Rational Choice Theory Essay

Amazing Essays
8.Explanations
8.1. Rational Choice Theory
Rational choice theory presumes that individuals make logical decisions from the choices available to them, which provides the greatest satisfaction and which are in their interest (Haycraft, 2013:13). Furthermore, rational choice theory assumes that an offender carries out a crime by evaluating what can be earned through committing the crime (Haycraft, 3013:13). Haycraft (2013:12) states that an individual might decide to commit a crime because the risk is lower than the gains or in order to resolve some type of personal vendetta.

According to Musuva (2015:51) rational choice theory can be used to link xenophobia to the rivalry between foreigners and natives for resources. Natives of a country perceive foreigners as competition for economic opportunities and resources (Musuva, 2015:52). Consequently, natives of a country may develop a lingering feeling of hatred and decide to engage in xenophobic violence in order to seek revenge. Therefore, rational choice theory can be used to explain xenophobia in term of the perception of corrupted competition, which results in the resentment of
…show more content…
Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990:111) are of the opinion that criminal behaviour is the result of a lack of self-control. Therefore, criminals do not possess self-control when an opportunity to commit crime is presented. According to Haycraft (2013:17), the urge to commit crime decreases as an individual grows older due to the development of life factors. However, if a lack of self-control is present during adolescence, it is likely that a deficiency of self-control will be present in adulthood (Haycraft, 2013:17). Furthermore, individuals who display an acceptable level of self-control during childhood are likely to have an acceptable amount of self-control throughout adulthood (Haycraft,

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Since we have established that these offenders are making rational decisions, we should be able to sentence them appropriately, all the while, they understand the consequences for their actions. Secondly, by understanding their actions and theorists understanding why crimes are committed under the rational choice theory, we are better able to analyze reason by the offender for why they choose to do what they do. This helps us better deter crime in the future. “Unlike other approaches, however, which attempt to impose a conceptual unity upon divergent criminal behaviors (by subsuming under more general concepts such as delinquency, deviance, rule breaking, short-run hedonism, criminality, etc. ), our rational choice formulation sees these differences as crucial to the tasks of explanation and control.…

    • 1616 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Introduction Rational Choice Theory developed out of classical criminology, a theory developed by Cesare Beccaria (Siegel 2010: 96). Beccaria maintined that people should make their decisions based of fear of being punished, but believed in fair punishment for the crime (Siegel 2010: 96). Rational Choice Theory is a misnomer because it isn’t, in fact, a theory, but a heuristic model (de Haan & Vos 2009:30). A heuristic model can be assessed in terms of how useful it is, but cannot be proven or disproven (de Haan & Vos 2009:30). Rational choice views the process of committing a crime as making a set of choices that result in the crime taking place (Joubert 2014: 15).…

    • 738 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I feel this way because there are crimes in this would that if anybody thought of doing that being sentenced to death should cross there mind. The utilitarian theory is a perfect example of how I feel capital punishment should be looked at. I feel this way, because of the reasons behind the theory. Since it is forward-looking and hopes to deter further criminals from committing the same act it shows that the main focus is not the killing itself, but the future criminals who might commit the same act. Anyone can give their own opinion on which theory is morally right, but when it comes down to which theory is best for society utilitarian theory is by far the best.…

    • 817 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “It is better to prevent crime than to punish it” (Beccaria, 1764/1963:93). Cesare Beccaria trusted punishments should be consistent and proportionate to the crime. He also believed that punishments are unjust when their severity exceeds what is necessary to achieve deterrence. Additionally the severity, swiftness and certainty of punishment was a key aspect to Cesare Beccaria in recidivism and controlling crime (O 'Brien, M. et al., 2008). Cesare…

    • 1195 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Rational choice theory best explains why crime occurs. Hayward (2007) explains that this theory considers offenders to be rational individuals that plan their crimes. Offenders take into consideration the pain and pleasure he or she may have to deal with. The offender evaluates the risks before he or she decides to break the law. There are many factors taken into consideration when individuals commit crimes such as, the punishment one would receive, the success they would receive and who it would benefit.…

    • 1216 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    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.…

    • 2124 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    These theories were either sociological, biological, or psychological. Personally, I do not believe that any one theory can most effectively explain crime as each theory can explain to an extent what was an individual's intent. However, if I had to pinpoint one theory in particular that I thought contributed the most to crime I would pick the rational choice theory. The rational choice theory believes that all individuals freely choose to participate in crime as a result of a rational decision-making process. Essentially, this theory believes that individuals that commit a crime weigh the consequences of the crime and determine that the rewards of the crime being committed outweigh the consequences.…

    • 1248 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Rational Choice Theory

    • 560 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Even though criminal behavior is complex criminologists still attempted to explain it simply. An example of this would be rational choice theory. This theory explains crime or deviant behavior by some ones choice. Scope is the degree of explanation about a phenomenon that the theory will achieve. An example of this is the low self-control theory it seeks to explain criminal and deviant…

    • 560 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    What Classical Criminology expresses here firstly is that individuals in these examples make a rational and deliberate choice of their own volition to commit the crime. Furthermore despite the presence of punishment if they get caught, they have judged the possibility or the strength of both the harms and benefits of their actions and decided to follow through with the criminal act. These individuals are behaving in such a way that they profit through material gain from their indiscretion, progressing their own self-interest. In these ways, Classical Criminology is able to explain the processes by which street crime occurs by exhibiting the hedonistic tendencies individuals incorporate into their actions. However these principles may not be as useful in the interpretation of violent crime,…

    • 1479 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Juvenile Court System

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Should Juveniles be tried as Adults? Draft #1 Juvenile court systems are the first line of defence against youth crimes. This system is quickly failing to produce the appropriate punishments for major youth crimes passing the responsibility to the guardians and off of the child. Supporting the trial of juveniles as adults is imperative in creating a safe and secure society. The Juvenile system is often criticised for being highly flawed, the system based off of rehabilitation minimalizes the seriousness of the crime committed.…

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays