Role models, social learning theory and crime
SLT suggests that behaviour, to an extent at least, comes from observing role models and immitating their behaviour. This is known as observational learning. People imiatate those with the same gender, similar age, or people who are powerful or have achieved something.
Role model: is a person who another person may look up to and can identify with in some way.
Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961):
This study showed that children imitated an adult model who was aggressive. They found that boys imitated physical aggression more than girls, who showed more verbal aggression than physical. They also discovered that both boys and girlswere more likely to imitate the adult male model more than the female model. This suggests that there is also an element of expectation involved, such as that males are imitated more if they are aggressive, because it is expected that aggression is found more in males. There are some complex issues involved, but the basic idea is that behaviour can come from imitation of role models.
The role of reinformcement in social learning theory and crime