Criminal Behavior And Choice Theory

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Criminal Behavior and Choice Theory David T. Stevenson Everest University February 11, 2011 Criminal Behavior and Choice Theory One of the enduring goals of criminology – the scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior – is to develop an understanding of the nature and cause of crime and victimization (Siegel, 2010, 2008). One prominent view of criminality argues that when people who maintain conventional goal and values they are striving for success and material attainment and most of them work hard to get it. However, people who commit crime are actually upwardly mobile, scrambling around to obtain their “piece of the pie.” And when achieving success is not always easy, a lot op people choice to cut corners to reach that ultimate goal of success by doing illegal things with the means to get what they want. Most people who commit crime after they have weighed their options to the risk and the chance of getting caught and how difficult it will be to commit the crime and is the profit worth the effort (Siegel, 2010, 2008). As a rational criminal, if I were to decide to shoplift, and knowing that the decision to commit a specific crime is a matter of personal choice, I would feel like I would let a lot of my family members down by making this choice to commit a crime. I feel like the thought of having to face friends and family would be worst then receiving punishment from the legal system. The concept of general deterrence would also make it hard for me to know that with crime the punishment could be severe and to have to live without my children for any period of time would way on my concisions’. Understanding the choice theory states that: all we do is behave, that almost all behavior is chosen, and that we are driven by our genes to satisfy five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun
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