Criminal Psychology Theories Quiz

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10 Questions

What type of reinforcement involves repeating a behavior to avoid consequences?

Negative reinforcement

According to Social Learning Theory, which process involves adopting the beliefs of role models?


What type of theory suggests that we can learn to become criminal through punishments and rewards?

Operant Conditioning

Which type of reinforcement motivates individuals to copy behavior because they gain some sort of pleasure?

Vicarious reinforcement

In the context of Social Learning Theory, what process involves being able to pay attention to observed behavior?


What was the main finding regarding aggression in the study conducted by Bandura, Ross, and Ross (1961)?

Children in the aggressive condition displayed more aggressive behavior than the control group.

According to Bandura's study, which group of children spent more time with toy guns in the non-aggressive condition?


What was one significant difference observed between boys and girls in Bandura's study regarding aggression?

Boys imitated verbal aggression more than girls.

In Charlton et al.'s (2000) study, what was the aim related to television and children's behavior?

To investigate if television influences children's aggression levels.

What method did Charlton et al. use to observe children's behavior before and after introducing television to the community?

Direct observation using video cameras

Study Notes

Criminal Psychology: Why do People Become Criminals?

  • A criminal is an act or omission that is punishable by law.
  • Deviant behavior is an act or behavior that does not conform to social norms or expectations.

Theories of Crime: Operant Conditioning

  • Learning through consequences, punishments, and rewards shape our behavior.
  • Positive reinforcement: being rewarded for behavior.
  • Negative reinforcement: repeating behavior to avoid consequences.
  • Positive punishment: receiving a punishment for behavior.
  • Negative punishment: having something taken away for behavior.

Evaluation of Operant Conditioning

  • Strengths: helps understand how behavior is learned and maintained.
  • Weaknesses: oversimplifies the complexity of human behavior.

Social Learning Theory

  • Observing and imitating the behavior of others around us.
  • Modelling process: attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation.
  • Vicarious reinforcement: motivated to copy behavior due to pleasure or reward.
  • Identification: adopting the beliefs of role models.

Evaluation of Social Learning Theory

  • Strengths: helps understand how aggression is learned and maintained.
  • Weaknesses: oversimplifies the complexity of human behavior.

Study 1: Bandura, Ross, and Ross (1961)

  • Transmission of aggression through imitation of role models.
  • Procedure: 72 children observed aggressive or non-aggressive models, then imitated behavior.
  • Findings: children in aggressive condition displayed more aggressive behavior, boys imitated physical aggression, and girls imitated verbal aggression.
  • Conclusion: supports Social Learning Theory, children learn through observation.

Evaluation of Bandura

  • Strengths: demonstrates how children learn aggression through observation.
  • Weaknesses: limited generalizability due to artificial laboratory setting.

Study 2: Charlton et al (2000)

  • Investigating the effect of television on children's behavior.
  • Procedure: naturalistic study on a remote community without TV, then introduced TV and observed behavior.
  • Findings: introduction of TV led to increased aggression in children.
  • Conclusion: supports the link between media violence and aggression in children.

Evaluation of Charlton et al (2000)

  • Strengths: high ecological validity, naturalistic study.
  • Weaknesses: limited control over extraneous variables.

The Effects of Punishment and Recidivism

  • Punishment aims to deter criminal behavior, but recidivism rates remain high.
  • Recidivism: rate of reoffending after punishment.
  • Types of punishment: rehabilitative, restorative, retributive, and deterrent.

Explore the reasons why people become criminals and deviate from social norms, along with theories such as Operant Conditioning that explain criminal behavior through consequences. Test your knowledge on positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and positive punishment in shaping criminal behavior.

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