Assessing the Mediation of a Fuller Social Learning Model on Low Self-Control's Influence on Software Piracy

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Crime & Delinquency




Researchers have explored the empirical validity of linking key concepts from Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime and Akers’ social learning theory. Much of this research, however, has neither included measures of differential reinforcement and imitation nor operationalized the social learning process as a second-order latent construct as supported by Akers and other scholars. Thus, in this study, the authors used structural equation modeling to examine both the direct effect of low self-control and its indirect effect via a fuller measure of the social learning process on software piracy to improve our understanding of this specific phenomenon and to also provide further insight on the empirical validity of linking concepts from these two theories. They found that the indirect effect of self-control via the social learning process on piracy was greater than its direct effect. In addition, as levels of low self-control increased, the probability of software piracy actually decreased when controlling for the social learning process.