Post a response that addresses the following:


According to the social and behavioral theories addressed in this week’s Learning Resources, behavior is learned through experience, observation, and the administration of punishment and rewards. For example, a child may avoid a hot stove after being burned, an adolescent may mimic his or her favorite recording artist, and an adult may drive slowly through a school zone after receiving a speeding ticket the week before. The majority of learned behavior is considered to be acceptable and falls within the confines of social norms. However, poor behavior can also be learned and reinforced through the same mechanisms as good behavior.

For this Discussion, you consider the degree to which criminal behavior is learned and whether the current criminal justice system is equipped to help offenders “unlearn.”

To prepare:

  • Identify a recent crime that received news coverage and for which there is information about the offender’s background and motives.

By Day 3

Post a response that addresses the following:

  • Summarize the crime you have identified.
  • Why did the offender commit the crime? To what extent do you think the crime was the result of learned behavior?
  • Is the current criminal justice system equipped to help offenders “unlearn” criminal behavior, such as that involved in this crime? 


Post a response that addresses the following:

  • Explain how—and to what extent—the following factors account for criminal behavior in the case study:
    • Parenting styles and practices
    • Peer influences
    • Conditioning and reinforcement

Support your response with specific examples from the case study, theories from the Learning Resources, and relevant professional experience. 

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