Essay - Comparing/contrasting Theories of Criminal Behavior Rational Choice Theory Compared to...

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Comparing/contrasting theories of criminal behavior

Rational Choice Theory compared to Labeling and Radical *****

The Rational Choice Theory of the causes of criminal behavior is essentially based on the assumption that criminals rationally make decisions that motivate ***** lead them ***** commit criminal acts. Rational theory emphasizes individual choice and the personal decision-making process in an attempt to underst***** the causes of crime. The strength of this *****ory is ***** it focuses on the individual *****d on his or her logical and rational decisions to attain certain goals. "According to Felson and Clarke (1998), ***** rational choice perspective focuses upon the offender's decision-making. Its main ***** is that offending is purposive *****, designed ***** benefit the offender in some way." (Rational Choice Perspective)

*****refore th***** *****ory differs from ot***** theories of criminal behavior such as Labeling Theory in that it focuses on ***** and individual concerns rather than outside factors. In effect the theory involves viewing the causes of crime in terms of an analysis that looks at the costs and benef*****s of the decision th***** *****e person makes. It is also characterized by an analysis that attempts to see the crime from the criminal's viewpoint.

Rational choice *****orizing in crim*****ology is really quite down to earth, trying ***** ***** the world from the offender's perspective. It seeks to understand how the offender makes ***** choices, driven by a particular motive within a specific setting, which offers ***** opportunities to sat*****fy that motive. Rational choice theory has an image of the ********** who thinks before he *****, even if only for a moment, taking into account some benefits and ***** in ********** the offence. (The ***** ***** Perspective: The Home Office, 1988)

The ***** of rational choice is based on the work of early classical theor*****ts such as Jeremy Bentham and their views of human behavior ***** emphasized the following aspects:

*****) The human being is a rati*****al actor, (2) Rationality involves an end/means calculation, (3) People (freely) choose all *****, both conforming and deviant, based on ***** rational calculations, (4) The central element ***** calculation involves a cost benefit analysis: Pleasure versus Pain, (5) Choice, with ***** other conditions equal, will be directed towards the maximization of individual pleasure, (6) ***** can be controlled through ***** perception and *****ing of the potential pain or punishment that ***** follow an act judged to ***** in violation of the social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. 2004)

This theoretical st*****dpoint is ***** on other assumpti*****s about ***** behavior. *****se include the *****: humans are ***** goal directed and act with purpose; they have hierarchical needs and preferences and make ***** according to th***** hierarchy of *****. (Turner Jona*****, 1991)

The theory ***** rational choice ***** acknowledges that there are various constraints and mitigating ***** involved when analyzing the ***** of crime in terms of human *****ity. These are factors ***** need to be considered within the broad overall ***** frame*****. RCT or Rational Choice Theory involves decision-making which can *****..."constrained by


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