articles by tony
Boys Become Criminals by Talking About It First
Dec
14
2017

So what would you do if your girlfriend got pregnant? Shoot her?”
“No, punch her in the stomach, real hard.”

This conversation occurred in an observation room at Oregon Social Learning Center. Tom Dishion and his colleagues were trying to learn more about why some kids become delinquent. He and many other behavioral scientists knew that most adolescents who get in trouble do so with other adolescents. Delinquency is a group enterprise. But Dishion took the research a step further. He wanted to see if he could actually observe the social influence processes that motivate kids to defy adult expectations and engage in criminal acts. So he asked young men who were participating in a longitudinal study of delinquency to bring a friend into the lab and have a series of brief conversations about things like planning an activity or solving a problem with a parent or friend.

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Tony Biglan
Child Development, Research
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Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong
Dec
14
2017

Terrorism is increasing. According to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, groups connected with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State committed close to 200 attacks per year between 2007 and 2010, a number that grew by more than 200 percent, to about 600 attacks, in 2013.

Since 9/11, the study of terrorism has also increased. Now, you might think that more study would lead to more effective antiterrorism policies and thus to less terrorism. But on the face of it, this does not seem to be happening. What has gone wrong?

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Tony Biglan
Research
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