Essay On Rational Choice Theory

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Kathy is a 52-year-old woman who committed fraud, theft and forgery against elderly people living in senior care homes. She gained her victims trust and be-friended them in order to access their finances, in which she then stole hundreds of thousands of dollars. For the seniors, Kathy was in a position of trust as well as power when it came to their financials, her victims where vulnerable and could not fend for themselves as they needed her help. When Kathy was caught she did not show remorse for her actions and did not understand the effect it had on others. When looking at Kathy’s crimes, there are two theories that help to explain why she committed them, rational choice theory and biosocial theories. Rational choice theory takes into…show more content…
This rational choice perspective focused on the hedonistic calculus which is the assumption that people are rational and will therefore make decisions in order to maximize pleasure and minimize pain (Alexandra Lysova Lecture 3). From here, deterrence theory was born which then lead to Cornish and Clarkes rational choice theory. This new rational choice theory has many similarities with deterrence theory which is why many people refer to rational choice theory as the new model of deterrence (Tibbetts and Hemmens 2015). Cornish and Clarkes rational choice theory first developed from economists on the bases that all people are rational decision makers who will weigh the cost and benefits when it comes to committing a crime, does the reward outweigh the risk and possible punishment (Alexandra Lysova Lecture 3). The theory of rational choice also looks at the perceived risk of a crime vs. the actual risk that committing the crime will have. Finally, rational choice theory analyses the amount of pleasure that someone will receive from a crime, the more pleasure received from committing a crime, the more likely the offender will do it, whereas if there is a low amount of pleasure the chance of committing a crime is less
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