Seductions of violence: Why might violent crime be 'enjoyable' to commit or vicariously witness - Essay Example

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Seductions of violence: Why might violent crime be 'enjoyable' to commit or vicariously witness? BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE “My hate is general, I detest all men; Some because they are wicked and do evil, Others because they tolerate the wicked, Refusing them the active vigorous scorn Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds” (Moliere 2000, p.1)…
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Seductions of violence: Why might violent crime be enjoyable to commit or vicariously witness
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Download file to see previous pages There are multitudes of theories describing how violent crime can produce powerful emotional responses, with each explanatory piece of research utilising constructs in sociology and psychology to provide a foundation of knowledge in criminological profiling. Ranging from social learning theory to the maladapted attachment relationships with the female parent during childhood, legitimate case studies and qualitative research on the subject have yet to concretely classify what drives individuals to take personal pleasure from the act of violence or through vicarious witnessing of violent behaviours. However, these understandings supported by genuine research endeavours do give unique insight into understanding the fundamentals of human behaviour as it is correlated with violence responses. Research has identified that those who find personal pleasure from observing or carrying out violent crimes maintain antisocial behaviours, have a powerful connection with peer reference groups, maintain a genuine and inescapable dislike for compliance with social norms, or develop maladjusted moral and ethical values and principles that lead to egocentrism. This paper describes the many different, probable constructs of human behaviour and development that lead to finding personal satisfaction when conducting violent crimes or observing others performing violent acts. Social learning theory Social learning theory is an accepted model in psychology for understanding why individuals turn toward reference groups in order to measure the appropriateness of their own behaviours. This theory asserts that when members of a social reference group maintain characteristics that are considered desirable, credible and relevant to one’s own values and principles, they are likely to mould these same behaviours (Weiten and Lloyd 2005). Albert Bandura, a respected psychologist, links social learning theory with the concept of operant conditioning, in which behaviour is reinforced based on the degree to which the social environment rewards or punishes one’s behaviour (Bandura 1977). Operant theory also highlights the concept of vicarious reinforcement in which individuals observe other people’s behaviour being reinforced or chastised and then developing a framework for moral and ethical acceptability based on what has been observed (Bandura 1977). Individuals in society that perform violent acts often socialise with peer reference groups that maintain similar values and principles in an effort to find social identity and justify one’s position in group membership. “Crime is learned through association” (Cullen and Agnew 2002, p.31). Psychologists and sociologists recognise that in certain social circles, there can be found criminal subcultures consisting of a variety of antisocial peers. In this type of social environment, chronic criminal behaviours are reinforced and repeated by credible and desirable peer networks (Cullen and Agnew 2002). However, what exactly is antisocial behaviour? It is a series of behaviours and attitudes that ultimately cause damage in broader society and when these behaviours defy prevailing social norms in a culture or society. Individuals maintaining antisocial behaviours often engage in excessive drinking in public places, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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