Rational And Rational Choice Theory Essay

Rational And Rational Choice Theory Essay

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Rational choice theory is the basis of almost all decisions one makes in their life. Starting at a young age kids make choices based off of self-interest, whether it be taking a toy another kid is playing with or asking the other parent for something when the first already said no hoping for an answer they want. Rational choice theory is based on intentional, goal oriented behavior (“Rational Choice Theory” 74). Before making decisions, people consciously and unconsciously weigh the pros and cons of each choice usually opting for the choice that benefits them the most or has the most desired predicted outcome. So why do people commit crimes even though they know they could get into a lot of trouble could go to jail? People enter an interaction with others if they believe the potential rewards outweigh the calculated costs (“Rational Choice Theory” 75). Crimes are committed based off of choices of the criminal to do something even though it is illegal. They believe that the potential personal gain outweighs the possibility of getting caught. For example a starving man steals food for his family. He believed that in order to survive, he needed food now and decided to take it. Rational choice theory can be used in regards to all crime whether it be committed by someone of high or low economic or social status, young or old, educated or uneducated. What might seem rational to one person does not mean it is rational to someone else in the same situation. A person’s sense of rationality is formed through social interactions, environment, and experience. Stepping away from crime, the Choose Your Own Adventure series highlights the idea that everyone thinks differently while one person will choose one path to take in the book ano...


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...e accepted into the group that shares their similar views or life style. Violence is also used to control current members of both gangs and terrorist groups, illustrating the structure that is integrated in the group (Turk 1553). Despite their differences in violent crime, both terrorism and gang’s violence can be traced back to the theory of self-identity and the need for belonging. The first emergence of gangs in the US occurred when immigrants settled into “ethnic enclaves” and were excluded from the chance of joining the “mainstream middle class” (McCarthy and Daly 711). They then formed into gangs that allowed them to gain social status and gave them an identity (McCarthy and Daly 711). Terrorist groups are formed by people whose beliefs differ from the mainstream population and they want to act in order to prove their ideas and self-identity to others.


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