THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CRIMINAL OFFENCE AND SELF SERVING COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS
Keywords:anti-social behavior, juvenile delinquency, self-serving cognitive distortions, criminal offence.
Literature in the field of aggressive and violent behavior indicated a strong link
between anti-social behavior and self-serving cognitive distortions. The concept of
self-serving is represented by a series of distorted cognitive processes, which can take
shape due to the generally oversized tendency of self-perception. The purpose of this
study was to investigate the possible positive relationships between different levels of
offences/ crimes and self-serving cognitive distortions in a sample of juvenile
delinquents and young individuals from Romania. The assessment of the self-serving
cognitive distortions was measured with the How I Think Questionnaire and the type
of the criminal offence was taken from the Institutional evaluation sheet. Data was
gathered from 55 juvenile delinquents, ages between 15 and 19, the average age
being 17.13 (SD = .92). Positive correlations were found between the different levels
of offences/ crimes and self-serving cognitive distortions, except for Self-Centered,
Minimizing/Mislabeling, Physical Aggression and Stealing. These results suggest that
as the level of offence gets higher so does the level of self-serving cognitive distortions
and anti-social tendencies.
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