Summarize the history of organized crime. Make mention of events and individuals who contributed to its existence. Which criminological theories do you feel best explain why organized crime occurs? Defend your thoughts with evidence.
Discussion Board Guidelines: Submit an answer to the discussion board. Each discussion board post will be between 250 – 350 words long. Refer & cite current resources in your answer.
Introduction to Organized Crime
Abadinsky, Organized Crime 10th ed.
During the past 1
years, technological innovation and
globalization have proven to be an overwhelming force
for good. However, transnational criminal organizations
have taken advantage of our increasingly
interconnected world to expand their illicit enterprises.
ATTRIBUTES OF ORGANIZED CRIME
1. Absence of political goals.
2. Is hierarchical.
3. Has a limited or exclusive membership.
4. Constitutes a unique subculture.
5. Perpetuates itself.
6. Exhibits a willingness to use violence.
7. Is monopolistic.
8. Is governed by rules and regulations.
THE ATTRIBUTES ARE ARRAYED
IN A STRUCTURE
These attributes are arrayed in a structure that enables the criminal
organization to achieve its goals–money and power.
A criminal group will pass through stages of development and–if
sufficiently stable–mature into an organization with most, if not all, of the
Two variables that synopsize organized crime:
2. Instrumental violence.
ORGANIZED CRIME AS A BUREAUCRACY
Bureaucracies are rational organizations sharing a number of
A complicated hierarchy.
An extensive division of labor.
Positions assigned on the basis of competence.
Responsibilities carried out in an impersonal manner.
Extensive written rules and regulations.
Communication from the top of the hierarchy to persons on the bottom via
a chain of command.
BUREAUCRACY HAS INHERENT WEAKNESSES
FOR CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS
A criminal organization structured along bureaucratic lines has
Communication from top management to operational-level personnel can
Generating and maintaining written records endangers the entire
Death of incarceration of command personnel can leave dangerous gaps in
the absence of personal ties makes betrayal more likely.
TO OFFSET WEAKNESSES
Operational/street level personnel are organized into cells and know only
other members of their cell.
They may not know for whom they are working.
If a cell is lost, the result of law enforcement infiltration, for example, the
organization can continue to function uninterrupted and the cell is
Cells are bundled under the direction of a controller who is not in direct
contact with and may not even know the other controllers.
A controller who is lost is quickly replaced by the central command opeating
out of an area of relative safety, such as another country.
FRANCHISING AND CREDENTIALING
A member of a criminal organization may be an independent entrepreneur,
operating a franchise. The franchise is a grant of authority to engage in
business activity under the aegis of the organization.
The franchise provides a sense of entitlement and credentials
Credentials enable the possessor to engage in criminal activity knowing that
he will be supported and protected by the franchisor–the criminal
organization granting the franchise.
Organizational affiliation provides a form of credentialing by reputation.
In the Hobbesian world occupied by criminals, the member of an
organization with sufficient martial capacity can offer services typically
reserved for government such as contract enforcement and adjudication of
CRIMINAL NETWORKS, BROKERS, AND
POINTS OF CONVERGENCE
A network consists of a collection of connected points–points of
A criminal network has points of convergence where participants
Hangouts welcome their patronage and may be owned by or under the
control of criminal entrepreneurs.
Hangouts serve primarily as places for socialization, but also opportunity to
advance business interests. The subculture contains gaps between persons
with complementary resources and information. A third party–a broker–
usually for remuneration, can fill the gap by constructing a “social bridge.”
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME (TOC):
Openness in trade, finance, travel, and communication has given rise to
massive opportunities for criminal organizations.
The traditional Mafia-type organization was linked to a territory and
exercised control in that territory by intimidation and extortion.
Criminal organizations have expanded to include new opportunities derived
from the globalization of markets and widespread technology.
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME (TOC):
TOC: Self -perpetuating associations of individuals who operate
o for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and/or
o and protect their criminal activities through a pattern of corruption and/or
o or through a transnational organizational structure.
They exploit differences between countries.
They attempt to gain influence in government, politics, and commerce.
They attempt to insulate their leadership and membership from detection,
sanction, and prosecution through their organizational structure.
THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION:
A PIVOTAL EVENT FOR ORGANIZED CRIME
It intertwined with the rapid expansion of global markets.
The decline in political order and deteriorating economic circumstances
have led to a growing underground economy that habituates people to
working outside the legal framework.
Better-organized, internationally-based criminal groups with vast financial
resources are creating a new threat to the stability and security of
The Prohibition example in 1920s US: It was a catalyst for the mobilization
of criminal organizations and cooperative ventures of syndication.
THE NEW FACE OF ORGANIZED CRIME (OC)
OC is “increasingly similar to a transnational commercial company,
combining rigid hierarchies and territorial rooting, with flexible
structures that are easily adaptable to changing circumstances”
Expanded capacity of contemporary criminal organizations derives
from intensification of goods traditionally traded by OC–drugs, arms,
and sex workers.
Country of destination is not the country of origin.
Arrangements must be made that involve the use of banks, finance
houses, customs formalities, and require ongoing relationships with
criminal organizations of different countries.
IMPACT OF MIGRATION
Migration, legal and illegal, broadens the reach of existing criminal
Among the migrants are affiliates of criminal networks, with crime-
related skills, knowledge, and contacts. Chinese, Nigerian, Italian,
and Russian groups are examples of network proliferation through
Globalization created a nexus with terrorism.
Today’s criminal networks are fluid, striking new alliances with other
networks around the world, and engaging in a wide range of illicit
activities, including cyber-crime and providing support for terrorism.
WHAT IS TERRORISM?
WHO IS A TERRORIST?
Terrorists are non-state actors who seek to intimidate an
audience larger than their immediate victims in the hope of
generating widespread panic.
Terrorism exploits non-combatant deaths as a means to
advertise a cause.
Terrorism seeks to damage the fabric of the society.
Traditional OC, like the American Mafia, requires the
preservation of state structures, because they feed on those
CIUDAD DEL ESTE (CDE)
NEXUS BETWEEN OC AND TERRORISM
Paraguay-Brazil-Argentina tri-border area–a free trade zone for contraband,
infested with criminals and terrorists.
o An oasis for informants and spies, peddlers of contraband and counterfeit products,
traffickers in drugs, weapons, and humans, common criminals, mafia organizations,
Islamic terrorists, yakuza, Colombian and other Latin American crime groups, Chinese
Triads, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, FARC, and others.
Local structures used by both terrorist and criminal groups may overlap, but
cooperation is ad hoc.
Terrorists and criminal groups learn from each other and utilize each other’s
special skills in particular operations.
Terrorists are increasingly turning to criminal networks to generate funds and to
acquire logistical support.
LINKS BETWEEN OC AND TERRORISM
Terrorists turn to street crime–by extension, OC–money, false documents,
border crossing, weapons.
Organized criminals have become “service providers” for terrorists.
Al Qaeda uses the Neapolitan Camorra to move its operatives through Europe to
safe houses in Paris, London, Berlin, and Madrid.
As these groups work together more, they begin to share each others’ goals.
There is no clear line delineating Chechen rebels fighting against Russian
sovereignty, from Chechen organized crime.
FARC units in Colombia raise money to support their insurgency by taxing drug
Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan use heroin to finance their efforts.
Terrorist acts carried out by groups directly or indirectly involved in
cultivating, manufacturing, transporting, or distributing illegal drugs.
Terrorist organizations and dug traffickers can link on facilitation,
protection, transportation, and taxation.
Traffickers and terrorists have similar logistical needs: matériel and overt
movement of goods, people, and money.
Relationships are mutually beneficial: drug traffickers gain from access to
terrorists’ military skills and weapons supply; terrorists gain a source of
revenue and expertise in illicit transfer and laundering of proceeds.
OC AND TERRORISM:
SIMILARITIES AND DISSIMILARITIES
Colombian drug cartels and terrorist groups are often organized along
Italian and Asian OC groups and terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda use
sponsorships, apprenticeships, and initiation ceremonies.
OC and terrorist groups need to launder their financial assets.
Politically motivated groups want to subvert the status quo; criminally motivated
groups want to maintain it so they can keep operating.
Terrorist groups and OC differ on means and ends: terrorists use fund to further
political ends; OC seeks to form a parallel government while coexisting with the
OC groups are not motivated by an ideology; terrorist groups try to give their
activities an altruistic aura to justify their acts and gain sympathy for their cause.
GREED REPLACES IDEOLOGY:
TERRORISM CAN TURN INTO OC
A terrorist group may abandon its political goals or the use of violence to
achieve those goals.
A transformation occurs as individual skills developed as terrorists and the
advantages of organization are mobilized in the pursuit of pecuniary
interests: terrorists become organized crime.
In Northern Ireland, the Irish Republican Army has relinquished violence as
an organizational tool.
The Marxist guerillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
are becoming increasingly involved in drug trafficking and are losing sight of
their ideological motivation.
Development of Organized Crime
in the United States
Abadinsky, Organized Crime 10th ed.
Murder, Inc. represented the apex of organized crime in
the United States, when the major chieftains financed a
unit of assassins who, although operating out of
Brooklyn, NY, carried out murders throughout the
country. The history leading up to this development will
be discussed in Chapter Two.
The intertwining of urban machine politics and
Prohibition provided Irish, Jewish, and Italian
immigrants unparalleled criminal opportunity to climb
the “queer ladder of social mobility.” But it was the
Robber Barons who helped enrich the fertile soil
necessary for the growth of organized crime in the
United States and whose spiritual legacy lives on in
twenty-first-century corporate crime.
THE ROBBER BARONS:
UNSCRUPULOUS AMERICAN BUSINESSMEN
19th century uncontrolled capitalism provided role models and
created a climate conducive to the growth of organized crime.
John Jacob Astor (1763-1848)
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877)
Daniel Drew (1797-1879)
James Fisk (1834-1872)
Jay Gould (1836-1892)
Leland Stanford (1824-1884)
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)
The 3 members of
the Erie Ring
WHO WERE THEY?
They had English, Scottish, Scandinavian, or German Ancestry.
They were able to use government force for personal gain.
Astor: cheated Indian traders and his own employees, and
invested his gains in slum housing.
Vanderbilt: monopolist and Civil War profiteer.
Erie Ring: used stock fraud and corrupt judge to fight Vanderbilt
Stanford: corrupt governor and briber of Congress.
Rockefeller: oil and railroad monopolist.
WHAT ARE WE TO CONCLUDE FROM OUR
GLIMPSE OF THE ROBBER BARONS?
They used violence to achieve private ends: figurative violence
(financial piracy) and literal violence (thugs, police, military).
They used government force and corruption to achieve private
Their predatory acts led to the enactment of the Sherman Anti-
Trust Act in 1890 (discussed in Chapter 14).
The western frontier closed, the wealth of the Robber Barons
became institutionalized, and their progeny controlled the
What opportunity was there for the new immigrants, the poor
and ambitious residents of our cities?
IMMIGRATION AND URBAN POLITICS
Later immigrants–Irish, Jewish, Italian–innovated in a manner
consistent with available opportunity.
In the latter half of the 19th century, they found opportunity in
the vice and politics of urban America.
Political bosses emerged to channel their votes into a powerful
entity known as the “machine.”
1820-1850: population of cities in the East and West
Forced into slum housing reserved for their ethnic group.
Worked in dangerous, monotonous, low pay industries.
Their culture, customs, and beliefs were virulently attacked.
He had one commodity some natives coveted: his vote.
ORGANIZED CRIME IN AMERICA:
A 100+ YEAR EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS
Immigrants looked to politics for concrete and personal gain
and sought these through personal relationships.
Political bosses understood immigrants’ perspectives and could
also manipulate the American environment.
The roots of organized crime are found in the politics of urban
American before Prohibition.
The Irish fled English oppression and the famine (1845-47),
arriving in America a close-knit, politically sophisticated society,
whose members were experts in non-confrontational warfare.
They could make alliances without formal conferences,
agreements, or treaties that would leave a record.
Politics enveloped the Irish, and the Irish social structure
became an integral part of the process of recruiting more
Irishmen into the Democratic Party and government.
Political office was the desired career, and politics became a
secular extension of their Catholic identity.
Highly social, gregarious above everything.
Ability to speak English was another advantage.
Neutral outsiders to hostilities between Central and East
European immigrants who would vote for an Irish candidate.
Saloon: as important as the parish church in the social structure.
THE SALOON AND THE MACHINE
The saloon was a center of activity in urban America. It provided social
services, newspapers in several languages, cigars, mailboxes for regular
patrons, free pencils, paper, and mail services for those wishing to send
letters, and information on employment.
Saloons provided a warm fire in winter, public toilets, bowling alleys, billiard
tables, music, singing, dancing, conversation, charity and charge accounts,
quiet corners for students, and special rooms for weddings, union meetings,
City government was fragmented and dispersed. The city was divided into
wards which were both electoral and administrative units, containing
relatively small numbers of people.
Saloonkeepers became political powers.
Saloonkeepers were in a position to influence their customers’ votes. They
could deliver their precincts and control the wards.
THE MACHINE POLITICIAN
The machine politician was a popular figure. In the days before social
welfare programs, he provided important services to loyal constituents–
jobs, food, and assistance dealing with pubic agencies, including the police
and the courts.
All he asked for in return were votes and a free hand to become wealthy in
A narrative: “When he hung up the phone, Alderman Charley looked at me
with sadness and said, ‘That woman’s got a dead rat in the alley behind her
house and she don’t call no Republican to take care of it, she calls the
alderman.’ So what are you going to do, Charley? ‘What can I do? I got to
go over there and pick up her rat and find a good garbage can with a top on
it and, well take care of it. This woman will be peekin’ out her window and
see the alderman drive up in his Cadillac and get out and pick up her dead
rat and drive away with it. She’ll tell everybody.'”
THE SENSE OF THE MACHINE
The political machine does not regard the electorate as an
amorphous, undifferentiated mass of voters.
“With keen sociological intuition, the machine recognizes that
the voter is a person living in a specific neighborhood, with
specific personal problems and personal wants” (R. Merton
The very personal nature of the machine was noted in 1931:
“In the midst of the depression, an Irish alderman distributed
unleavened bread (matzah) to hundreds of Jewish families in
his district, so they might keep Passover. This will not cost him
any votes” (McConaughy 1931).
UPPERWORLD AND UNDERWORLD
The machine leader kept his district organized. He was a broker
in a key position to perform services for captains of industry
and captains of vice.
The machine could deliver franchises, access to
underdeveloped land sites, government contracts, tax
abatements, and other special considerations.
Once entrenched, the Irish machine bosses quickly built
alliances with older-stock business interests.
The political machine organized urban immigrants into a
political force through which it dominated the government.
CHICAGO AND NEW YORK
Chicago, Kansas City, NY, Philadelphia, St. Louis: The rough and tumble city
bosses allowed the private utilities and favor-seeking men of wealth as well
as the purveyors of vice to exploit the citizens.
Chicago business interests promoted corrupt and inefficient government.
“The deal is that the underworld shall have a ‘wide open town’ and its upperworld
allies shall be permitted to plunder the public treasury” (Dobyns 1932).
In NY, “in each district of the city, saloon keepers, owners of houses of
prostitution, grocers who wanted to obstruct sidewalks, builders who
wanted to violate the building regulations of the City, paid tribute at election
time to district leaders, who turned the money over to the general
campaign fund of Tammany Hall” (Werner 1928).
REFORM AND NATIVISM
Reformers were often part of the rampant nativism that
intertwined with social Darwinism.
Investigations were initiated by Protestant Republican
interests against urban, Catholic and Jewish Democrats.
Nativism helped tie immigrants to the political machine.
The machine politician cultivated the immigrant’s ethnic
pride by defending him against nativist attack, observing
his customs, and concerning himself with conditions in the
The acrimony between rural and urban America, between
Protestants and Catholics, between Republicans and (non-
southern) Democrats, between “native” Americans and more
recent immigrants, and between business and labor reached a
pinnacle with the ratification of the 18th Amendment in 1919.
Prohibition agents were inept, corrupt, and a public menace.
Every year until Prohibition ended, the murder rate in Chicago
rose, going from 6.8 er 100,000 in 1920 to 9.7 in 1933.
Until Prohibition, gangsters were merely errand boys for the
politicians and the gamblers.
They were at the bottom of a highly stratified social milieu.
Prohibition changed the relationships among politicians, vice
entrepreneurs, and gang leaders.
Before 1920, the political boss acted as patron for the vice
entrepreneurs and gangs.
Prohibition unleashed extreme violence, a gang specialty.
Physical protection from rival organization and armed robbers
was suddenly more important than protection from police.
Prohibition turned gangs into empires.
Just before the end of Prohibition in 1933, gang leaders began
meeting throughout the US in anticipation of the new era.
In 1934, the major leaders of organized crime in the East
gathered at a NY hotel with Johnny Torrio presiding. They came
to an understanding:
“Each boss is czar in his own territory; no one can be killed in his
territory without his approval.”
The new organized crime syndicate had their own staff killers,
the “Boys from Brooklyn.” Gang leaders across the country
used their services, murdering about 1,000 persons nationally.
KEFAUVER CRIME COMMITTEE
1950: Senator Kefauver(TN) recognized the importance of
organized crime as a national political issue. (Memphis “Boss”
Crump had vigorously opposed his election to the Senate.)
Kefauver chaired the Special Committee to Investigate
Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce, the first major
Congressional investigation into organized crime.
The committee heard more than 600 witnesses in 14 cities, and
concluded that the Mafia is “the shadowy international
organization that lurks behind much of America’s organized
The committee also tied organized crime and the Mafia
inextricably, wrongly equating Italians with organized crime.
Explaining Organized Crime
Abadinsky, Organized Crime 10th ed.
According to the theory of “Ethnic Succession,”
organized crime in the United States has been a social
mobility vehicle for disadvantaged segments of the
population. With social and economic success, these
formerly disadvantaged exit crime in favor of
conventional lives. This affects the American Mafia that
now has difficulty attracting prospective members from
traditional “mob neighborhoods.”
This chapter examines relevant theories in the fields of
sociology, psychology, and biology.
ORGANIZED CRIME THEORIES
Organized crime has been subjected to only limited
attempts at explanation–explanations beyond immoral
people in pursuit of personal gain.
The sociological literature on organized crime is sparse.
Psychology provides even less, but offers some insights.
Biology, in particular neurology, offers an
understanding of problematic behavior.
THE STRAIN OF ANOMIE
Building on Durkheim’s concept of anomie, R.K.
Merton set forth a social and cultural explanation for
deviant behavior in the U.S.
He theorized that organized crime is a normal response
to “strain” between societal goals and the means
available to the individual to achieve those goals.
He argued that American fixation on economic
success–“pathological materialism”–causes some
individuals to innovate the means to achieve the goal.
THE SOCIOLOGY OF ORGANIZED CRIME
THE STRAIN OF ANOMIE (CONT.)
In the 19th century and later, immigrants’ lacked access
to acceptable means for achieving societal goals.
But why do middle-class youngsters with access, and
some wealthy and powerful individuals, participate in
And why do some persons suffering from anomie not
turn to organized crime?
E. Sutherland provides an answer in differential
According to Sutherland, all behavior–lawful and
The principal part of learning occurs within intimate
What is learned depends on the intensity, frequency,
and duration of the association.
When these variables are sufficient, and the
associations are criminal, the individual learns the
techniques of committing crime.
DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATON (CONT.)
Enclaves where criminal subcultures flourish foster
education in the techniques of sophisticated
Instead of conforming to conventional norms, some
persons, through differential association, organize their
behavior according to the norms of a criminal group.
In enclaves with OC traditions, persons exhibiting
criminal norms are integrated in the community,
exposing young people to learning those norms.
Culture is a source of patterning of human conduct.
It is the sum of patterns of social relationships and
A subculture implies that there is a social value system
that is apart from a larger value system.
Subcultural delinquents have learned values that are
deviant and that lead to criminal behavior.
They may view their criminal behavior as morally
wrong, but but this is not their controlling attitude.
“They saw the Outfit guys, and gave them deference.
It’s in the culture. It is a perverted sense of values.
Knockin’ down an old lady to take her purse, that’s
wrong; killing the clerk at the corner store for a few
bucks, that’s wrong. But everything to do with
organized crime is perfectly acceptable” (Scarmella
Shaw and McKay studied patterns of criminality in
Chicago in the 1920s-1930s.
They found that certain neighborhoods maintained
high levels of criminality over time despite changes
in ethnic composition.
Such neighborhoods are characterized by attitudes
and values that are conducive to delinquency and
crime, particularly organized crime.
Landesco studied organized crime in Chicago in the
He found organized crime could be explained by:
social disorganization in the wider society (as
the social organization of urban slums from which
members of organized crime emerge.
“Once a set of cultural values is established, they
tend to become autonomous in their impact.”
Cloward and Ohlin:
Illegitimate opportunity for success, like legitimate
opportunity, is not equally distributed throughout
Severe deprivation with extremely limited access to
ladders of legitimate success results in collective
adaptations in the form of delinquent subcultures.
Entry into organized crime groups is not
available to just anyone in the subculture.
There too, is differential opportunity.
Cloward and Ohlin (1960) distinguish 3 types:
1. Retreatist subculture: reject economic success
goal in favor of an easy goal–e.g., a drug “high.”
2. Conflict subculture: reject economic success goal;
seek status through violent, destructive gang
3. Criminal/rackets subculture: gang activity
devoted to utilitarian criminal pursuits, an
adaptation that approaches organized crime.
SOCIAL CONTROL THEORY
Social control refers to the processes by which the
community influences its members toward
conformance with established norms of behavior.
Why do most people conform to societal norms?
Why do some young people who have the opportunity
to contend for positions in OC, choose not to?
SOCIAL CONTROL THEORY (CONT.)
Social control theorists: “Delinquent acts result when
an individual’s bond to society is weak or broken.”
The strength of the bond is determined by:
External Restraints: Social disapproval linked to
public shame and/or fear of punishment.
Internal Restraints: An unconscious, powerful,
mechanism that provides a sense of guilt.
According to the ethnic succession thesis, successive
immigrant groups experienced strain, and some members
innovated, using illegal means to achieve societal goals.
According to this thesis, persons involved in OC are not
committed to a deviant subculture, but are merely using
available, if illegal, opportunities to achieve economic
“Big Sal” Miciotta: “Only a real gavone [lowlife] wants for
his kids what we got” (Goldberg 1999).
Critics of ethnic succession theory note some persons
rationally choose OC, although they have other options.
ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN AND
THE RATIONALIZATION OF CRIME
A.R. “The Brain” Rothstein (1882-1928) set new
standards in OC. He transformed criminal activity
from a haphazard endeavor into a bureaucracy with
specialized expertise, administrative hierarchy, and
“Rothstein’s office, in the middle of the midtown
business district, employed a staff comparable to
that of any large, legitimate, commercial firm,
complete with secretaries, bookkeepers, and legal
counsel” (Joselit 1983).
The Zips, recent immigrants from the Mezzogiorno,
are the connection between the criminal organizations
of southern Italy–Mafia, Camorra, ‘Ndrangheta, Sacra
Corona Unita–and the American Mafia.
Their entry to the U.S. was eased by the reversal of a
restrictive immigration statute which had
discriminated against southern and eastern
Some were admitted into American Mafia Families;
others formed their own criminal organizations.
“Zip” alludes to
their rapid speech
in Italian dialect.
Ties between the American Mafia and the Zips were
highlighted during the 1987 “Pizza Connection” case.
A Mafia group headed by a former Sicilian supplied $1.6
billion of heroin to a Bonanno Family group.
The Zips and their American counterparts share similar
customs, philosophies, and a common heritage. The
prototype of the crime Family is identical in each system.
In criminal and law enforcement worlds, however, their
“Old World” ways have earned the Zips more fear and
respect than their American counterparts.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ORGANIZED CRIME
While sociological theories may identify societal
variables that motivate involvement in organized
crime, they fail to explain why only a small fraction of
persons exposed to such variables actually become
Why do people exposed to the same milieu react
differently? Psychology, a discipline that focuses on
the individual, provides some answers.
Persons with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)
have a poorly developed superego–the conscience-
like mechanism that restrains antisocial behavior.
They suffer little or no guilt; are emotionally
The most disturbing symptom is aggression,
expressed in shades from from quiet intimidation to
“We’re talking and joking, Greg (‘The Grim Reaper’)
whips out a piece and shoots the guy in the head.”
Central to behavioral psychology is that all behavior is
shaped by its consequences.
Behavior is acquired through operant conditioning:
learning through positive and negative reinforcement
that results from interaction with the environment.
If aggressive behavior is rewarded, the person learns
to behave aggressively.
The OC environment is full of reinforcement for
antisocial behavior, while conventional, conforming
behavior is often ridiculed.
BIOLOGY OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
The body consists of cells, organized into tissues.
Specialized cells receive information about the
environment and translate it into electrochemical signals
that we experience as sight, sound, smell, and touch.
The human brain is at risk from chemical imbalance,
particularly as related to antisocial behavior.
Some such persons regard ordinary environments as
boring and unpleasant and seek novel and/or intense
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