Rational Choice Theory

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  • Created by: rachel
  • Created on: 18-05-13 18:07
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  • Rational Choice Theory
    • Clarke and Cornish
      • Not a simple choice but a sequence of choices made which are influenced by a number of social and psychological factors.
        • Criminal motivations - incline or dispose individuals toward cirminality
      • Six basic propositions
        • Offenders want to make the best decisions given the risks and uncertainty involved
        • Offender decision making varies between crimes
        • Involvement and event decisions are very different
        • Involvement decisions comprise three stages - initiation, habituation and desistance.
          • Whether a person is ready to begin committing crime in order to obtain what they want
          • Whether, having started offending, they should continue to do so
          • Whether, at some stage, they ought to stop
        • Event decisions involve a sequence of choices made at eatch stage of the criminal act - preparation, target selection, commission, escape and aftermath
        • Purposeful  acts to benefit the offender
    • Calculation for benefit and cost
    • Pleasure pain principle
    • Series of decisions leading to commit crime - rationality
      • Takes into account personality = positivist
    • Make decisions on the facts they have - bounded rationality Clarke and Cornish
      • Offenders are rarely in possession of all the necessary facts about the risks, efforts and rewards of crime
      • Criminal choices usually have to be made quickly
      • No planning down to the last detail, criminals rely on a general approach that has worked before improvising on unforeseen circumstances
      • Once embarked on a crime, crimnals focus on the rewards rather than risks, when considering the risks they focus on immediate idea of being caught - not future punishments
    • Contemporary classiscism


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