The Theory Of Social Learning Theory

980 Words Dec 2nd, 2015 4 Pages
Social Learning theory is one of the most widely researched theories because it attempts to explain the origins of criminal behavior. Albert Bandura was one of the pioneers of this approach. His main point was that criminals are not ‘born’ criminals; rather individuals learn to be criminals through a process of learning, which occurs as a result of experiences. (Akers, 1990:3). However, this paper’s focus is not on Bandura’s theory rather it is on Ronald Aker’s theory that explores which associations are more significant than others when it comes to deviant behavior. According to this theory, individuals, especially youth, who associates more with those who engage in deviant behavior are much more likely to commit a crime (Verrill, 2005:33). If social learning theory states that criminal behavior is learned then the ‘nothing works’ approach does not make sense because like everyone else, criminals also learn everything through punishment and rewards (Cullen & Gendreau, 2000). Meaning if they learned deviant behavior, then they could also learn lawful behavior with effective rehabilitative programming. Rehabilitative programs, such as Multisystemic therapy, which focuses on violent juvenile offenders and recognizes that individual’s association with others greatly impacts how that person will make deviant and non-deviant choices (Borduin et al., 1995).

In today’s society, people like to follow what others are doing. They constantly look towards others for approval.…
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