Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: March 31, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781446200926 | Print ISBN: 9781412920384 | Online ISBN: 9781446200926| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 3: Social Learning Theory: Process and Structure in Criminal and Deviant Behavior
Ronald L. Akers & Gary F. Jensen
Social learning theory: Process and structure in criminal and deviant behavior Ronald L. Akers’ social learning theory as a general explanation of criminal and deviant behavior was first proposed with Robert L. Burgess (Burgess and Akers, 1966) integrating Sutherland's (1947) sociological theory of differential association with principles of psychological behaviorism (Skinner, 1953). Burgess and Akers … retained the concepts of differential association and definitions from Sutherland's theory, but conceptualized them in more behavioral terms and added concepts from behavioral learning theory. These concepts include differential reinforcement, whereby ‘operant’ behavior (the voluntary actions of the individual) is conditioned or shaped by rewards and punishments. They also contain classical or ‘respondent’ conditioning (the conditioning of involuntary reflex behavior); discriminative stimuli (the environmental and internal stimuli that provide cues or signals for behavior); schedules of reinforcement (the rate and ratio in which rewards and punishments follow behavioral responses); and other principles of behavior ...