Case Study 1

Topics: Childhood, Developmental psychology, Cognition Pages: 2 (558 words) Published: April 4, 2013
In the following response there will be evidence to support the legal decision that a 6 yr. old cannot form criminal intent; however studies like this remain an horrific tragedy regardless of the results. Bio-socially one would have to review the child's brain Did the 6 yr. old have a typical developing and functioning brain? Even if he did, younger children lack the thought-process of planning, controlling impulses, and knowing what may happen. The pre-frontal cortex located in the front part of the brain, just behind the forehead is crucial for humans. It is where all of the planning, prioritizing and reflecting are ruled. (Berger, 2011, pg. 215) The little boy in the case study could not cognitively reason that someone may get hurt and forever change a family's life. The capacity to understand the effects of a peer being killed is not developed like an adult. He will not reflect that the deceased child's parents will be devastated; or the effects on his peers at school and the need for counseling. The text gives a great example of when preschoolers are playing Simon says, it shows that they are impulsive and easily do what they see or are told to do. In this case, the boy possibly witnessed the 19 year old male shooting and copied what he did. According to Piaget's cognitive theory, during the pre-operational period preschoolers are influenced by others. The six year old could have been imagining to shoot his classmate and not actually wanting to hurt her. But at that age, clear thinking is not fully developed. I can imagine him believing that if he shot the little girl that she would eventually wake up. Piaget describes this as static reasoning, believing the world is unchanging. The theorist labels this one of four limitations of pre-operational thought that makes logical thinking difficult. (Berger, 2011, pg. 238) One has to take into account that the father and grandfather are incarcerated for similar actions. Is there some type of genetic...
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