Psychodynamic theory has pointed out the importance of early life experiences, especially parenting. However, it fails to test empirically while it focuses on internal conflicts and unconscious processes. (Howitt, 2011) The major critic, Wotton (1959) argued that the quality of the relationship is important, and the possibility of the reverse of separation should be considered. While Rutter (1972) argued that the psychodynamic theory is not easily tested while it bases on the unconscious mind.
First of all, the psychodynamic theory is reductionist approach, since while psychodynamic theory simplifies complex human behaviour to the mechanics of the mind; for example, the ego strength is used to measure a person’s ability to control itself. Secondly, the psychodynamic theory is determinist while it suggests that people have no free will to decide how they behave. Thirdly, the Freud’s theory it is difficult to falsify, and a good theory can be tested to see if it is wrong (Popper, 1935), while Freud’s assumption focuses on unconscious mind.
Next, move to learning theory. ‘It is widely accepted that children and adult may learn effectively from the actions of another person through a process of imitation.’ (Howitt, 2011). Behaviour theory views that human behaviour is developed through learning experience. And this kind of imitation is first regarded as a form of vicarious learning as Miller and Dollard (1941) suggested. When apply learning theory to criminology, it can be seen that the family and socio-economic, peer, school and community are the core risk factors increasing the probability of offending, which are the objects being modelled after. (Kazdin et al. 1997)
Sutherland (1939) put forward the differential association learning theory, suggesting that the learning of the attitudes supporting crime and the specific behaviour for committing crimes are the two prerequisites within he family and peer group for a person to develop into an offender.(Akers, 1966) Albert Bandura developed the idea into the social…