The Rational Choice Perspective By Cornish And Clarke

2124 Words 9 Pages
I. Introduction
This paper will contribute the Rational Choice Theory to Derek B. Cornish and Ronald V. Clarke. The majority of this critique will be based upon the assumptions and core concepts that are discussed in the work, “The Rational Choice Perspective” by Cornish and Clarke. This paper will first discuss the history and background of the Rational Choice Theory and will then transition into analyzing the theory. This analysis will determine if this is truly a theory or if it is merely just a perspective developed using concepts from other theories.
When analyzing a theory, it is important to understand the goals of a theory and the traits of a good theory. The main goal of a theory is to explain variation in a behavior within a population.
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The central concepts that are the body of Rational Choice Theory are decision-making, choices, present centeredness and the opportunity for committing crime. Success in offending, therefore, with drive and develop criminal characteristics leading to a life of criminality. Failure in offending, on the other hand, will lead to the reduction of criminal activity and eventually desistance (Stogner, 2015). Based on the above concepts, it is obvious to see the relationship between Rational Choice Theory and the Theory of Deterrence. Both Rational Choice Theory and Deterrence Theory state that individuals are hedonistic and are deterred from crime through the implementation of certain, swift and severe punishments; and both also discuss the experiential and emboldening effects attributed to the success of crime or the ineffectiveness of the punishment. Rational Choice Theory, however, expands upon Deterrence Theory by including various aspects of sociology and psychology in relation to the decision-making process. These areas of sociology and psychology influence, positively or negatively, the degree of deterrence and the costs versus benefits aspect of decisions. Rational Choice Theory does not view criminal behavior as the result of consistent criminal motivations. Instead, Rational Choice Theory views the desires and motives of offenders and potential offenders as very similar to non-offenders, and it is these desires and motives that are constantly interacting with opportunities and constraints. These interactions either produce, reinforce, or in some cases reduces criminal behavior (Stogner,

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