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Thoeries Applied To Violent Behavior Essay

1224 words - 5 pages

In an episode of the Dr. Phil show three young men were profiled for their violent behavior. Their parents and Dr. Phil have attempted to explain and understand the reasoning for their actions throughout the show. This paper will apply theories to each of their cases to explain their behavior using the social learning theory, the psychoanalytic approach and the attachment theory.
Andy was featured on the show for his part in school shooting when he was 15 years old. The shooting took place at Santana High School on March 5, 2001. As a result of this tragic incident 2 people were killed and 11 people were injured. Andy is now serving 50 years to life in prison because of his actions.
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Andy observed the actions of these two young men and followed their footsteps. He wanted a way out of the pain that he was facing and he used the Columbine shooters as an example to follow because he saw death as an end all to his problems. The only difference between the two shootings is that Andy expected the police to kill him but he did not get the result he had hoped for.
To defend using this theory it can be clearly seen that this is a case where the child observes what someone else does in certain situations and when they find themselves in certain situations they imitate what they saw to try to get the same result. It is not always guaranteed that they will get the same result as the one they observed but if that is the only way that the child knows how to act in that situation that is the route that they will choose to take.
The next young man that was featured on the show was not named so he will be referred to as John Doe 1. He is a 15 year old who is very violent in his home with his family. He is so violent that his parents call in to check on each other multiple times a day to ensure that they are safe. He has been violent with knives, choked his sister, he also threatened and hit his parents. They fear that one day he may kill someone out of anger and he shares that fear with them. He states that he does not want to be angry and violent but does not feel in control of himself when he is upset over something important.
An explanation of the case of John Doe 1 could be found using the psychodynamic approach which was founded by Sigmund Freud. The psychodynamic approach is mainly focused on the conscious motivation and unconscious motivation. Within the psychodynamic approach is the Freud has illustrated a structure to the mind which consists of the id, ego, and superego. The id is the unconscious that satisfies basic instinct like sex and aggression, the superego is conscious, censors the id and is guided by what is socially acceptable. And to pull it all together the ego mediates between the id and super ego.
In this case and according to this theory when John Doe 1 gets upset the id is the area of his mind that is in control, the ego is not mediating between the superego and id properly. If they were mediated in the correct manner then he would have the capability to find more socially acceptable...

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