Criminal Behavior: The Rational Choice Theory

969 Words 4 Pages
Rational Choice Theory The Rational Choice Theory explains the idea that criminal behavior is planned. Human beings have the ability to make their own decisions, and delinquent behavior is a result of our choices. I agree with this theory to a certain extent. While a lot of criminal behavior is premeditated, some is just a reactionary, spur of the moment decision. Adolescents are often very irrational beings. They do things without thinking about the repercussions of their actions.
Positivism (Biological and Psychological) Positivists focus on the criminal more than the crime. They believe that criminals have physical attributes that distinguish them from the rest of society. I do not agree with the theory that physical attributes can separate
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It places its emphasis on social and environmental factors of the crime. I find this theory valid when relating to juvenile delinquents. It is why so many children who grow up around crime become criminals themselves.
Social Process Theories Social process theories look at the interactions between people and their environment. I agree with this theory. It explains why some areas have such a high crime rate and others do not. An example of this is how juveniles from lower class areas and families can often receive a greater punishment than if a juvenile from an upper class area or family committed the exact same crime.
Conflict Theory The conflict theory suggests that people will never be able to settle for being equal because of greed. The capitalistic market makes people selfish and, if given the opportunity, they will step on others to raise their own status. The conflict theory is valid because the proof is everywhere. Children all over the world are starving while rich people get fat off their spoils. Is there a way to distribute money so everyone in the world can be properly fed, clothed, and sheltered? Absolutely. Will it ever happen? Definitely not. The conflict theory explains the reason communism is a great idea on paper but would never actually work out in real life. Most people want to feel superior to others, and this is because the capitalistic market says they can
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Gottredson and Hirschi determined that the basic causes for delinquent behavior are opportunity and a lack of self-control. I partially agree with this theory. It seems like the antithesis of rational choice theory. Gottredson and Hirschi say that crime happens because people cannot really control themselves in the heat of the moment. It explains why people, even friends, will resort to violence during an argument. I’ve seen it numerous times when I was in high school. A discussion turned into an argument, which turned into people throwing punches at each

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