Criminal Behavior: Social Learning Theory And Labeling Theory

Improved Essays
Phase IV

Throughout the previous phases of this project the goal has been to try to determine what makes a person commit a particular crime. The two theories that best explain my own and my team’s criminal behavior are social learning theory and labeling theory. These two theories offer the best explanation for my specific example of underage drinking. Being able to explain why someone begins to underage drink is the best way to go about stopping it. Akers’ social learning theory is a theory that offers an explanation for learned behavior. The delinquent activity being exhibited in my personal experience with crime are the actions that my high school baseball teammates used to obtain alcohol illegally. They also learned behaviors that they
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No one was ever caught at this gas station buying alcohol so the reward was extremely high with relatively zero risk. This opportunity leads to some of the team members exploiting this opportunity on a regular basis. Observational learning came with the actual act of planning and executing a drinking party. Upperclassmen didn’t intentionally teach us how to go about planning a party but through watching their actions we were able to learn the necessary abilities to throw parties later on in our high school career without getting caught. Social learning theory uses a reward vs. risk thought process and when it came to planning and hosting the party the risk was extremely low with a fairly large yet illegal reward. The few times that a party ever was discovered the punishment was virtually nonexistent which just reinforced the delinquent activity that was …show more content…
They aid in explaining how the opinion of the community can have a direct negative affect on a group of people, who never directly committed any kind of criminal behavior prior to the label being created. Criminological theory offers the opportunity to find explanations as to why this and similar delinquent activities occur on a regular basis. These theories also offer glimpses into how a community could go about solving its crime issues; with just a basic understanding of how the theories interact with society crime could be stopped on a more consistent

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