Rational choice theory vs contemporary trait theory

Modern deterrence theory now considers formal legal punishments, e. The position of RCT is that criminal behavior is no different from noncriminal behavior in that it is conduct that persons intentionally choose to undertake i.

RCT takes the position that offenders are not compelled to commit crime because of some extraordinary motivation: This is an example of what is called specific deterrence Andenaes, The theories are alike, however, in the assumption that human beings are rational and self-interested beings who are affected by the consequences of their actions.

General deterrence occurs when someone who has not yet been punished refrains from committing a crime because of the punishment he or she may receive should he or she get caught Andenaes, In this case, what deters the would-be offender from committing crime is the fear of a formal or legal punishment.

In RCT, criminal offenders are actually no different than noncriminal offenders.

Contemporary Trait Theory Criminology

Within the past 25 years, however, deterrence theory has been expanded to also include nonlegal types of sanction threats, such as the threat of social censure by others should one commit crime i.

If I refrain from committing crime because I think that others close to me will disapprove and reject me, and that fear keeps me from committing crimes, then I am deterred, but by informal sanction threats, not by formal sanction threats.

Both willingly choose their own behaviors, and both choose those behaviors on the basis of a rational consideration of the costs and benefits of the intended action. This is an example of general deterrence. In general deterrence, it is the threat of legal punishment that inhibits criminal offending among people who have not yet been punished, whereas in specific deterrence the inhibiting factor among those who have been punished is the threat of being punished again.

Deterrence can be thought of as a subtype of RCT because they share a great deal of common conceptual ground, with RCT being a more general theory than deterrence. The rational choice offender, then, is rational and self-interested and chooses to commit crime on the basis of his assessment that it will be rewarding or profitable or satisfy some need better than a noncriminal behavior.

Notice that any penalty, such as imprisonment, can act as both a general deterrent when it leads the public to conform because of the threat of prison should they commit a crime and as a specific deterrent when it deters an inmate just released from prison from committing another crime.

This last sentence contains a great deal of complexity and subtlety, so let us explore it in some detail. For example, when someone thinks about committing a crime but refrains from doing so because he fears that he might get arrested, that person is said to be deterred by the fear of a sanction or penalty, in this case, an arrest.

Let us break this last statement down carefully. When someone just released from prison contemplates committing another crime but refrains from doing so because she fears going back to prison if she is arrested and convicted, she too is said to be deterred by the fear of a sanction; in this case, the sanction is imprisonment, which is another form of formal or legal punishment.

Specific deterrence occurs when a person who has just been punished refrains from committing a crime because he or she fears another dose of punishment.Choice theory maintains that delinquency is rational and can be prevented by punishment that is sufficiently severe and certain.

Delinquents who choose crime must evaluate the characteristics of a target to determine its suitability. Notes Criminology Contemporary Criminology Contemporary Criminology The various schools of criminology have developed and evolved over the past years Each continues to impact the field of criminology Rational choice theory Deterrence theory Trait theory Social structure.

Rational Choice Theory VS. Trait Theory Student Name Criminology: Park University Online Program In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the Rational Choice Theory(s) and the Trait Theory(s). We will start with the history of the two theories and progress toward.

Criminal Justice > Criminology > Criminology Theories > Rational Choice Theory Rational Choice Theory Rational choice theory (RCT) likely finds its modern home in an article written by the Nobel-Prize-winning economist Gary Becker (). Trait theory Holds that youth engage in delinquent or criminal behavior due to aberrant physical or psychological traits that govern behavioral choices; delinquent actions are impulsive or instinctual rather than rational choices.

Rational Choice VS.

Rational Choice Theory

Trait Theory In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the Rational Choice Theory(s) and the Trait Theory(s). We will start with the history of the two theories and progress toward some of the individual principles in the theories.

Next step will be explaining how each theory contributes to criminal behavior.

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Rational choice theory vs contemporary trait theory
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