Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Psychology > Psychological processes and mental state

The Temporal Course and Habituation Tendency of the Attentional Bias to the Threat Information in the Juvenile Delinquents

Author WangZuo
Tutor ChenXu
School Southwestern University
Course Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords Juvenile delinquents Threat Information Attentional bias Temporal course Habituation tendency
CLC B842
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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In China, juvenile delinquency accounts for about65%of all national criminal cases, which is a quite worthy of social problems. The causes of juvenile delinquency are various, including teenagers’own factors, family factors, social factors and etc. There are quite a few studies on the causes of juvenile crime, which shows that these teenagers mainly came from families with many problems such as individuals or families of disorder, financial difficulties. The research of McNulty and Bellair also found that adolescents are more likely to get involved in violence behavior, because their families and communities are in adverse social and economic conditions. According to the study on emotional state of juvenile delinquency, emotional disorder of juvenile delinquency occurs more frequently than that of average people, and young offenders have unique psychological structure, including emotional instability, impulsivity, poor self-control, anxiety proneness. The study reveals that the emotional intelligence of juvenile offenders is significantly lower than peers in middle school, and their emotional perception and evaluation about themselves or others, regulation of emotion, the ability of taking advantage of emotions and dealing with problems are much lower than average people. Anxiety and depression exist in juvenile offenders obviously, the possibility of depression is significantly higher than the normal youth. Considering a large number of researches on Emotional Disorder and Threat Information attentional bias, we analyze different characteristics from average teenagers. In recent years, scholars tend to pay attention to researches on the change of attentional bias. The study on attentional bias, in terms of presentation duration of stimulus, indicates that candidates with various levels of anxiety reflect different characteristics of attentional bias at different presentation duration. Another focus on attentional bias is the number of times of stimulus presentation, which also means the Habituation tendency of attentional bias. And it is also found that they perform different Habituation tendency from those who with lower level of anxiety. What is the characteristics of Attentional bias of juvenile delinquents towards threatening emotion information? How it works during the time process? What is the connection between attentional bias and habituation tendency?Based on the above thinking, experiment1believed with the increase of time process, young offenders’ Attentional bias to threat emotional information might have always existed, while ordinary young people’s Attentional bias to threat emotional information faded away. Based on the results of the experiment1, experiment2assumed that young offenders’ Attentional bias to threat emotional information gradually disappeared after many presentations, while ordinary young people’s didn’t disapper. Through the above two experiments, can not only prove that young offenders Attentional bias to cognitive process of threat information, enrich the research in the field of emotion recognition; also can help prevent juvenile delinquency, intervene and rectify emotion recognition of young offenders, and reduce crime rate. The study selected juvenile delinquents in Juvenile Reformatory of Chongqing as the experimental group, which was divided into juvenile offender and adolscent offender, and also selected some ordinary high school students as control group. The sex ratio of the three groups has no significant difference, and the difference in age between juvenile offender group and control group is not obvious. Next, we intended to re-evaluate the threaten, neutral and positive pictures from IAPS in high school and college students, and selected the pictures which could distinguish three different qualities significantly as experimental materials. Research one, with cue-target paradigm, investigated the difference of Attentional bias between juvenile delinquents and ordinary youth, both in valid-cue and invalid-cue condition. Considering threaten information stimulus as clues, if the response time to valid-cue is fast, and is slow to invalid-cue, the result showed attentional bias to the threaten information, whereas showed the avoidance of attention. Research one picked100ms、500ms、1250ms as presentation duration; Research two, took cue-target paradigm as well, and picked500ms as presentation duration for6times. Combining the results of research one, research two explored the Habituation characteristics of juvenile delinquents’ attentional bias to different emotional information.According to previous two studies, the results showed that: (1) When the presentation duration was100ms, with the effective prompt, three groups showed the tendency of attentional facilitate to positive emotional information. With the invalid prompt, juvenile offenders and ordinary young people showed attentional avoidance to threat information, while adolescent offenders showed disengagement to threat emotional Information.(2) When the presentation duration was500ms, with the effective prompt, juvenile offenders tended to keep attentional facilitate to threat emotional Information, while ordinary young people showed obvious attentianal avoidance to threat emotional information, adolescent offenders showed obvious attentianal avoidance to both threaten and positive emotional information. With the invalid prompt, adolescent offenders showed obvious attentional disengagement to threat emotional information which meant that adolescent offenders showed the transition from attentioal disengagement to attentional avoidance to threaten information when the presentation duration was500ms.(3) When the presentation duration was1250ms, with the effective prompt, juvenile offenders tended to showed the obvious attentianal avoidance to threat emotional Information, while ordinary young people’s attentianal avoidance to threat emotional Information disappeared.(4)Three groups had different characteristics of attentional habituation to threaten emotional information. The juvenile offender group showed attentional disengagement again after the attentianal avoidance to threaten emotional information; the adolescent offender group showed avoidance disappeared after the transition from attentional disengagement to attentional avoidance; while the control group showed the attentional avoidance to threaten emotional information until the6th time.

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