The Rational Choice Theory

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Many researchers have developed theories to seek out and explain why individuals continue to commit crime, where as, others completely desist from crime altogether. One of the most prominent and relevant theories to explain criminal behavior is known as the rational choice theory, which was first introduce by Cesare Beccaria in the late eighteenth century. Gabor et al., (1987) claimed that rational choice theory is, “…Found on the assumption that offenders are more or less rational in their decision making and seek to benefit themselves by their criminal activity (As cited in Morrison and O’Donnell, 1996). This theory asserts that these individuals are goal oriented and self interested, therefore, if the benefits of the crime outweigh the …show more content…
According to Morrison and O’Donnell, the previous research conducted by Harding and Blake concluded that, “…Robbers who had used firearms put some effort into planning their crime and were likely to have investigated in advance the security arrangements of their chosen target. These offenders also claimed to have given some thought to the possibility of being caught and the likely sentence if convicted. Indeed, these researchers portrayed the gun robber as a "top-of-the-range" criminal” (1996, p. 161). Where as, other researchers have concluded other findings. It was also noted, however, by Kapardis (1988) and Haran and Martin (1984) that bank robbers often did little planning before committing a robbery, some of which were carried out within a time frame of less than twenty four hours once it had been conceived (As cited in Morrison and O’Donnell, 1987). As the literature above suggests, it is quite difficult to deter whether or not robbers are actual rational actors, however, I must argue that I do not believe robbers to rational actors. There are many cognitive aspects of robbery in which robbers display irrational decisions for both their involvement in crime and in the way they enact the crime, such as being expressively motived to commit the …show more content…
How can a robber have claim to have a made a rational decision, based on the definition and evidence enlisted above? The truth is, they simply can not. In order to be rational and think about something thoroughly, one must not have been under the influence, react with their emotions, or inadequately plan something to which could effect your life in a detrimental way. Rational offenders would reframe from committing the act, if the truly weighed the pros and cons of a situation, therefore, given that I believe robbers are often more impulsive than actors, I would have to conclude that they are indeed not rational actors as demonstrated by the evidence

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