Learning from others and Social Cognition

Akers (1979) and Gudjonsson (2007)

  • Created by: kai
  • Created on: 05-06-12 14:02

Learning from others - Akers (1979)

Aim: Test social learning theory of deviant behaviour with survey data on adolescent drinking and drug behaviour

Sample: 2500 male and felmales age 13-18 in three midwestern U.S states

Method: Self Report

Procedure: Questionnaire about abstinence from use of alcohol and marijuana. Measured by 6 point frequency-of-use scale: 1=Never 6=nearly every day. Abuse was measured by asking the respondens to check wheather or not they had experienced problems on more than one occasion such as 'having an accident','not being able to remember later' what they had done. Five concepts, influenced Social Learning Theory and Differential Association theory, used as predictor variables: imitation; differential associations; definitions; differential social reinforcement and non-social reinforcement. 

Results: Strong support for the social learning theory of adolescent alcohol and drug behaviour.

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Learning from others - Akers (1979) Cont....

Results (cont): 55% of the variance in drinking behaviour 

68% of the variance in marijuana behaviour

Key Term: Variance is a measure of the amount of variation within the values of a variable. If a model explains 55% of the variance then if you the independent data for someone then you can predict the outcome and you will be right 55% of the time.

Factors (concepts) selected for analysis together have strong explanatory power regarding young people's drinking and drug taking habits. 

Least predictive variable was imitation.

Most effective predictive variable was differential association.

Evaluation: Self report is sometimes seen as unreliable because there is no objective data collected but large sample size, able to generalise findings and more reliable conclusions drawn from the data but social desirability.

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Social Cognition - Gudjonsson (2007)

Aim: Examine the relationship between motivation for offending and personality.

Sample: 128 male youths, age range 15-21, Iceland. 

Participants had plead guilty to an offence. 

Method: Self Report

Procedure: Several psychological scales were administered: Offending Motivation Questionnaire (OMQ); Gudjonsson Compliance Scale; Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EQP) and Eysenck Impulsivity Scale (EIS); Novaco Anger Scale and the Blame Attribution Inventory. 

Results: 86% committed the offence in the company of others.

Motivation for offending mist take into consideration peer group influence and pressure.

Highest mean score on the OMQ were for the excitement and financial motives. 

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Social Cognition - Gudjonsson (2007) Cont...

Results (cont): 38% ppts claimed they did not think about the consequences.

36% were very confident that they would get away with the offence.

Individual differences in offending motivation factors and that these are related to personality variables. 

Evaluation: The sample (young men who had committed relatively minor offences) is both a strength and a weakness. 

The strength is that there a less likely to be confounding variables associated with age, gender, substance abuse and repeat offending.

The weakness is that the influence of different type of offences could not be ascertained and possible gender differences. 

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