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Liberty University Social Learning Theory Question

Liberty University Social Learning Theory Question

Question Description

1) The Supreme Court case Monroe v. Pape is very important regarding the Fourth Amendment, which is unreasonable searches and seizures. Thirteen officers broke into Monroe’s apartment to search it without a warrant. While the officers were searching their home, the parents were made to stand their naked. The officers searched through their drawers and ripped open their bedroom mattresses. After searching their apartment, Monroe was taken to jail and questioned about a murder. They did not allow Monroe to have a lawyer or make any phone calls. But after hours of being interrogated, Monroe was released without any charges.

What I am taking from this discussion may be different. I was really confused at first what this question was really asking, so hopefully my answer fits within what others say. The Fourth Amendment “gives the people the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” (Kim, 2017). So when the officers are the ones involved in an home search and they are going against a persons Fourth Amendment rights, they are going to end up an a legal dispute most likely. The Social Learning Theory explains acts that are against social norms (Stoddard, 1995). Therefore, I believe this theory fits best into this discussion.

The Social Learning Theory says that the same learning process can produce both conforming and deviant or delinquent behavior (Chappell & Piquero, 2004). Some behaviors that can be associated with this theory would be reinforcement and modeling. One of the biggest ideas that is in the Social Learning Theory is that the central variable in this theory is differential association, or the influence of those with who one associates with frequently. A study done by Akers (1998), shows how this theory and police misconduct go together. The results showed that officers consider stealing and using excessive force to be serious violations, while they consider accepting gifts and meals from the public as not so serious violations. It showed that officers weren’t afraid of the consequences, because they thought it would just be verbal or written reprimands. This theory, in my opinion, would be a good theory to oppose officers in a legal dispute. I will always stand with our officers, but if they violate someones rights then they should have consequences.

2)Social Learning Theory to explain why officers acted the way they did in this instance with Monroe v Pape and also why they continue to act this way today. People will repeat behavior when it is gratifying, and when it is rewarded; punishment is immediately effective only for as long as it lasts and cannot be avoided (Kian, 2012). People do what they feel is going to create the highest sense of self gratification and what will win them social points amongst their peers. This explains why police officers often act the way they do and look past the actual rule of law in order to seem more confident and impressive with their colleagues (Crocker, 2019). Regarding Monroe v. Pape, this explains why the officers acted in the way they did, this should be an example of how police officers are humans, too, and deserve to be punished for mistakes. Social learning theory discusses how people are a product of their environment and who they surround themselves with; police departments need to have straightforward punishment guidelines for mistakes made by officers so that the attitude of being untouchable decreases amongst the officers collectively. This does not, however, affect the main issue of how when an officer breaks the law, they should not be automatically granted immunity. According to Nemeth, there have been countless lives lost due to this immunity without justice or any repercussions for the killings (2019). The world is not, and never will be, black and white, that is why the criminal justice system has set laws and trials to hear cases where law is broken; the idea that police officers can do whatever they want to, needs to be eliminated and officers need to be punished by law in some circumstances.

There continues to be mistake after mistake made by police officers in the modern day; this reiterates the fact that police officers are sinners just like the people they protect. God created us as imperfect sinners, incapable of perfection; the world is a beautiful place because God allowed us to stray from perfection, but it needs to be reminded that police officers are not capable of perfection either. To be God-like is the ultimate goal for Christians and while this is unattainable in a literal sense, it serves as a reminder to do everything in love. In Matthew 5:6, it says that those who long for righteousness will be satisfied by God; everyone, people and officers alike, need to strive for righteousness so that God will see that and reward us with His mercy.


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