The Elephant and the Felon: A Look at Criminal Sentencing and Treatment Through the Lens of Jonathan Haidt's Moral Matrices
Date of Award
Doctoral Research Paper
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Michael Karson, Ph.D., J.D.
Shelly Smith-Acuna, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Sather, Psy.D.
Criminal sentencing, Moral matrices
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Criminal sentencing in the United States has shifted over the years. This paper outlines the current role morality plays in the sentencing and punishment of criminals. Recent work in moral psychology points the way to a better approach. Jonathan Haidt’s moral matrices, from his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, provide a signpost for more efficacious treatment of those on parole or under community supervision, overall contributing to the reduction of recidivism. In sum, Haidt’s work in moral psychology could lead to fairer sentencing and more effective treatment.
Horkott, Samantha, "The Elephant and the Felon: A Look at Criminal Sentencing and Treatment Through the Lens of Jonathan Haidt's Moral Matrices" (2020). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 381.
Theoretical Analysis and Synthesis