functions in the experiment.Prisonisationinvolves the initiation of the person into a universe that is governed by unusual and unintelligible regulations and ordinances and has been used of all time since the 1950s as a method by which to understand the differing reactions of captives to their environment ( Ohlin, 1956:38 ) . One of the most of import constructs to originate out of the Stanford undertaking was that ofdeindividuation.Deindividuationrefers to the deficiency of self-awareness that arises out of being portion of a group state of affairs ( Wortley, 2002: 26 ) . In the prison environment,deindividuationmanifests itself in the types of inhuman treatment displayed by the guards in the experiment but could every bit be applied to the ways in which captives form groups and packs in order to rid of their single duty that is masked by the crowd as Wortely ( 2002 ) suggests: As a member of a crowd, an person is afforded a grade of namelessness and becomes less concerned with the sentiments and possible animadversion of others. At this degree of deindividuation, people may be cognizant of what they are making but have a decreased outlook of enduring any negative consequences. ( Wortley, 2002: 26 ) The function of the prison psychologist so extends far beyond the bounds of the mentally sick and can, in certain fortunes consequence all mode of different facets of the penal system, from the architecture to the mundane running. Concepts such as those that we have been looking constitute non merely a organic structure of theoretical cognition but tools with which authoritiess and other bureaus can mensurate the efficaciousness of their penal plans [ 4 ] . However we must inquire how successful are prison psychologists, such Zimbardo and Clemmer in using psychological constructs and models to existent penal environments? The reply to this, I think prevarications in the complexness of the prison experience. For illustration Lloyd E. Ohlin in his surveySociology and the Field of Corrections( 1956 ) gives an edifying review of the early impressions ofprisonisationasseverating that any decisions refering the nature and extent of psychological socialization of a captive is, by its really nature unfastened to all mode of differing influences: Prisonization ( sic ) was†¦found to be related in some grade to the length of the captivity. The procedure proceeded really quickly in some instances and easy or non at all in others ( and ) was closely related to the grade of engagement in the informal societal life of the prison community ( Ohlin, 1956: 38 ) This procedure is likely to be affected by non merely the length of stay of the captive but their background, the environment of the prison, their relationship to the guards and an about unlimited series of variables that would render any empirical result hard if non impossible to measure. We see this besides with a impression such asdeindividuation, particularly as it was observed by the psychologists in the Stanford undertaking that sought, after all, to animate an environment thatresembled, instead than reallywas, a prison. Sociological surveies such as Sykes ( 1992 ) and Barer, Morris and Morris ( 1963 ) have highlighted the extent that a prison consists of a complex series of societal and psychological beds, each with its ain members, traits and sense of community. By merely animating the simplistic double star of guard/prisoner could non prison psychologists such as Zimbardo be seen as ignoring some of the complex nature of prison society? The impression that the power afforded prison guards engenders abuse was one of the major decisions of the Stanford undertaking, nevertheless, as Joycelyn Pollock suggests, once more the world seems to be much more complex. Kercher and Martin ( cited Pollock 1986: 4 ) , for case, found that the attitudes prison guards had towards their captives varied tremendously from prison to prison and from guard to guard, being more a contemplation of where single guards were in their calling rhythm than any deeper psychological inclinations. This suggests once more that psychological research carried out on little capable groups do non interpret peculiarly good to the larger existent establishment. I said in my debut that it has become de rigueur for penal theoreticians to see the prison as reflective of the wider society and, possibly, prison psychological science is no exclusion. Commensurate with impressions of the postmodern disintegration of subject boundaries, the modern-day prison psychologist must, I think, be acutely cognizant of the full influence of a immense scope of factors on the lives of the people they see mundane ; from the architecture, to the elusive alterations in group kineticss, from changes in theory to the alterations in socio-political ethos of the regulating organic structures. This is, possibly, a theoretical point of view that is losing from canonical surveies like Zimbardo or Clemmer and that we merely begin to see as theoreticians like Foucault began to exercise influence. Mentions Barer, Barbara, Morris, Pauline and Morris, Terance ( 1963 ) ,Pentonville: A Sociological Study, ( London: Routledge ) Baudrillard, Jean ( 2004 ) ,Simulacra and Simulation, ( Ann Arbour: The University of Michigan ) BBC ( 2002 ) , Shocking Experiment Recreated for TV published online at hypertext transfer protocol: //news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1986889.stm Blass, Thomas ( 2000 ) ,Obedience to Authority: Current Positions on the Milgram Program, ( London: Lawrence Erlbaum ) Clemmer, Donald ( 1940 ) ,The Prison Community, ( Boston: The Christopher Publishing House ) Crace, John ( 2002 ) , The Prison of TV , published inThe Guardian, May 14Thursday2002 Foucault, Michel ( 1991 ) ,Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, ( London: Penguin ) Foucault, Michel ( 2004 ) ,Madness and Civilization, ( London: Routledge ) Foucault, Michel ( 1989 ) ,The Archaeology of Knowledge, ( London: Routledge ) Goffman, Erving ( 1971 ) ,Refuges: Essaies on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates, ( London: Pelican ) Gross, Richard ( 2003 ) ,Subjects, Issues and Debates in Psychology, ( London: Hodder and Stoughton ) Haney, Craig and Zimbardo, Philip ( 1998 ) , The Past and Future of U.S. Prison Policy: Twenty Five Old ages After the Stanford Prison Experiment, published inAmerican Psychologist, Vol. 53 Harre, R and Secord, P.F. ( 1976 ) ,The Explanation of Social Behaviour, ( London: Blackwell ) Malim, Tony ( 1997 ) ,Social Psychology, ( London: Macmillan ) Ohlin, Lloyd ( 1956 ) ,Sociology and the Field of Corrections, ( London: Russell Sage Foundation ) Pollock, Joycelyn M. ( 1986 ) ,Sexual activity and Supervision: Guarding Male and Female Inmates, ( London: Greenwood Press ) Sykes, G. ( 1992 ) ,Society of Prisoners: Study of a Maximum Security Prison, ( New Jersey: Princeton University ) Towl, Graham and Crighton, David ( 2005 ) , Applied Psychological Services in the National Probation Service for England and Wales , published in Crighton, David and Towl, Graham ( explosive detection systems ) ,Psychology in Probation Services, ( London: Blackwell ) Wettstein, Robert ( 1998 ) ,Treatment of Wrongdoers with Mental Disorders, ( London: The Guildford Press ) Wortley, Richard ( 2002 ) ,Situational Prison Control: Crime Prevention in Correctional Institutions, ( Cambridge: Cambridge University ) 1

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