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Rational Choice Theory: Double Indemnity

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Rational Choice Theory- Double Indemnity
Andrea Vermilyea
University of Northern Colorado Rational Choice Theory- Double Indemnity Rational choice theory was first discovered in the mid-eighteenth century and was originally referred to as classical theory. Philosopher Jeremy Bentham and scholar César Beccaria, were some of the first to analyze and investigate this theory. In order to determine whether or not a dichotomous relationship exists between an individual’s free will and their decision to commit a crime. One must first consider whether that individual has control over making a rational decision. During this time offenders were considered to be rational, therefore the punishment received for the crime committed, must significantly
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Deterrence theory is founded upon two types, general and specific. The idea behind deterrence is to make the sanction so abhorrent that it will deter the individual and society as a whole, although it should be stated that deterrence could be…show more content…
From a criminological standpoint Double Indemnity did represent both the classical theory along with the deterrence theory, Walter did do a “cost/benefit” analysis and in his mind at that time, what he has to gain was far more than what he has to lose, so he thought. In regard to free will, everyone has a choice, Walter Neff decided to commit murder, there were outside influences such as money and love, both of which are self –interests. Walter went through the motions and analyzed the risk, he decided that he could out smart the system and get away with murder, therefore the punishment didn’t seem to be such a concern as he would have a hundred thousand dollars and his love Phyllis, a win-win situation. This film was a great at depicting how an individuals self interests can get this best of them, although Walter tried to act as if he was a deluded victim, Phyllis was a great manipulator, nonetheless they are equally guilty. In the end nobody gets the money, both Walter and Phyllis end up dead. Maybe one of the most advantageous arguments is on the subject of free will, it seems as if free will is greatly influenced by self-interest, perhaps there is no true altruism? Could it be
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