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Differential Association Theory and Learning Theory

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In what way and to what extent are Differential Association Theory and Learning Theory related to each other in explaining family violence problems?

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Explaining Family Violence: SLT & DAT

Learning Theory, known also as Social Learning Theory (SLT) had its roots in the work of 19th century scholar Cornell Montgomery. He proposed that we learn of the social world (which in turn affects our socialization) via observation of a role model through close contact and when concepts are understood, we imitate their actions and perspectives. Behaviour is affected via repeated observation, imitation and reinforcement. This theory believes that if the outcome of an action is desired and positively accepted in the observer, it will likely be imitated. For example, if a parent rewards a child for being good, the other child observing follows the same behavioural pattern of 'good'. Today, learning theory has come to embrace cognition and psychosis and recognizes that to learn and model behaviour for others that behaviour must be retained and reproduced by the individual and this can only come from motivation. While this certainly explains a part of how socialization and behaviour development happens, SLT is focused mostly on the general. ...

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Differential Association Theory and Learning Theory connections are correlated with research to validate.

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In what specific ways does Akers' social learning theory build upon Sutherland's theory of differential association? Do you think that social learning theory is an improvement over differential association theory? Why? From your own understanding of the causes of crime that is based upon your personal experience, do you think that social learning theory can guide current research? In what way?

In what specific ways does Akers' social learning theory build upon Sutherland's theory of differential association? Do you think that social learning theory is an improvement over differential association theory? Why? From your own understanding of the causes of crime that is based upon your personal experience, do you think that social learning theory can guide current research? In what way?

Sutherland's theory of differential association is conditional upon conflict between opposed social groups, over who gets to control what behaviors are considered or not. Behavior is not necessarily deviant or moral in and of itself. The deviancy of behavior is relative to the definition used by the social group in power at that moment in time. As a theory Sutherland's idea was interesting but there was no real way to measure and analyze it.

Akers' theory of social learning states that people learn deviant behavior by observing and learning from the social factors in their day to day lives. Aker's didn't focus on defining specific behaviors as deviant. He was more interested in discussing how people learn those behaviors. Akers went beyond the theory and developed a theory that if put in place would yield measurable results that could be used by sociologists to combat crime. His theories could also be used to discourage and limit the types of social environments that encouraged anti-social and deviant behavior. Another way Akers built upon Sutherland's theory was by introducing the idea that behaviors could be enforced or discouraged. All experiences were not equal in the formation of members of society. Though certain negative factors might be a reality in the life of the individual other factors if introduces and maintained in that individual's life could counterbalance the negative factors.

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