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Sources of Human Behavior

Babies, Bonds, and Learned Behavior:

Nature vs. nuture. What is the source of human behavior? Why is it that when babies become children and children become teenagers, their behaviors can differ so greatly from one another? The theories regarding the source of teenager behavior and the scope of their activities, however acceptable or deviant they may be, have been central to the disciplines of juvenile psychology, sociology, and criminology for decades. When babies are born and deprived from love and contact from loving caregivers in early childhood, their ability to conduct themselves according to social norms later in life as teenagers is severely impacted to the level that they become more likely to engage in deviant or criminal activities. Several modern theories attempt to explain such patterns of behavior, particularly social control theory, such as Travis Hirschi's notions of social bonding, and social learning theory as developed primarily by Albert Bandura. Before discussing which theory is more likely to support such a scenario, it is necessary to discuss each theory and its key elements in detail.

Control theories, in general, are a classification of theories that claim to ask not why do people commit crimes, but rather why they do not commit crimes (See). Control theorists want to know why people conform to norms. Clearly controlling forces are present in the lives of some people but not of others. Temptation is before everyone all but why do only some people give in to temptation? Answering this question and central to control theories is the notion that human nature is deviant by nature and that without a defined set of formal and informal institutions of social control - including family, school, morals, values, beliefs - every person would engage in criminal behavior ("Control Theory-1"). One such control theorist is Travis Hirschi, who developed a control theory based on the existence of social bonds ...

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Sources of Human Behavior. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:26, February 21, 2017, from