Social Learning Theory explanation for criminal behaviour

Everything you need to know about SLT and crime. 

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  • Social Learning Theory of Crime
    • SLT
      • Behavior comes from OBSERVING ROLE MODELS and IMITATING THEIR BEHAVIOR.
        • ATTENTION RETENTION REPLICATIONMOTIVATION
    • Role of reinforcement and crime
      • Commit crimes because of association with others - it is possible to be reinforced for crime.
      • POSITIVE reinforcement - increases the frequency of criminal behavior because something nice happens
        • e.g. financial gain or thrill of committing crimes.
      • NEGATIVE reinforcement - increases the frequency of criminal behavior because something not so nice is removed.
      • PUNISHMENT is likely to deter criminal behaviour
      • SLT suggests that a second crime is likely to be similar to the first crime because it matches the patterns of reinforcement.
    • Motivation for crime
      • Vicarious Learning
        • Learning through indirect sources such as the success/failure of another person
        • A successful criminal is therefore more motivating than an unsuccessful one
      • Self reinforcement
        • Committing crimes is more motivating when internal needs are satisfied.
          • e.g. excitement of shoplifting
      • External motivation
        • Once the criminal act is acquired through SLT then operant conditioning is applied
        • EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION - taking action for the sake of obtaining a reward or outcome.
          • e.g. trying to impress peer groups by vandalizing a car
            • Once the criminal act is acquired through SLT then operant conditioning is applied

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