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

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Comparing/contrasting theories of criminal behavior

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

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

T*****efore t***** ********** differs from other theories of crim*****al ***** such as Labeling Theory in that it focuses on personal ***** individual concerns rather than outside factors. In effect the theory involves viewing the causes of crime in terms of an *****alys***** that looks at the costs and benefits of the decision th***** the person *****s. It is also characterized by an analysis that attempts to see the crime ***** the criminal's viewpoint.

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

The ***** of rational choice is based on the work of early classical theorists ***** 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 *****nalys*****: Pleasure versus Pain, (5) Choice, with ***** other conditions equal, will be directed towards the maximization of individual pleasure, (6) Choice can be controlled through ***** perception ***** understanding of the potential pain or punishment ***** ***** follow an act judged to ***** in violation of ***** social good, the social contract. (Keel, R. 2004)

This theoretical standpoint is based on other assumpti*****s about human behavior. *****se include the following: humans are essentially goal ***** and act with purpose; *****y have hierarchical needs and preferences and make ***** according to th***** hierarchy of needs. (Turner Jona*****, 1991)

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


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