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date: 06 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Social learning theory is one of the leading theories in the field of criminology. This chapter provides an overview of the role of choice and human agency within the theoretical framework of social learning and their integrative importance for understanding delinquency and crime. Emphasis is placed on research stemming from Herrnstein’s matching law, choice allocation, and statistical models of social learning as applied to social networks. The chapter provides a unifying discussion of choice-based theories of behavior, elaborates on existing statistical models used to test these choice-based and social learning theories, and suggests topics for an innovative research agenda grounded in the relevant literature. In addition, the chapter articulates a research agenda that will help researchers further promote empirical and theoretical advancements in the social learning tradition of criminology.

Keywords: networks, agent-based modeling, rational choice, social learning, matching law

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