Two Different Explanations That Explains Criminal Behaviour

Topics: Classical conditioning, Reward system, Operant conditioning Pages: 2 (407 words) Published: October 30, 2008
Two different explanations that explains criminal behaviour is due to social factors or appearance. The first difference which explains criminal behaviour is a cultural explanation known as social learning theory, which consist of operant conditioning, classical conditioning, social learning theory and sociological learning theory. The theories propose a person's behaviour is learned and maintained by its consequences, or reward value. These consequences may be external reinforcement such as money or social status. The study by Bandura, Ross and Ross illustrates criminal behaviour could be due three factors which affect criminal behaviour. One being due to external reinforcement such as in operant theory; once behaviour is learned the behaviour may be reinforced or punished by its consequences. Secondly the classical conditioning theory which is the observation of other people being rewarded or punished for their behaviour. Thirdly, self-reinforcement which is when one may gain internal satisfaction from an activity, which therefore motivates the individual to behave in a similar way in the future such as an adrenalin rush or pride. Lastly where criminal behaviour is learnt and takes place through association with other people. Bandura suggested that models that are regarded as successful are more effective in motivating an individual to copy their behaviour also people such as close family.

A second difference to explain criminal behaviour is Lombroso theory. Lombroso argued that the physical shape of the head and face determined the "born criminal". He debated that the criminal is a separate species, unable to adapt to modern morality; where the species is between modern and primitive humans. He mentioned the species had large jaws, high cheek bones, large ears, extra nipples, toes or fingers, and were insensitive to pain. Lombroso went further and suggested that from the surveys he had carried out in prison, he could detect physiological differences...
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