Is criminal behavior a learned behavior? Is it simply dependent upon ones environment or is it much more complex? Many theorists have examined criminal behavior, such as Edwin Sutherland, Pavlov along with Hirschi. Sutherland, who devised the differential association theory, according this theory he stated that criminality is learned from those who are close to us, or whom we have a close association with. An individual’s behavior may be deviant if those whom they are associated with are also involved in aberrant behavior. Sutherland’s theory that criminal behavior is “learned” then eliminates psychological and biological
High crime rates are an ongoing issue through the United States, however the motivation and the cause of crime has yet to be entirely identified. Ronald Akers would say that criminality is a behavior that is learned based on what an individual sees and observes others doing. When an individual commits a crime, he or she is acting on impulse based on actions that they have seen others engage in. Initially during childhood, individuals learn actions and behavior by watching and listening to others, and out of impulse they mimic the behavior that is observed. Theorist Ronald Akers extended Sutherland’s differential association theory with a modern viewpoint known as the social learning theory. The social learning theory states that
I believe the theory that best explains why crime happens is the psychoanalytic perspective. I believe this is the best theory because it focuses more on the wants and acts of the criminal rather an their personality or lack of control. The psychoanalytic perspective more accurately describes a reason to why people commit crimes. Not all individuals could be identified from a personality trait or low levels of self control. Therefore, the psychoanalytic perspective would give the best explanation to why crime happens.
Each of these theories had led to many new theories used today, such as the Rational Choice theory, Biosocial and Psychological Theory, Critical Theory, Cultural Deviance Theory, Life Course Theory, and many more. The one thing in common with every theory is that they all explain at least one behavioral factor that leads to crime. Today, all these theories, and more, are researched and taken into account when trying to understand why a criminal does what they do.
Mr. Reploge, I agree with your point of view. Criminal behavior is a learned behavior, not inherited. Gabriel Tarde challenged the concept of the born criminal developed by Cesare Lombroso. He believed that one becomes a criminal through their environment, not birth. Group dynamics validate this theory. The study of group dynamics can be useful in understanding decision-making and criminal behaviors. It allows the principle of differential association to be examined through the rule of law.
How can theories help us to understand criminal behavior and to design strategies intended to control such behavior?
Behaviorism and social learning theory are examples of two mechanistic theories that focus on explaining children’s behavior. Social learning theory emphasizes observational learning and imitation. On the other hand, behaviorism is rooted in focusing on how the environment impacts development. The environment shapes the child’s development as the child strives to adapt to the environment. Both theories deal with explaining behavior and consist of similarities, but are composed of different elements of explaining behavior.
The basic assumptions of classical theory of crime causation is the belief that the majority of human beings are are fundamentally rational and that human behavior is the result of free will, meaning that people should be free to choose how they act.
In 1990, a new theory was brought to the public’s eye, which is able to explain all types of crime at all times. This new theory was called the theory of low self-control otherwise known as the general theory of crime. Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson were the two theorists that came together to the form general theory of crime. The theory recognized that many individuals are not always born well. These individuals are “born predisposed toward selfish, self-centered,
Higgins’ punishments were in the form of endless repetitions of certain phonological features. She was also denied food as a punishment. He also used derision and rude manners with her to mark the
Further to this, they need to provide a thorough explanation underpinning the criminal behaviour (Hayes, Prenzler, 2009). There are numerous theories available to assist with the explanation of criminal behaviour. These theories give rise to behavioral patterns such as repetition, instigation, desistance, and maintenance (Akers, Jensen, 2007).
Many people have different theories as to why crime exists. Some believe crime happens because of the individual’s culture, education (or lack there of), or even their race. Others believe crime is associated with whom we surround ourselves with. There are three sociological theories that suggest why crime happens in society; they are social learning theory, social control theory, and social reaction (labeling) theory. These theories suggest it is our relationships and social interactions that influence our behavior.
The Behavioural approach (also called the learning theory) focuses on the belief that our environment, e.g. people, experiences and learning, influences the development and behaviour of an individual whilst thinking the internal functions, such as thoughts and cognition, are impossible to observe, so they are not apart of the scientific approach to psychology. This theory is also based on the concept of ‘explaining behaviour through observation. Behaviourists assume individuals are born as a blank state (tabula rasa), meaning they do not think biology and cognitive functions influence our behaviour, only our environment does. A large idea that the theory hold is that behaviour can be broken down into stimulus-response units. Stimuli are anything environmental that triggers an individuals’ senses, for example, a student being asked to complete an assignment (stimulus) would respond by completing the assignment. Stimulus-response theories form the basis of classical or operant conditioning, which suggests animals and humans can learn through the relation of a response to any certain stimuli.
Behavioral Learning Theories Most theorists agree that learning occurs when experience causes a change in a person's knowledge or behavior . Behaviorists emphasize the role of environmental stimuli in learning and focus on the behavior, i.e., an observable response. Behavioral theories are based on contiguity, classical and operant conditioning, applied behavior analysis,
The causes of crime seem to be indefinite and ever changing. In the 19th century, slum poverty was blamed; in the 20th century, a childhood without love was blamed (Adams 152). In the era going into the new millennium, most experts and theorists have given up all hope in trying to pinpoint one single aspect that causes crime. Many experts believe some people are natural born criminals who are born with criminal mindsets, and this is unchangeable. However, criminals are not a product of heredity. They are a product of their environment and how they react to it. This may seem like a bogus assumption, but is undoubtedly true.