Morris and Higgins (2010)
|Morris and Higgins (2010)|
|Title:||Criminological theory in the digital age: The case of social learning theory and digital piracy|
|Author(s):||Morris, R. G., Higgins, G. E.|
|Citation:||Morris, R. G., & Higgins, G. E. (2010). Criminological theory in the digital age: The case of social learning theory and digital piracy. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 470-480.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Lee, Fenoff and Paek (2019)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The data for the present study were collected during the Fall 2006 semester, from two universities in the United States. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to students enrolled in liberal arts courses, as they represented the cross-section of the entire population of both universities. This resulted in a convenience sample of 585 students.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
To date, few studies had attempted to extend existing theories of crime to technology driven crimes, such as digital piracy. To address this gap in the literature, this study explored the ability of Akers’ social learning theory in explaining the likelihood of engaging in digital piracy. Also explored was the extent to which the social learning process mediated the impact of several noteworthy correlates of digital piracy among college students attending different universities (n=585), relying on a structural equation modeling (SEM) framework. The findings were modestly supportive of social learning theory as it may apply to digital piracy. The findings are discussed in the context of extending existing theories of crime to account for contemporary technology driven crimes, such as digital piracy. Policy implications and direction for future research are discussed.
Main Results of the Study
- The results suggest that social learning theory may account for a substantial amount of variation in the likelihood to engage in digital piracy. That is, individuals are likely to follow the social learning process that will lead them to digital piracy. The results also indicate that consistent correlates of digital piracy (e.g., gender and age) are mediated by social learning theory. By exploring crimes similar to digital piracy, scholars can shed light on existing theories, such as, but not limited to social learning theory.
- Scholars, and the society that they serve, have much to gain by giving attention to digital crimes. Through studying digital piracy, one can gain a better understanding of crime that takes place from behind a computer terminal. This allows for theories to be critiqued, reevaluated and modified.
- Studying digital piracy is unique by the fact that it can be used as a strategic site for unveiling criminological concepts like social learning theory as they may apply to digital crimes. Accounting for differences in how a particular theory can explain terrestrial crimes versus digital crimes may have major implications for future theory and policy development.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
From a policy implications standpoint, these results lead us to suggest that education is necessary in all regions about digital piracy. For instance, curricula that help users to understand that digital piracy is an illegal activity is important for the reduction of this behavior. Educational efforts need to take place offline as well as on-line and should be delivered technology users starting at a very early age. Initiatives geared toward educating youngsters about the benefits, dangers, and morals of participating in the on-line world could be easily developed and implemented at the primary-school level. These recommendations are consistent with N.L. Piquero's (2005) suggestion that education is an effective strategy to reduce instances of digital piracy (i.e., intellectual property theft).
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2006|