Rational Choice Theory Criminology

1151 WordsNov 3, 20175 Pages
In Criminology, Prof. Boldt has either talked about or brought up a few dozen theories in just a few weeks. However one theory seems to show up more than the others, and is the more dominant explanation in describing criminal behavior. This concept is referred to as Rational Choice Theory. Over time theories have been produced to explain and help understand what leads to criminal behavior. The reason why people have studied these theories so closely is because of the helpful nature it provides to professionals. It allows them to make informed decisions on treatment methods for offenders or victims. This also helps the professionals enforce policy change if need be. I believe in order to start understanding what leads to criminal behavior,…show more content…
All of these other aspects have tons of sub theories of their own, but Rational Choice Theory says that these were not part of the determining factors in the act; that the individual was compelled to do so based upon their cognitive perspective on the situation. The thought process is that the criminal made a choice after rationally weighing the costs. They considered other circumstances such as the benefits of not committing the crime, or how it may have an impact on their safety. In the end they ultimately determined that the bounty was greater in some way than the benefit that would have came from not committing the crime. Part of a deterrence may be when the punishment is way greater than the bounty. An example of someone who commits crime without using rational choice is encouraged by his or her environment to carry on. These could be external environmental influences or internal psychological influences. It may be difficult one to understand how these individuals responded to their circumstances without actually being in the situation themself. Another example of criminal behavior separate from rational choice is that it may evolve from abusive experiences or unfair treatment. The people affected may have had traumatic experiences that lead to developing criminal behavior down the road to release those emotions or rage(Regis University, 2017). To use a world example would be white collar crime. These are crimes that aren 't
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