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Application of the Social Learning Theory to Domestic Terrorist Recruitment

NCJ Number
Date Published
4 pages

This article discusses the application of social learning theory in explaining domestic terrorist recruitment.


When first developed, the social learning theory directly associated criminal behavior with individual learned traits through varying and dynamic human interactions in an environment conducive to violent and unrestrained behavior. In today’s world, with acts of terrorism more prevalent, this theory can be used to examine and explain how domestic recruits decide to seek out acceptance and understanding from a religiously or politically motivated terrorist organization. In understanding the personality of individuals determined to execute terroristic acts against their own society, law enforcement and correctional communities trying to prevent such attacks will have a greater potential of identifying and dealing with the psychosis that accompanies these aggressors. This article briefly discusses how the social learning theory applies to international terrorism recruiting within the United States, the recruiting techniques of various prison gangs, and how the use of sociological theories can identify advanced personality signs and prove to be valid indicators to those who know what to look for.

Date Published: January 1, 2007