Rational Choice Theory: Why Do People Commit Crimes

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Why do people commit crimes? What goes through their minds before they actually commit a crime? These are questions asked from society to criminologist every time one decides they want to commit a crime. Criminologists has given us different crime causations, theories, to explain the answer to these questions. A theory is a speculation about how phenomena, behavior, or process are caused and what takes place after the cause is determined (Anderson, 2015). There are numerous theories that have evolved over time to explain why crimes are committed. These theories include anomie, strained, social control, and rational choice theory. In this research paper I will be focusing on rational choice theory. Majority of these theories focus on a macro-level, which is the largest, meanwhile some focus on a micro-level, the smaller level, depending on the circumstances. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize how rational choice theory is integrate with different crimes. The crimes included are burglary, white collar crime, and murder. Rational Choice Theory Do people think before they commit a crime? This question is answered by the rational choice theory that was proposed to us first as the classical theory …show more content…

White collar crime is an organized crime committed by person of higher socioeconomic status in the course of their business, occupation, or profession (Sutherland, 2002). It was introduced to the Criminal Justice system in 1939, but was overlooked by many people because they never noticed it was happening. White collar crime has been taking place in America for a long time and is summed up as lying, cheating and stealing. There are numerous types of white collar crimes such as bribery, bank fraud, embezzlement, and insurance fraud to name a few (National Check Fraud Center, 2011). One case that we all know of, Enron, not only wiped out lifesavings, but cost investors billions of dollars. White collar crime requires intelligence and lots of

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