What do you perceive to be the main benefits and criticisms of RCT

The rational choice theory (RCT), which is also referred to as rational action theory, was instigated first during the 1700s by someone called Cesare Beccaria, whose practical views and ideas were widely received all over Europe and the United States. Beccarias role helped to eradicate merciless and unusual punishment in the nineteenth century, which was very common during that time. According to the rational choice theory, criminals are humans who have the same goals and desires as normal citizens, but opt to obtain those goals by unlawful means.

First of all, assuming people often make decisions in a rational and not random implies that their behavior can be modeled and thus predictions can be made about future actions. Secondly, the statistical formality of rational choice theory models allows social scientists to draw results from their models that may have otherwise not been seen, and submit these theoretical results for practical substantiation

In my opinion, this theory over exaggerates individual choice and doesnt integrate societal factors like poverty, split families, poor living conditions, and underprivileged childhood into a persons potential for criminality. Without incorporating these factors, it is hard to account for and explain all causes of criminal behavior. Secondly, because the theorys scope is so large and tries to explain all causes of criminality, it becomes redundant. Also, the theory is in a way stingy because even though it states that an offender will commit a crime based on free will and rational choice, there are still many factors that the individual must consider before deciding whether or not to risk violating the law.

Regardless of some seemingly reasonable criticisms, the theory has stimulated noteworthy historical landmarks and documents and is still one of the oldest established explanations for crime around today.


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