In this 5 page request please use each page to respond by either agreeing or challenging each person’s position with critical thought .
1. Support statements with sources that are cited within the content of the response.
2. Provide either data, research, theoretical application, or a real world example that has generated data that supports your contention.
3. Support each response with 2 sources.
One required sourse for each response will be the attached e-book chapters from – DeLisi, M. (2013). Criminal Psychology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education Inc.
The list of readings to be responded to can be found in the attached document.
After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
Define the social cognitive perspective and its approach to explaining crime.
Summarize the general aggression model and how aggression contributes to crime.
Outline the ways that cognition and crime are related.
Identify the relationship between language and antisocial conduct.
Explain how crime can be reduced with policies based in social cognitive theory.
s examined in Chapter 6, the behavioral displays of offenders begin to disadvantage
them during childhood when conventional peers reject them for their aggressive,
impulsive, and problematic behavior. Consistent with the tenets of social learning theory,
peer rejection facilitates the antisocial development of the rejected child by increasingly
placing him or her in situations that are conducive to crime. Indeed, a recurrent theme in
the psychological study of crime centers on the overlapping set of deficits and problems
that many serious criminal offenders exhibit. Criminal offenders frequently engage in
conduct that violates the norms and rules of society, misbehavior that is often pronounced
across settings and contexts. Not only do serious offenders commit crime, but they also
behave in ways that disrupt their educational development, compromise their ability to
get along with others, and jeopardize their ability to maintain employment.
That peer rejection and assorted acts of delinquency occur in school is significant because
individuals with externalizing symptoms and conduct problems frequently also exhibit
cognitive problems. The cognitive problems that offenders display, however, are more
complex than mere intelligence deficits (although there is a systematic negative relation
ship between intelligence and antisocial conduct, in which persons with lower intelli
gence are more likely to commit crime). The cognitive deficits that offenders present can
manifest in reduced investment and commitment to schoolwork, difficulty sitting still and
attending to classroom instruction, reading difficulties, speech pathology, and problems
understanding the social cues and behavior of others. The cognitive problems that behav
iorally disordered children (and ultimately adult criminal offenders) display occur both
within the classroom and in the schoolyard, and in both contexts their ability to under
stand right from wrong is impaired. From these impairments, behavioral patterns emerge
that are more often wrong than right.
The conceptual framework that organizes these concepts is known as “social cognitive
theory.” This chapter examines social cognitive theory as it is broadly understood in psy
chology, focusing in particular on the work of Albert Bandura, who is among the most
highly cited living psychologists in the world. Bandura’s work on the social cognitive
ways in which humans learn from their environment and then respond to it has influ
enced criminological thought as well. Some noteworthy criminological theories that are
rooted in social cognitive principles are examined, along with several content areas that
show the important empirical links between cognition and crime.
Social Cognitive Theory and Crime
ocial cognitive theory
asserts that behavior is produced from a combination of person-
specific factors or inputs and socially learned inputs that are cognitively processed
by the individual. Cognition is a broad concept that refers to the internal processes that
attach meaning and emotion to situations, events, places, and other people. Although
some might believe that everyone interprets the meaning of social interactions in a simi
lar way, it is important to understand that there are fundamental differences in the ways
criminal offenders process information and perceive other people and the ways that non-
criminals do. For non-criminals, cognitive understanding of events and other people is
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Social Cognitive Theory and Crime
mostly neutral or positive, mundane, and uncon
troversial. For offenders, however, cognitive
understanding of others is more problematic and
increases the likelihood of conflict. As a general
rule, social cognitive theories point to the brain
functions, social settings, and other factors to
explain how criminals understand the world dif
ferently from non-offenders, which has important
implications for their behavior.
An important distinction between social cognitive
theory and the learning/behaviorism theory from
which it is derived is that social cognitive theory
acknowledges the role and importance of human
agency to behavior.
is the capac
ity to exercise free will and behave in our lives—
to determine one’s fate by thinking and acting.
Environmental contingencies are still viewed as
important determinants of behavior, but in the
social cognitive perspective, the environment is
not given the purely deterministic status that it
received in Watson’s behaviorism theory. Accord
ing to Bandura,
The capacity to exercise control over the
nature and quality of one’s life is the
essence of humanness. Human agency
is characterized by a number of core
features that operate through phenom
enal and functional consciousness. These
include the temporal extension of agency
through intentionality and forethought,
self-regulation by self-reactive influence, and self-reflectiveness about
one’s capabilities, quality of functioning, and the meaning and purpose
of one’s life pursuits. (2001, p. 1)
To Bandura, human behavior is constantly being potentiated by an individual’s thoughts,
ideas, values, and beliefs; others’ articulated thoughts, ideas, values, and beliefs; vicari
ously internalized thoughts, ideas, values, and beliefs; and one’s prior behavioral expe
riences. Human behavior is influenced by an individual’s private or internal thoughts,
which are in turn influenced by personal experiences, exposure to the media and other
societal influences, and behavioral history. All of these experiences, thoughts, and emo
tions are processed in the brain and provide the raw materials from which behavior is
created. Ultimately, these experiences and cognitions result in an individual’s personal
sense of agency, known as self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in his or
her ability to exert control over his or her functioning, behavior, and environment. Self-
efficacy influences the likelihood that an individual will develop along prosocial or
antisocial pathways (see Figure 7.1):
Nathan Leopold (left) and Richard
Loeb (right) are among the most
infamous killers in American history.
What aspects of their personality and
social background are noteworthy for
being the opposite of the usual relation
between cognition and crime? Did
their cognitive skills make their crime
seem more reprehensible?
© Bettmann/Corbis/AP Images
11/14/12 2:21 PM
In page 1 please respond to:
Considering the social learning theory and the links to antisocial behavior, describe how social reinforcers and punishers as well as differential associations may be linked to gang involvement and gang-related delinquency.
Chapter 6 of our textbook discusses social learning theory, differential association, differential reinforcement, and the most significant contributors to those concepts, which were Watson, Sutherland, Burgess, Bandura, Skinner, and Akers. Differential association “asserts that crime is learned from others in mostly primary relationships and reflects an excess of definition favorable to law violation versus law compliance” (DeLisi, pg. 6.5, 2013). Basically, it a person’s association with different people and whether it effects their behavior in a positive or negative way. With that in mind, if someone is associated with gangs, the gang’s behavior and beliefs will influence the members.
Differential reinforcement (reinforcers) is the “balance of reward and punishment that is produced from behavioral acts (DeLisi, pg. 6.2, 2013). What this means is that crime is rewarding to people who have antisocial peers and not rewarding for people who don’t have antisocial peers (DeLisi, 2013). An example of differential reinforcement would be gang members having to commit major violent crimes to impress their peers and to move up in the gang’s ranks (DeLisi, 2013). A survey of 300 prisoners was conducted by Wood, Gove, Wilson, and Cochran showed that serious offenders felt crime was intrinsically rewarding, caused a euphoria or high, and solidified their sense of self (DeLisi, 2013).
What involvement might peer rejection play in the onset of delinquency and in the decision to join a gang?
“Peer rejection characterizes children who are more disliked than liked by their peers” (DeLisi, pg. 6.4, 2013). Furthermore, rejected boys are the ones that demonstrate the highest levels of anger, reactive aggression, and proactive or instrumental aggression (DeLisi, 2013). There are three different models of why children, adolescents, or teens join gangs or are involved in criminal behavior in gangs; these models are the selection model, facilitation model, and the enhancement model (DeLisi, 2013). The selection model suggests that “birds of a feather flock together”. In other words, people gravitate towards other people with like interests like sports, music, or other hobbies (DeLisi, 2013). The facilitation model suggests once a person joins a gang criminal behavior is heightened due to an increased influence of the gang members and once he or she leaves a gang criminal behavior will decline due to removing the gang members influence (DeLisi, 2013). The enhancement model simply suggests that antisocial people or troubled youth are just more likely to get involved in a gang (DeLisi, 2013). Furthermore, once in the gang, the criminal behavior gets worse or is enhanced.
In Page 2 please respond to:
Social learning theory is the belief that behavior is motivated by the results one achieves and is predicated on the idea that people will mimic other individuals based on how often one is exposed to their actions (DeLisi, 2013). Social interactions between individuals who are closely associated account for the highest variable of influence on a person’s behavior so involvement in a gang would produce a better more violent criminal with antisocial behavior.
Peer rejection causes many negative emotions, which in turn makes the rejected individual more likely to join a gang. The rejected individual is more likely to feel the need to be accepted by others who are also perceived as rejects in society (DeLisi, 2013). When it comes to gangs and antisocial behavior punishers have little influence on the behavior and may also elevate status of gang members.
Differential association states that people base their behavior on associations with others and in gang–related delinquency individuals learn better criminal techniques and become more motivated to engage in criminal behavior (DeLisi, 2013). Social reinforcers for criminal behavior include acceptance and attention from others and in a gang setting this means committing criminal acts to be accepted as part of the gang.
In England antisocial behavior is actually a criminal offense with the definition being “acting in a manner that causes harassment or distress to other people who do not live with you” (Neary, Egan, Keenan, Lawson, Bond, 2013). The article went on to state that the Riot Communities and Victims’ Panel found that when people in a gang have no reason to stay out of trouble the gang activity continues and the community can become shattered.
In page 3 please respond to:
Joseph, according to Zelazo (2013), executive function starts developing in infancy and continues its developmental process into the adolescent years paralleling the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The purpose of the executive function enables the individual to analyze a situation and determine which option is best given the circumstance in lieu of a response based on impulse. As difficult as it is for a child to develop a socially acceptable executive function, children with Conduct Disorder (CD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and phenylketonuria (PKU) are disadvantaged in this natural developmental process; so much so that their decision making process later in life makes them more prone to criminal behavior then children that had the ability to develop healthier executive function due to the fact the a lack of developmental function deters a normal sequence of problem solving (Zelazo, 2013). This is evident by the children whose aggressive nature that incorporates biting, scratching, and kicking in response to failures or not attaining short term goals, i.e. temper tantrums, declines around their second year of life, but the child who has not had a healthy development of their executive function continues to exhibit aggressive behavior towards other children (Zelazo, 2013). There has been much discussion regarding Fast Track; as such besides Fast Track, especially when addressing issues with executive functioning alone; what is an alternative program to modify behavior especially when dealing with children who suffer from Conduct Disorder (CD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and phenylketonuria (PKU), and may not have yet committed a criminal offense and would that program differ from those who commit violent offenses or non-violent offenses, or do all of these differ in reprogramming behavior?
In page 4 please respond to:
The three social-cognitive factors that I would like to discuss are language, executive functions, and neuropsychological deficits.
DeLisi (2013) suggests, individuals who cannot express themselves verbally, often result in using physical force. In a study conducted on offenders, it was determined that at least 50% of the sample group that was evaluated had language impairments (Snow & Powell, 2011). This theory was further confirmed by another study on antisocial boys, which resulted in 80% of language deficits (DeLisi, 2013). The outcome of criminal behavior, based on verbal expression, can be predicted as early as two years of age.
Executive functions ultimately control emotional responses to internal and external stimuli. As we discussed in these past weeks, self control is an important factor when it comes to delinquency, and being able to make good judgment calls (decision-making) is a part of these executive functions (DeLisi, 2013). A longitudinal study confirmed that children with reduced executive functions displayed severe behavioral problems.
Lastly, neuropsychological deficits also contribute to criminal conduct. Perhaps, neuropsychological deficits closely relate to executive functions in regard to brain activity and the control of behavior. Children who are not able to pay close attention to detail and maintain focus for an extended period of ultimately produce poor performance in school, and hence, are considered at high risk for future delinquent conduct (DeLisi, 2013). Causes of neuropsychological can occur through birth complications and the development of brain lesions (DeLisi, 2013).
Mentoring is a good intervention. Pairing an antisocial child with a prosocial adult can reduce behavior problems significantly (DeLisi, 2013). According to DeLisi (2013), “A mentor is a successful adult (e.g., employed, educated, and not engaged in vice or antisocial behavior) who cares for the well-being of the mentee and creates arelationship that is part teacher, part friend, and part parent” (chp 7.3).
In page 5 please respond to:
The social cognitive theory is based on the “combination of person-specific factors or inputs and socially learned inputs that are cognitively processed by the individual” (DeLisi, 2013,sec. 7.1). There are several factors that an individual can learn by observing others, making this a “learning” process. One link between “cognitive deficits and conduct problems relates to language pathology” (sec. 7.2). The lack of language skills can hinder an individual from being able to verbalize their responses properly. They lack confidence and rather than try to produce an appropriate response they turn to aggression or deviant behavior to get their point across.
Another factor that can cause an individual to commit crime is their executive functions. The executive functions “helps an individual modulate their emotional and behavioral responses through problem solving, planning, attention, verbal reasoning and related tasks” (sec. 7.2). Individuals with poor executive functions have higher behavior problems, and low self-control, making them unable to properly problem solve, plan, or pay attention.
Lastly, the neuropsychological deficits have been linked to “life-course-persistent offending” (sec. 7.2). They are brain-based deficits that are a risk for maladaptive behavior. It is mostly associated with antisocial behavior; which tend to cause a person to have behavioral disorders. These individuals become easily influenced because they do not associate with anyone, they are failing their academics and keep their problems to themselves. They have a poor attention span and do not show any interest in any kind of peer related activities.
I think a prevention, and treatment program that could be used to treat the neuropsychological deficits is FAST Track. The programs’ aim is to “improve bonds to school and family” (DeLisi, 2013, sec. 7.3). It has shown to be an effective treatment program by decreasing aggression in individuals and increasing relationships between them and their parents, classmates and educators.