Psychology in Criminal Justice
Psychology in Criminal Justice
Operant Conditioning in the Criminal Justice System
According to our textbook author, operant conditioning “…is learning to either make or withhold a particular response because of its consequences.” (Bartol&Bartol, 2011, p. 91)
The student will:
1) Describe, in their own words, the theories of behaviorism and operant conditioning/learning.
2) Describe the application of operant conditioning in each of the following component of the criminal justice system:
a) Enactment of Criminal statutes
b) Enforcement of statutory laws
c) Prosecution of criminal cases
d) Sentencing of convicted offenders
e) Inmate sanctions within correctional institutions
f) Conditions of community-based supervision
3) For each component, the student will answer the following questions:
a) How does the theory of operant conditioning/learning apply?
b) What learned behaviors are the goals of the conditioning?
c) What consequences are applied to stimulate the conditioning/learning?
4) The student’s assessment of the current success and potential success of operant conditioning/learning in the criminal justice system.
5) The student’s work must be supported by a minimum of two outside sources in addition to course materials.
Grading of this project will be based on:
1. Comprehensiveness of the subject psychological theories
2. Appropriate application of the theories to criminal justice
3. Clarity and efficiency of the writing
4. Compliance with format requirements
1. A minimum of 2,500 words (approximately narrative 6 pages) not including cover page and references page
2. The cover page should include the name and number of the course, the name of the student, title of the project and the date of submission.
3. The narrative composition is to be 12 pt. font, double spacing, with 1 inch margins
4. Resources, including course materials, must be cited both in the narrative where appropriate and on a separate references page, using APA citation rules.
5. Projects should be submitted using the WebTycho Assignment Folder unless instructed otherwise.
6. At the instructor’s discretion, this project may be submitted to Turnitin or other service for verification of originality.
Rubric Name: General Grading Rubric for Projects
Criteria Excellent Superior Satisfactory Unsatisfactory
Overall content of paper, analysis, presentation, or project 40 points
Content of the paper addresses all information required by assignment, demonstrates critical thinking skills, sophisticated analysis and other perspectives. (27-40%) 26 points
Content of the paper addresses most or all information required by assignments and demonstrates critical thinking skills, critical analysis and other perspectives. (14-26%) 13 points
Content of the paper addresses a majority of the information required by the assignment and demonstrates some critical thinking skills, critical analysis and other perspectives. (1-13%) 0 points
Content of the paper addresses a minimal amount of the information required by the assignment and demonstration of critical thinking skills, critical analysis and other perspectives is lacking. (0%)
Responsiveness to Project Description e.g.; application of theory and knowledge to given facts Terminology, Organization, etc. 30 points
Application of theory and knowledge is very evident. Use of topic-specific terminology is correct in all instances. Organization is relevant to topic, clear and understandable with logical flow. (21-30%) 20 points
Comprehensive understanding of theory and knowledge is shown. Use of topic-specific terminology has only minor errors. Minor mistakes in organization and style. (11-20%) 10 points
Some understanding of theory and knowledge is shown. Topic-specific terminology is mostly correct. Organization is mostly relevant, clear, and logical. (1-10%) 0 points
Understanding of theory and knowledge is lacking in significant respects. Multiple mistakes in topic-specific terminology. Lacks relevance, is unclear, difficult to understand, or logic is missing. (0%)
Formatting, references, and APA citations 15 points
Assignment is formatted exactly as required, all required citations and references are presentand APA standards are followed in every respect. (11-15%) 10 points
Assignment is formatted as required with minor/ inconsequential deviations, resource requirements are met, citations and references are present and APA standards are followed. (6-10%) 5 points
Assignment mostly formatted as required but missing some required elements/ sources orsomeAPA errors are evident. (1-5%) 0 points
Assignment is missing major elements, lacks required sources or APAis not followed however a different citation method is used correctly. (0%)
Grammar/Mechanics 15 points
No or minor English and grammar usage errors. (11-15%) 10 points
A few minor/ inconsequential mistakes in English and grammar. (6-10%) 5 points
Some obvious mistakes evident in English and grammar usage. (1-5%) 0 points
Many mistakes evident in English/grammar usage. (0%)
Overall Score Excellent
65.1 or more Superior
33.1 or more Satisfactory
0.1 or more Unsatisfactory
0 or more
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