“Rational Choice” and Opportunity Theories. “Rational Choice Theory”. Economics (language, theory) “Expected Utility” = calculation of all risks and rewards Same assumptions as deterrence theory This is because “economic theory” (supply/demand, rational consumers) has same roots.
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What affects “expected utility?”
1. Probability of arrest/conviction
a. analogous to the probability of having to “pay”
2. Severity of punishment
b. analogous to “price”
3. “Other variables”
a. Income available in legal or illegal activities
b. Willingness to commit an illegal act
c. Intelligence, age, education, family upbringing….
What happened to our “rational” offender guided by “free will?”
Changes in Lifestyle and Values
Changes in Peer group
1. Motivated Offenders (typically ignored)
2. Suitable Targets
3. Lack of Capable Guardianship