Rational choice theory is based on the utilitarian philosophies of Cesare Beccaria, which were brought into popular consciousness by Jeremy Bentham. This theory subscribes to the fundamental principles of the classical school of criminology, which propose that individuals are free thinking agents who choose their behaviour accordingly and are motivated by the avoidance and minimization of pain and the pursuit and maximization of pleasure.
Rational choice theory is premised upon the idea that individuals consciously evaluate the utility of their actions, and provides a micro perspective (that is, on an individual level) as to why offenders choose to commit the specific crimes they do. In terms of risk and benefit assessment, criminal activity is examined and conceptualized in economic terms, and for this reason rational choice theory holds to the central idea that criminal behaviour can be controlled or modified through the threat of punishment. In terms of establishing appropriate standards for criminal punishment, this theory postulates that sanctions should be limited to the base necessity of what will deter people from pursuing criminal activities.
The aspects and tenets of rational choice theory are based upon a variety of assumptions about behavioural motivations and decision making processes. It engages with both the immediate decision to commit a crime and their associate degrees of calculation, as well as the longer term benefits and costs associated with doing so. At Homework Help Canada, our experts in rational choice theory explore how criminal choices are structured and influenced by situational variables and environmental cues, and are capable of writing expansive and argumentative essays exploring the applicability and limitations of the rational choice perspective as well as its potential policy implications. Trust the experts at Homework Help Canada – get a quote now!