Latent Trait Theory Essay

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Columbus SWAT Officer Shot in the Line of Duty
The latent trait theory and the trajectory theory are two completely different theories that criminologists use to determine why a person may commit a crime. There appear to be many theories out there as to what causes a person to commit a crime and remain criminals throughout their life course or they can change their life paths and desist their criminal careers. We always here about the officers that shoot and kill someone and people will riot in the streets over this, however, we rarely hear about the officers that risk their lives daily and sometimes lose their lives in the line of duty. This paper will talk about the latent theory and trajectory theory and explain why one does the best job
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This theory states that a person is born with a master trait or it appears shortly after birth and that a person will start committing crimes at an early age. “That is, if an impulsive personality contributes to delinquency in childhood, it should also cause the same people to offend as adults because personality traits remain stable over the life span” (Siegel, 2007, p. 309). Lincoln Rutledge according to his ex-employer has never committed a crime before this which helps to determine that this could not fall under the latent trait theory and that this theory does a poor job at trying to explain why he committed this…show more content…
The circumstances and changing events that have happened in his life had made him become an unstable person that resulted in an officer being shot and killed. Due to no prior criminal history, this would cross out the latent trait theory because he was an upstanding citizen for most of his life. There are many theories out there that can help explain why someone would turn to crime, however, these two were the best and worst for this

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