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Rational Choice Theory

Rational Choice Theory is one of a group of Right Realist theories, along with Broken Windows and Routine Activities Theory , that applies ideas developed to explain economic behaviour - in particular the idea individuals are rational and self-interested - to the explanation of criminal behaviour.


This overview outlines and evaluates the basic ideas behind Rational Choice Theory, with a particular emphasis on the notion of a cost-benefit analysis of criminal motivation that underpins a range of contemporary Right Realist explanations for crime.


The overview also introduces the concept of bounded rationality as an alternative way of explaining the behaviour of offenders that also has important ramifications for situational crime prevention strategies and techniques.




Rational Choice Theory

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Crime Channel: Theories

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