The reasons that crime and delinquent behavior exists in society has always perplexed sociologists and psychologists alike. The theories for why this behavior exists ranges from placing the blame on society, to the individual.
Crime is caused by the individualShow moreShow less
Although society may affect a person's willingness to commit crimes, the true cause of criminal behavior is due to individual's experiences and their biology.
The behavioral theory places importance on an individual's direct environment, and how this individual interacts with it. This theory posits that criminal behavior is learned and created by either a close family member or friend rewarding them in some way for this behavior, or if the individual is seeing a behavior being glorified in either a movie or television series that they admire.
According to the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, the Behavioral Theory of crime has much evidence behind it, “Because these principles can be applied to behaviors of all kinds, the learning perspective provides valuable tools for understanding crime and delinquency.”
Many argue that this theory is not necessary valid because there are so many people who have become criminals even without any criminal influence in their lives. This would indicate that criminality is not a learned behavior in all cases.