Rational choice theory is predicated on the idea that crime is a matter of choice in which a potential criminal weighs the cost of committing an act against the potential benefits that might be gained (Siegel, 2011, p. 84). James Q. Wilson expands on this decision in his book Thinking About Crime, stating that “people who are likely to commit crime are unafraid of breaking the law
The rational choice theory gives insight in to why otherwise law abiding citizens would commit crime. Most burglars do not burglarize because they want something specific from the victim's property nor are they saving the cash proceeds for a long-term goal. They burglarize because they need the money right now to pay off bills, buy food and clothes for their family or to purchase alcohol and illegal drugs. Most burglars would turn to making an honest living, but, even that does not meet their immediate desires for cash. Nor would the earned wages support their lifestyles. (Wright & Decker, 1994).
Some people continue to believe an addiction is nothing but a choice. If presented well, it could make a valid argument along
Initially, the main belief was that criminal behavior was based on rational choice or thought, where criminals were believed to be intelligent beings and weighed the pros and cons before deciding to commit a crime; classicists Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham introduced this view. Essentially, these criminals would compare the risks of committing the crime, such as getting caught, jail or prison time, being disowned by family and friends, and so forth; and the rewards, such as money and new possessions. After making comparisons, the person would make a decision based on whether the risk was greater than the reward. This is like what is presented in an article on Regis University Criminology Program’s website, which states that a criminal “operates based on free will and rational thought when choosing what and what not to do. But that simplistic view has given way to far more complicated theories” (“Biological Theories Primer”). Nowadays, biological theories make attempts in explaining criminal behavior in terms of factors that are primarily outside of the control of the individual.
It is unfortunate that crime exists in our daily lives. There really is no way to stopping crime completely, no matter how many laws or punishment are present, people will continue to keep breaking rules. There are many theories of why that may be the case, for example, Caesar Lombroso and his “atavistic” theory with the Positivist School theory and how people were “born criminals”, or the Rational Choice Theory, devised by Cornish and Clarke, described that people could think rationally and how people will naturally avoid pain and seek pleasure referred to as “hedonism” (Cartwright, 2017, lecture 4). Since it is apparent that crime will continue to exist, it is not only important to understand the study of crime and the feedbacks to it,
The effect of addiction have consumed billions of individuals all over the world, not only consume but also killed. Individuals have relied on drugs to fill the void in their life that is missing. The addict is not only hurting themselves from the drug use but their families, friends, and their community. In this paper, it will give a description of a 21-year-old male named Anthony. Anthony started using marijuana at the age of 20, trying to hide the pain from the death of his sister. Eventually, marijuana was not enough to get Anthony the extra high he wanted which Anthony made the choice to try another drug and eventually it
This idea of a rational calculation of the advantages and disadvantages of crime runs parallel with the Rational Choice Theory offered to us by
Rational choice theory originates from the oldest criminological school of thought and criminological theorists, but the theory itself is new, only forming in the last five decades. Ronald Clarke and Derek Cornish, using the work of previous criminologists, put forth the rational choice perspective as a criminological theory (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2016). This theory has its roots in the classical school of thought in which individuals had the power to make decisions after weighing the consequence of such actions (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2016). The work of Cesare Beccaria in the late 1700’s cemented this theory’s existence from the beginning of criminology (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2016). Rational choice theory was also greatly influenced by Jeremy Bentham and his idea of felicific calculus, in which a decision to commit crime is made after putting risk variables in an equation (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2016). Bentham says all humans work this way, evaluating whether a crime is worth committing (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2016). Bentham was inspired by utilitarian theory, which states that individuals make decisions to maximize profits and minimize pain (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2016). In addition, rational choice theory is also based on traditional economic choice theory that states people will choose what will appease their desires after weighing their options (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2016). This paper will examine the effectiveness of the application of rational
Rational choice theories are among the fastest growing theories in social science today. Many sociologists and political scientists defend the claim that rational choice theory can provide the basis for a unified and comprehensive theory of social behavior. What distinguishes rational choice theory from other forms of theory is that it denies the existence of any kinds of action other than the purely rational and calculative. All social action can be seen as rationally motivated, as instrumental action, however much of it may appear to be irrational or non-rational. I believe that the Rational Choice Theory would be most beneficial in the reduction or control of crime.
Imagine laying on the floor in your own pool of sweat—miserable, your mind bouncing off the walls while the cloud of your darkest thoughts looms over you. Teeth chattering anxiously, waiting to receive the next second, minute, hour of painless bliss. This—this is the life of an addict; does this horror appear to be a choice or more like a disease haunting the mind of the user? Despite the fact a choice was needed to initiate the result, addiction itself is a debilitating disease NOT a choice due to initial influences and anatomical changes to the brain.
The goal of this paper is to analyze if the criminal justice system, as it is constructed today, is doing enough to punish and to deter crime. It will also look to see if there is deterrent in punishment at all. To do this there are a number of theories that should be examined. This includes the following Deterrence theory, rational choice theory, and lastly the positivist theory. The deterrence theory is a very basic, but overlapping theory to all of the others. We learn that at a very early age that reward vs cost is a critical thing to weigh when making decisions. This carries over to the decision to commit a crime and not to commit a criminal act. The rational choice theory states that human beings are decision making creatures. This theory would subscribe to the idea that the tougher the punishment, the higher the cost. The higher the cost, the likelihood of an individual committing a crime would drop. The positivist theory subscribes to the opposite of the rational choice theory. Under this school of thought individuals with lower intelligence or lacking social status do not have the same ability to make a rational choice when it comes to the ability to make a choice to, or not to, commit a crime.
The disease model of addiction and the moral model of addiction provide completely different explanation for the tendency of substance abuse. The disease model of addiction predates to 1784 when the American physician Benjamin Rush published a pamphlet which discussed alcoholism in medical terms and outlined treatments for what he considered was a “disease” (Atkins, 2014, p. 52). This model of addiction generally argues that it is not the individuals fault for their addiction to drugs and that not all, but some people, will inevitably become addicts in the future (p. 52). Inversely, the moral model of addiction does not view addiction as something that an individual “cannot control,” rather this model looks at addiction as something that an individual can certainly control but that the individual does not chose to because of “weak moral character” (p.52). Although both of these models have been, and still are, widely applied to other substances, the most common substance that it was used was for alcohol.
Theories of crime causation get to the fundamental characteristics of human nature. Theories of crime causation can be separated into trait theories and choice theories. Both types of theories make valid points about the causes of crime, yet they are have different implications for preventing the causes of crime. Thesis: Trait theories and choice theories both assume that humans are self-interested, but their conceptions of self-interest limit the applicability of each to certain types of crime. Trait theories appear more suited for explaining the causes of violent crime, whereas choice theories are more appropriate to property crimes or economic crimes.
People chose all behavior and including all criminal behavior. Which in this case the choices that criminals make brings them pleasure and adrenaline. Criminal choices can be controlled by fear of punishment, but not all the time. The crime will be limited when the benefits are reduced and the costs increase. Rational choice theory is a perspective that holds criminality in the result of conscious choice. Not to mention, that it is predicted that individuals choose to commit crime when the benefits outweigh the costs of disobeying the law. In the rational choice theory, individuals are seen as motivated offenders by their needs, wants and goals that express their preferences. This theory has been applied to a wide of range in crime, such as robbery, drug use, vandalism, and white collar crime. Furthermore, rational choice theory had a revival in sociology in the early 1960s, under the heading of exchange theory, and by the end of the decade was having a renewed influence in criminology, first as control theory and later as routine activities theory.
“Drugs and Alcohol abuse”, are phrases we hear commonly on the radio, television or in discussions of social problems. People believe it is the user’s personal choice however; it is not only a personal problem that dramatically affects individuals’ life but is a major social problem that affects society as whole. It has become one of the biggest problems in United States today. Alcohol or Drug abuse nearly automatically is linked with criminal acts. The statistical association between alcohol or drug abuse with crime seems to be convincing when examined at the first glance; however, it is not possible to make a conclusion concerning a distinct cause and effect association between the two aspects. Accordingly, this paper will examine