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Strengths and Limitations of Rational-Choice Based Perspectives - Essay Example

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This essay examines the strengths and limitations of rational-choice-based perspectives in terms of its reliance on mathematical techniques. The paper also explains how developmental theories have recently informed our understanding of criminal behavior as a developmental process…
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Strengths and Limitations of Rational-Choice Based Perspectives
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Download file to see previous pages The essay "Strengths and Limitations of Rational-Choice Based Perspectives" talks about the rational choice based perspectives in terms of their reliance on mathematical techniques and tries to explain how developmental theories have recently informed our understanding of criminal behavior.
A major strength of rational-choice-based perspectives is its reliance on mathematical techniques. When a theory is couched in terms of mathematics, it is usually quite straightforward to determine whether the conclusions follow from the assumptions. In effect, because of its theoretical value as contrasted to practical theories, rational choice based perspectives tend to dominate its competitors because it has been more successful empirically. Another advantage of this perspective is its emphasis and focus on decision making. Here, a decision-making approach views crime within a situational, interactional and social context. Explanations are developed that focus on the beliefs and perceptions of perpetrators of crime.
Having a more extensive perspective regarding the causes of crime. Another strength of this perspective is its adherence to the principle of parsimony, i.e. it does not rely on scientists and eugenicists conducting detailed examinations of genetic material. It suggests that the individuals who have a simple choice whether to commit the crime, commit crime or not. Some people consider this as the greatest advantage of this view. This simplistic rational choice based perspective unfortunately leads to more limitations....
Furthermore, rational choice based perspectives are limited due to its abstract nature, that is to say, its lack of realistic and empirical procedures. Thus, the limiting factor of this perspective would seem to be that “the assumptions of the theory are not literally and completely true . . . Determining the validity of a model would therefore seem to involve a subtle examination of both plausibility of assumptions and conformity with real-world data” (Baylor University, 2002, 56). In relation to its unempirical approach is “the lack of evidence, which is gathered to give facts to the explanation” (“White”, 2010). Thus, it leads us to Problems associated with inadequate information and uncertainty (“Gingrich”, 2000). In other words, the rational choice model limits the explanatory value of how people choose their course of action, which is vital to analyzing criminal behavior. Lastly, a critical limitation and criticism of this view is that “some theorists argue that almost everything humans do is rational, even altruism and self-sacrifice. By expanding to include all forms of action as rational, irrational action becomes part of the model. By including every possible form of action in rational choice theory, it is not clear how the standards of what is rational and what is not are constructed” (“Gingrich”) 2. Explain how developmental theories have recently informed our understanding of criminal behavior as a developmental process. ?? “The emerging developmental approach has emphasized the neurological, biological, mental, emotional, and social changes in children and how these changes ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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