Crime and Social Identity Essay

Submitted By feeley2945
Words: 1339
Pages: 6

Application of Psychology Paper

As I am coming closer to the end of my first psychology course I am beginning to realize the ways that taking this course will prove useful in my major. Being a criminal justice major, it isn’t to difficult to imagine how such a course will prove useful. The area of criminal justice has been one that has brought me much interest throughout my life, more specifically the criminal minds. With that being said, taking a course who’s bases is on that area specifically will most likely give me some new skills or acquire some new knowledge to aid me in my major and even more so a future career in that major. This course, being based around the human brain, may help me dive a little deeper into the criminal minds. This course could help me learn to think how they think, helping me figure out where or even why certain crimes may take place. Having knowledge in the area of psychology should most definitely give me an edge on the criminals by being familiar with the way that the human brain works and functions. Not only will this course do that, but also it will do it to the point of explaining how the brain will react in specific situations with specific variables. All of this can prove beneficial to any individual dealing with criminal activity, when trying to find, deal with, and apprehend these individuals. It is the information and theories that I have picked up in this course and will hopefully develop further that will definitely serve a beneficial purpose to my major and future career. The first theory that I wanted to address towards the field of criminal justice would be the” Social Identity Theory”. The Social Identity Theory is the portion of an individual’s self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group. Self-concept is all our thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves in order to answer the question “who am I”(Bodusek)? Social identity theory is best explained as a theory that predicts certain behavior between interacting groups on the basis of perceived group status differences, how legitimate those differences are seen, and the mentally seen ability to move fro on group to a different one. Basically someone achieves there social identity by in one way or another taking themselves and comparing it to those around them, and then deciding whether that is who they are, or figuring out how hard it would be to fit into another social group. By learning about this theory I am able to further understand how certain individuals may end up in certain criminal groups. By having an understanding of this theory and its operational value on the criminal world, I may prove more helpful in getting innocent people away from the grasp of these environment’s and pulling those who have fallen victim to it, out of it. I will be more able to do things like this by knowing how big of an influence your peers and surroundings are not only to yourself and your identity, but also directly on the functionality and chemistry of your brain. A very similar theory to Social Identity Theory can also be applied to my major and leads off of it, “Social Learning Theory”. I chose to put this in junction with my previous theory because of its relevance to not only the previous theory itself, but to my major in general. Social Learning theory is the theory that we learn social behavior by observing, imitating and by being rewarded or punished. In other words this theory is saying that we learn from the people around us. As humans we first learn and develop our minds naturally by watching what our parents to considering there are really the only thing around us in the early stages of our life. It’s the early stages of our life that our brains are the most absorbent so it is this stage that is the most important to protect and ensure that the behaviors the individual picks up aren’t of criminal or mischievous character. If a kid grows up around people that shoplift and get away with