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PSYC 3402
Shelley Brown

Week 3 social learning theories PSYC 3402 Big Picture Issue #2-the importance of method • Lange study (1929)--an example of how methodological flaws can lead to over-stated conclusions • Identified different types of methods (pre/post designs, longitudinal multi-wave designs, meta-analyses, ‘parent/offspring paradigm’) – Meta-analyses—aggregate summaries • Longitudinal designs are better than cross-sectional/snap short studies (allow us to transition from ‘correlates’ to ‘risk factors’, next step—’causal factors’) Psychodynamic Theories • Crime is the result of dynamic internal forces within the individual and the result of early childhood experiences Freud’s Id, Ego, and Superego • Id: – Pleasure principle: Obtain immediate pleasure and ignore reality • Ego: – Reality principle: satisfy demands of the id while also satisfying demands of superego • Superego: – Internalization of rules and restrictions of society (socialization) – Conscience (morals: right/wrong) and ego-ideal (socially accepted standards: aspirations) Crime and Superego Development • According to psychodynamic theorists, criminals have encountered problems with superego development 3 types • Harsh superego (neurotic criminal): – Leads to pathological levels of unconscious guilt (typically over unresolved infantile desires) and criminal behaviour is meant to subconsciously invite punishment in an attempt to resolve this guilt • Weak superego: – Superego fails to regulate the primitive and instinctual needs of the id – Offender is characterized as being egocentric, impulsive, guiltless, unempathic = psychopath • Deviant superego: – Superego standards have developed, but those standards reflect deviant identification – Criminal parents who have good relationship with their child. E.g. bieber – “Dad and son jailed for arming criminals”…..”Children follow convicted parents into crime”……… Freud: Criticisms • Generally discounted... • Relatively simplistic view of complex behaviour • How do we measure someone’s conscience (or ego, or id)? • Thus, hard to test scientifically Freud - 5 stages of psychosexual development 1. Oral (birth to 1 and a half) • Child is preoccupied with seeking gratification through sucking and feeding. • Primary conflict is weaning, which deprives the child of sensory and psychological pleasures such as nursing and feeling cared for by the mother 2. Anal (1-1 and a half to 2-3 years) • Intro to toilet training • Primary conflict is one of control and delayed gratification as the child has to learn to delay the pleasure associated with bodily expulsion 3. Phallic (2-3 to 5-6 years) • Primary conflict is sexual. Child becomes interested in their genitals and begins to develop an unconscious desire for the opposite sex parent and fear of retribution from same sex parent • BOYS = Oedipus complex • Through fear of castration and gradual identification with father, which allows boy to possess his mother vicariously, the young male becomes indoctrinated into the appropriate sexual role in life and develops a superego • GIRLS = Electra complex • The female recognizes that unlike her father she has no penis and blames this on her mother (penis envy). • By gradually identifying with mother figure, girls begin to resolve this conflict though Freud believes that females remain slightly fixated at the phallic stage and therefore never develop as strong a superego as boys 4. Latent(age 5-6 to puberty 12+) • Sexual drive de-emphasized and repressed sexual energy is redirected to asexual pursuits such as same-sex friendships 5. Genital (adolescence to adulthood) • Interest in genitals is reborn and individual searches for intimacy with an opposite sex partner. Energy devoted to this depends on if other stages were completely resolved or not John Bowlby’s Theory of Maternal Deprivation • Criminal behaviour is a consequence of early separation from maternal caregiver (6mths – 3yrs) • Separation prevents effective social development from taking place • Without effective social development, individual experiences long term problems in positive social relationships (lack of socialization/conscience) • Crime results from early separation from caregivers • Relationship w mother determines crime or not • If separated from mother from 6 months to 3 years you will most likely be deviant • Necessary to have caregivers and socialization and done properly or else will develop anti social behaviour Theory largely based on one study: • Bowlby (1944) studied 44 juvenile thieves and a matched control group of non-delinquent children • 39% of delinquent group had experienced complete separation from mother for 6 months or more in first five years of life • 5% of children in non-delinquent group experienced this Criticisms • Methodological issues (e.g., matching of experimental and control groups) • Didn’t consider the bigger picture—other factors • Children form attachments with more than one adult (what about fathers?) • What about children who were maternally deprived but did not become delinquents? – Over-predicts delinquency • Research simply doesn’t support maternal deprivation as THE critical factor The Gluecks Research: Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency (1950) • Husband and wife team at Harvard • “Theory of crime” based on empirical data collected from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies • 500 delinquent boys and 500 non-delinquent boys – Matched on age, race, type of neighbourhood, intelligence • Social, psychological, and biological information for each boy from interviews with the boys, their parents, and their teachers In sum, according to the Gluecks • Primary cause of delinquency was parenting factors: “The development of a mentally hygienic and properly oriented superego (conscience) must have been greatly hampered by the kind of parental ideals, attitudes, temperaments, and behavior found to play such a major role on the family stage of the delinquents” (Glueck and Glueck 1950: 281)” • Identified a host of parenting variables – Parents/siblings/grandparents-criminality, low IQ, alcoholism, less educated, – Parenting style (poor monitoring/supervision) – Lack of parental warmth, affection Criticisms • Reasonable support, but: – Methodological weaknesses precluded strong causal statements that the Gleucks tended to have made—”tentative causal formula” OVEREXAGGERATES • they didn’t carefully examine causal ordering issues – (i.e. Whether factors they highlighted preceded delinquency or were the result of delinquency) – Omission of key variables in their explanation: anti-social associates and misconduct in school – More a summary of the data, rather than an integrated theory – BUT, the importance of parenting comes out, time and time again in more methodologically sound studies Hirschi’s Social Control Theory • An attempt to explain what controls peoples’ behaviour and why they choose to conform to conventional norms • Four social bonds that promote conformity: – Attachment – Commitment – Involvement – Belief • The stronger these bonds the less likely one is to become involved in crime • Attachment: – One’s interest in others (parents, etc.) – People don’t commit crime for fear of jeopardizing these relationships – Depends on depth and quality of relationship • Commitment: – Time, energy, and effort placed on conventional values – Lack of commitment to conventional values will result in increased risk of becoming involved in crime (no investment to lose) • Involvement: – Involvement in conventional activities (e.g., recreation, etc.) – Doesn’t leave time to engage in crime (i.e., some crime results from idleness) • Belief: – Respect of societal value system (i.e., laws, law makers, law enforcers) – If beliefs are weak or absent crime will occur CRITICISMS • Largely supported, but: – Assumption that delinquency weakens pre-existing strong social bonds is faulty in some cases; sometimes delinquency precedes already weakened bonds or strong bonds that never existed – Attachment to peers can lead to crime – Some bonds (e.g., attachment) more important than others – Power of certain bonds varies across age and gender Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime • Theory to explain all crime and all deviant behaviour (e.g., alcohol, drug, and tobacco use) • Lack of self-control (plus criminal opportunities) explains crime.  These people are impulsive, reckless and insensitive. Product of bad socialization, parents failed to discipline them in childhood for wrongful behaviour. These people are likely to commit deviant acts. • Low self-control also explains root causes of crime in other theories (e.g., low attachment to school/teachers) • Level of self-control is thought to be stable throughout life and relate to quality of parenting: – Monitoring children’s behaviour – Recognition of deviant behaviour – Appropriate discipline • Leads to: – Ability to delay gratification – Sensitivity to others – More willing to place restraints on activities • CRITICISMS - Largely supported, but: – Self-control does not appear to be the sole cause of crime (e.g., social learning variables) – Social bonds developed in adulthood can redirect offenders into pathway of conformity (e.g., marriage) – i.e., self-control not stable Learning theories – Classical conditioning • Eysenck’s bio-social theory of crime – Operant conditioning – Social learning theories – Bandura’s social learning theory (vicarious learning) – Sutherland’s differential association theory (crime) – Akers’ social learning theory (crime) – Andrew’s & Bonta’s PIC-R (crime) • Learning theories are • theories based on principles of conditioning, and being educated by others. They are theories that speculate that criminal behaviour is learned and maintained by its consequences. • Ivan Pavlov: – Classical conditioning: learning through conditioned stimuli • B.F. Skinner: – Operant conditioning: learning through rewards and punishments Pavlov-Russian physiologist 1849-1936—was studying dog digestive system when he serendipitously discovered classical conditioning—e.g., dog started to salivate when assistants came into the room (before the dog saw the food-learned that dogs were associated the white lab coats with food) Bell was really a metronome I believe Important to note the UCR is reflexive/automatic/not controllable It's important to note that classical conditioning involves placing a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex. In Pavlov's classic experiment with dogs, the neutral signal was the sound of a tone and the naturally occurring reflex was salivating in response to food. By associating the neutral stimulus with the environmental stimulus (the presentation of food), the sound of the tone alone could produce the salivation response. • Falls within the field of behaviorism • Basic assumption is that learning occurs through interactions with the environment • The environment alone shapes and maintains behaviour • Internal mental states—thoughts, feelings, emotions -have no place in explaining why people behave the way they do • Identify the US, CS, UR, and CR in the following example • You have a math teacher who says “Poor Canada” every time someone gets an answer wrong in class causing you to feel anxious. Over time, the mere mention of the word ‘math’ causes you to break out in a sweat. • The unconditioned stimuli (US) is: • The mean teacher • The unconditioned response (UR) is: • Anxiety • The conditioned stimuli (CS) is: • Math • The conditioned response (CR) is: • Anxiety (i.e., sweating) ANOTHER EXAMPLE PERTAINING TO CRIMINOLOGY • Jimmy is harassed (UCS) at school • Jimmy feels bad (UCR) when harassed • Jimmy associates school (CS) with harassment • Jimmy begins to feel bad (CR) when he thinks of school • Jimmy stops going to school • Jimmy becomes delinquent Pedophiles – maybe they saw something sexual paired with a child enough times that they eventually associated sexual arousal with children • Classical conditioning has practical implications for good and gor humans, not just dogs • Treating phobias, anxiety, panic disorders • Sheep example-ranchers injected nausea inducing substance into sheep—to deter coyotes from attacking (sheep = US; UR = getting sick to the substance—automatic, can’t control it; but then sheep becomes the CS after injection; resulting in a conditioned response of nausea upon mere site of a sheep How Do We Stop Crime? • Break the link between the CS (e.g., the school) and the CR (feeling bad) • How? Process of extinction. Eventually if you keep ringing the bell and stop bringing the food, the dog will stop salivating. • Another example--sex offender treatment—see box 3.2 – Covert Aversive cond
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