Assumptions about motivation towards crime
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Assumptions about “Motivation towards crime”. Strain theory: motivation from some sort of strain (e.g. blocked opportunity) Learning theory: motivation from delinquent peers Control theory: there is enough natural motivation towards crime No need to “build in” extra motivation.

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Assumptions about motivation towards crime
Assumptions about “Motivation towards crime”

  • Strain theory: motivation from some sort of strain (e.g. blocked opportunity)

  • Learning theory: motivation from delinquent peers

  • Control theory: there is enough natural motivation towards crime

    • No need to “build in” extra motivation


Types of control
Types of Control

  • Direct Control

    • Direct punishments, rewards from parents, friends

  • Indirect Control

    • Refrain from deviance because you don’t want to risk friends, job, etc.

  • Internal Control

    • Good self-concept, self-control, conscience


Travis hirschi causes of delinquency
Travis HirschiCauses of Delinquency

  • Identified 4 Elements of the Bond

    • Attachment (emotional element)

    • Commitment (stake in conformity)

    • Involvement (in conventional activities)

    • Belief (in the validity of the law)

  • Focus here is on indirect controls


Evidence in favor of bonds
Evidence in Favor of Bonds

  • Attachment

    • Attachment to parents (wish to emulate, identify with)

  • Commitment

    • Grades, educational aspirations

  • Belief

    • Neutralizations


Criticisms of hirschi s theory
Criticisms of Hirschi’s Theory

  • Delinquents do form relationships

  • Attachment to delinquent peers or parents increases, rather than decreases delinquency

  • Which comes first, bonds or delinquency?

  • Bonds more salient for females, and early in adolescence


Gottfredson and hirschi 1990
Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990)

  • A General Theory of Crime

    • Same control theory assumptions

    • If we are all inclined to be deviant, why conform?

  • Because most of us develop “self-control”

    • “Internal control”

    • Developed by age 8, as the result of “direct control” from parents


Nature of crime nature of low self control
Nature of Crime, Nature of Low Self-Control

Criminal Acts…

Provide immediate gratification

of desires

Are risky/thrilling

Are easy/simple

Require little skill/planning

Provide few/meager long term

benefits

Result in pain/discomfort to a

victim

People with low self-control

are therefore…

Impulsive

Risk-taking

Physical (as opposed to mental)

Low verbal ability

Short-sighted

Insensitive


The implications of low self control
The implications of low self-control

  • Explains “stability of criminal behavior”

    • But, how does it explain “aging out?”

  • Explains all crime and analogous behaviors

    • Analogous = same “nature” as criminal acts


Patterson revisited revenge of the control theorists
Patterson Revisited: Revenge of the control theorists

Parents

supervise

and punish

deviance

  • Parenting

  • Context

Child’s

Antisocial

Behavior

Is Patterson a “social learning” or “control” theorist???


Empirical support
Empirical Support

  • Moderate relationship between low self-control and both crime and analogous behaviors

  • Holds for both males and females

  • BUT

    • Not the “sole cause” of crime

    • May not explain white collar crimes


Policy implications
Policy Implications

  • Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory

    • Target attachment, commitment, belief

  • Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory

    • Must focus on early childhood prevention

    • Train parents?


Review control vs learning
REVIEW CONTROL VS. LEARNING

  • Assumptions about motivation (and human nature)

  • Differences over attachment to “deviant others”

  • Similarity?

    • “Direct Controls” are similar to “Mechanisms of Learning”


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