Behavioral Theory

Topics: Criminology, Crime, Crimes Pages: 2 (396 words) Published: January 2, 2006
Behavioral Theory
Knowledge and habits can be formed through experiences and relationships with others. The behavior we learn early in life may manifest itself as criminal activity. Although this is not an exact science, people can come from a negative environment and still overcome the odds.

It is questioned whether we learn to commit crimes, born as a criminal or is it natural to know right from wrong?
Some believe aggressive behavior is learned through weekend and broken homes. When a child is faced with abuse from their parents, rage toward that parent maybe displaced on other individuals. An example of this would be Charles Manson, who was introduced to physical and mental abuse by his mother and father. Later on in adulthood he formed a cult that murdered innocent people. Manson didn't physically kill anyone he persuaded the members of his group to commit the crimes. The social learning theory believes we learn through interactions with others and we model our behavior on what we see. Many of these individuals believe that aggression will gain rewards, praise and help build self-esteem. One theorist by the name of Cesare Lombroso believed that a human could be destined for criminal behavior due to their outward appearance. He studied many criminals, who shared many of the same physical characteristics. Lombroso was convinced that a criminal was an immoral person due to their appearance. The born criminal theory was no longer considered when weakness of his research was found.

An example of a person that overcame the odds of bad environment is David Peltzer. His experience is one of the worst child abuse cases recorded. Peltzer's mother was an alcoholic and took much of her anger out on Dave when he was a child. She would physically and mentally abuse him to the point he is lucky to be alive today. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he has taken experience to educate others by writing books and giving speeches. Dave now has a...
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