Techniques of Neutralization Theory and Positive Deviance

Nicole Shoenberger, Alex Heckert, Druann Heckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


High achievers constitute a unique case in that they are simultaneously positive deviants-often to parents and teachers-and stigmatized as rate-busters-often to peers. Thus, a question is raised: Are theories that have been used to explain negative behaviors, such as the techniques of neutralization theory, also pertinent to positive behaviors? A group of high-achieving students were interviewed and it was found that each of the five techniques of neutralization was in fact advanced as a way of coping with the stigma, or the rate-busting portion, of their status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-791
Number of pages18
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Techniques of Neutralization Theory and Positive Deviance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this