Main Benefits and Criticisms of Rational Choice Theory

In my opinion, RCT or rational choice theory is the view that a crime is a function of the decision making process wherein a potential criminal considers the benefits and costs of an illegal act. The theory is known to overtly examine the process of reasoning followed by criminal offenders.

The rational choice theory in criminology provides the capability to law enforcers to determine the behavior of possible criminal offenders. This information could then be communicated by the law enforcers to the nearby communities in educating them on how not to be victimized. As a result, the trend of crimes which include malicious and violent crimes has been downward based on 1995 data which reported a high of 684 crimes per 100,000 people dropping to 460 crimes per 100,000 people in the data provided in 2006.

However, the rational choice theory is not applicable to all types of crimes. There are criminals who are suffering psychological or biological effects affecting their behavior. Moreover, the choice of rationality is considered to play major roles in terms of decision making of experienced criminals than of neophytes. In this sense, the theory may lead to contrasting approaches in the area of reducing crimes.


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