Operant Conditioning in the Criminal Justice System
Psychology of Criminal Behavior
Instructor: David Bierie
June 02, 2015
There are many theories of behaviorism that started in the year of 1920 and continued through the 1950’s. Behaviorism is a scientific study of behaviors when in the midst of thinking or feeling where explanations of behaviors are the focus. The main focus is to observe behaviors with a common denominator of stimulus-response for individuals to learn. John B. Watson is remembered for his views and theories of behaviorism. The focus for his study was on the behaviors alone and not combining the mind, body, or ...view middle of the document...
Once the cat finds the lever on the inside of the box, he is freed. After escaping, the cat would be again placed inside the box and timed for a successful escape. The object of the study is the cats would learn that by pressing the lever on the inside of the box, they would be freed. Edward Thorndike followed a motto that was based on behaviors put forward. A behavior that is followed by a positive and comforting consequence is to be repeated but behaviors of dislike or negativity will likely be discontinued or stopped.
The studies of B.F. Skinner were theories that studied the mind during observative behaviors. He theorized that to understand behavior, there was a need to understand the cause of an action and what the consequence for the behaviors or actions were. This is known as operant conditioning. B. F. Skinner believed that reinforcement for behaviors that is given a reward is strengthened but behaviors that are not rewarded or reinforced were weakened. B.F. Skinner used three types of reinforcements. The neutral operants were responses obtained when the stimulus response would neither increase or decrease in probability of the action being repeated. The reinforcers was when a response would have an increased probability of repeated behaviors which can include positive or negative behaviors. The punishers was a response obtained with a decrease of probability that the behavior will be repeated. This is a learning mechanism because of the qualities with punishments not having a likelihood of repeat, however, positive reinforcements have a much larger likelihood of being repeated due to the rewards it provides.
An enactment of criminal statutes that is in response to a situation which is observed and falls in criteria to be unconstitutional by the U.S. legislation. U.S. Statutes for sexual abuse, Part I, Chapter 109A, Sec. 2241, of 2010 US code is an example. This is when a person is taken into custody and becomes the target of sexual abuse that is unwanted, yet they are physically incapable of declining or communicating their unwillingness to participate. The legislation is supposed to protect inmates that are in the custody of a facility or institution. If it is found that an agency knowingly allows or causes fear of a person in their custody, which violates the constitution, this violation would be subject to imprisonment, punishment of those involved, and a fine. The violation could have the possible repercussions of sexual interactions on another person in custody by use of threats, fears, bodily harm, kidnapping, or death. It is the focus of this statute to prevent any unwanted sexually abusive behaviors and to notify the public that violation of this statue will result in punishable consequences. It is the behaviorism theory of operant conditioning that makes a stand in this idea because of the behavior that generates a response of negative punishment and possible imprisonment. The legal code makes the behaviors of committing...