According to social learning theory, individuals learn to take part in criminal activities basically through their relationship with others. The theory claims that individuals are taught to indulge in criminal activities as they acquire notions that favor crime and usually have role models who are criminal figures. As a result of this exposure, people start thinking of crime as a very desirable act or as something which is acceptable in particular cases.
As can be drawn from the social learning theory, people learn to take part in crime the same way that they learn to take on in compliant behavior, which is either through their relationship with people or to the kind of exposure they receive all through life. The major impact on people is that of intimate relationships such as family and the group of friends. As a matter of fact, being associated with people who are delinquent is the best judge of criminal behavior instead of previous delinquency. On the other hand, individuals do not actually have to be connected in order to learn from each other, for example, a person might engage in criminal activities by merely observing criminal behavior in their role models in the media.
A major part of the social learning theory comprises of an explanation of the three methods which are taken upon by people to learn to take part in criminal activities, which are differential reinforcement, beliefs, and modeling.
Differential Reinforcement: People might teach others to act aggressively through the reinforcements and penalties that are put down for their behavior. It is more likely for crime to occur when it is recurrently toughened and rarely penalized, or it ends up in a fairly large amount of support for example receiving a huge amount of money, approval by the society or even enjoyment and little or no reprimand or is more probable to be resistant than substitute behaviors.
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