Rational Choice

Rhi Loki
Mind Map by Rhi Loki, updated more than 1 year ago
Rhi Loki
Created by Rhi Loki over 3 years ago


Mind Map on Rational Choice, created by Rhi Loki on 01/05/2017.

Resource summary

Rational Choice
1 Cohen (Larry) and Felson - 1979
1.1 Study of 'predatory crimes'
1.1.1 Routine Activities Theory Increase in crime due to victims changing habits, theorised that by changing social interactions criminal behaviour would also change Routine activities provide contact between victim and offender due to the offenders motivation, the suitability of the victim and a lack of guardianship Victim traits such as vulnerability, levels of resistance and willingness to report crimes can determine a targets suitability Offender traits can be motivation, method of attack and familiarity of the area to incentivise committing a crime The location plays a key part, things such as natural surveillance, guardianship/bystanders and presence of disinhibitors can motivate or demotivate an offender An effective guardian can be someone who may intervene to stop an offence and/or report a crime/offending behaviour. Also members of police activity and monitoring/criminal detecting technology are also considered effective enough to be 'guardians' The presence of an effective guardian was considered to impact whether a crime would be committed or not and was a very important part of the theory. Crime is seen as a calculation where an individual determines committing the crime benefits them more than not For someone or something to be considered as a guardian type deterrent though it must be effective Witnesses can also act as an informal social control as their presence can remind offenders of shaming and condemnation they may face by engaging in criminal activity These elements for a crime to occur can be condensed into offender motivation, suitable target/victim and lack of guardianship Wilcox 2010 Based on Cohen and Felsons Data is was shown that as more women increased within the workplace so did an increase in household crime due to a lack of suitable 'guardianship' at the property during the day. It was also apparent that street crime such as predatory crime and robbery rose especially against women due to comuting needs An offender was considered to be a rational actor who capitalised on circumstances
2 Cornish and Clarke - 1986, 1987
2.1 Criminal decision making and motivation
2.1.1 Theorised that criminals are trying to attain common needs of non criminals - These common needs are determined through a rational decision making process to identify opportunities. The examination of the crime 'event' will influence involvement decision, the examination is based on the presence of factors that then prompt stage advancment Background factors: Psychological characteristics i.e. intelligence, family background, demographic factors, education and neighbourhood Previous learning and experience: previous successes, self-perception of their skills and ability to elude the police, ability to move on or disappear stolen items Situational Factors: peer persuasion, arguments with a spouse, alcohol or drug use Other factors are degree of effort, amount/immediacy of reward, likelihood and severity of punishment and moral costs Do time, effort, rewards (and costs) of the crime outweigh the alternative avenues such as work, gambling and borrowing etc. ? Decision making process stages: Background factors Need for money, or Previous experience and amount of effort required Blocked opportunities Readiness to commit crime Crime If an offender has previous experience they may skip other stages and consider only situational factors Crime as an event to be examined through the thought processes of those involved Involvement decisions can be quick or lengthy but the cost benefit analysis is considered at each stage; Do I ... become involved? ...continue to involve myself in crime? ...stop involving myself in crime?
3 Jeremy Bentham - 1789
3.1 Pleasure and pain
3.1.1 It is pain and pleasure that, "... point(s) out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do." Thought that indivduals estimated pain or pleasure of a circumstance by determining 4 different areas. 1. Its intensity, 2. Its duration, 3. Its certainty or uncertainty and 4. Its propinquity or remoteness This meant that punishment should outweigh the pleasure of commiting an unlawful act and lean towards the pain principle for each of these areas. 2. Followed a theory of - Hedonistic Utilitarianism: People should aim to maximize pleasure and minimize pain
4 John Stuart Mill - 1836
4.1 Economic man
4.2 3. Eudiamonistic Utilitarianism: Argued that utility shouldn't be measured by pleasure but by happiness instead as it is a higher standard
4.2.1 The economic man therefore acts rationally but in an entirely self serving manner in order to maximize their utility (happiness) "...the economic man seeks - wealth, leisure, luxury and sexual relations." - 1836 "Civilisation in every one of its aspects is a struggle against the animal instincts." Beleived social norms such as morals and strong religious influences of the time controlled people from misbehaving
5 Origins
5.1 Main concept: actors and choice
5.2 Beccaria - 1764
5.2.1 Looked at the legal system and argued for utilitarianism 1. Utilitarianism: the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority. "Such punishments, therefore, and such a mode of inflicting them, ought to be chosen, as will make the strongest and most lasting impression on the minds of others, with the least torment to the body of the criminal." - 1767 People are ruled by a primitive fear but are still capable of rationality By entering into a 'contract' with others via following governance, laws etc, allowing them a form of protection - authority Rules of conduct are formed that everyone in society must follow this is the social contract If people observe others violating the law without consequence the social contract can break down Key thought was that everyone has the same rational capabilities and all are selfish/self-serving
5.2.2 Social Contract
6 Lombroso -2006
6.1 When thinking shifted towards causes of criminal activity Lombroso theorised that criminals had, 'limitless vanity and inordinate sense of self..'
6.1.1 He saw physical traits as being criminal but also psychological anomalies, noting that those of moral insanity were rational but lacking morality and remarks on the similarities of the morally insane and the born criminal
7 Situational Crime prevention
7.1 Increased risk of detection; Natural (street lights, defensible space) and Formal (CCTV, speed cameras, red lights) Surveillance
7.1.1 Alter architecture and surveillance to increase perceived effort of committing a crime
7.2 Creating the belief whether real or false that detection is heightened
7.3 Looks primarly at crime opportunities and reducing the potential of crime to be committed, whilst aiming to minimise crime displacement to other areas
7.3.1 Types of supervisors: Guardians (monitoring suitable targets i.e. bystander inhibits shoplifting) , Handlers (monitoring likely offenders - parent makes sure child gets home) , Monitors (managing amenable places - hotel maid impairs trespasser) Remove excuses for crime; Required ID, Age restricted regulations etc. Remove / reduce the rewards; This can include removing the target altogether. Registration and location monitoring of products, reduction of targets - remove car radios from view, women's refuge, deny benefits i.e. remove graffiti Target hardening; Physical barriers such as safes, locks, cameras etc. Shearing and Stenning - 1984 Found street markings, signs and physical path barriers/routes reduced crime potential and incivilities Crawford - 1998 'Situational crime prevention involves the management, design or manipulation of the immediate physical environment so as to reduce the opportunities for specific crimes.'
8 Utilitarian Principles of crime prevention
8.1 Criminals will commit offences if they don't believe they will be caught or punished.
8.1.1 Creating a negative image of offending will deter the majority of individuals This can be done through norms and laws which maintain the image that offending acts and behaviour will be noticed and punished
8.2 General deterrence theory
8.2.1 Works to deter the general population against deviance
8.2.2 Specific deterrence theory Works to punish the offender to prevent reoffending Ideas such as shock sentencing and mandatory arrests for specific crimes to end problematic behaviours Incapacitation in the UK often refers to imprisonment as a punishment for offenders Punishment must be effective
9 Lifestyle theory / victimisation
9.1 Need to examine the role of the victim in a crime and the impacts of attempts to provide security
9.2 Hindelang, Gottfredson and Garofalo - 1978
9.2.1 Looked at why some are at greater risk of victimisation, and differential victimisation rates i.e. some lifestyles created greater risk of victimisation than others Wilcox 2010 Study found that subgroups experienced greater victimisation risk. Specifically men, young adults and African Americans were at an increased risk, compared to women, the elderly and whites
9.3 Social roles - define what people are expected to do
9.3.1 Position in societies social structure - what is their socio-economic background. High status = less risk, low status -= increased risk Rational component - decisions made regarding behaviours that are seen as desirable These classifications can all be applied to different areas i.e. sweat shop workers, street racers as well to criminal behaviour
9.4 Different crimes = differing susceptibility to being a victim and potential to be an offender
9.4.1 Lifestyles of offenders and victims highlight the likelihood of being 'involved' in a crime.
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