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Trait Theory versus Rational Choice Theory - Coursework Example

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This work called "Trait Theory versus Rational Choice Theory" describes the comparing and contrasting criminology theories. The author outlines the role of human behavior. From this work it is clear that crime is an unfortunate reality of human society, continuing future research to understand it can, ultimately, only be a beneficial society…
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Trait Theory versus Rational Choice Theory
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Download file to see previous pages Over the years a number of different theories have been established each one hoping to explain the human mentality of crime. Two of these theories are very worth delving deeper into, Trait Theory and Rational Choice Theory. These two perspectives are, essentially, antithetical of one another; however, both offer profound explanations of the human experiences in relation to criminal behaviors and activity.
Although, no theory, perspective, or approach can as yet explain every incident of every crime, nor can they specify what fuels the needs or desires to cross the known legal lines; Criminologists believe that understanding the causes, contributions, and motivations of crime, it can be deterred efficiently; as well as, preventing offenders from repeating their offenses. Many feel that by having a fuller and more complete understanding of the psychology, physiology, and behaviors of crime it could be used to prevent, potential, criminal natures before these possible offenders reach adolescents (Dechant, 2009). Many different experts feel that crime is motivated, generally, by a few specific contributors, economic need or desire, opportunity, and a limited likelihood of being caught, peer pressure, or a need to fit in. However, there are other possible contributors and causes that have little to do with the environment or circumstance. There are people who are wealthy, well-liked, and, generally, fortunate in life who still commit crimes. At the same time, there are homeless people, who are poor and desperate who never commit crimes despite the need. Given that there are so many possible contributors to human criminal behavior it is no wonder that there are so many possible theories developed to explain its causes and implications; from classical theory to conflict theory to labeling theory to social control theory. Trait Theory and Rational Choice Theory are just two, of more than a dozen, possible explanations presented by experts with the criminology industry.
Trait Theory is the view that criminal behaviors and acts are a direct product of specific abnormal or psychological traits. These traits directly cause abhorrent, deviant, or criminal behaviors. Modern criminologists who adhere to the trait theory to explain criminal behavior believe that there is not, necessarily, any single trait that encourages criminal behaviors, but many, each unique to different offenders (Dechant, 2009). For example, a mental condition like sociopathy is very different from someone who has a neurological condition, or perhaps brain deformity. Any individual offender could be “suffering” from the effects of psychological, physical, or biological traits, or a combination of these traits, that cause them to behave in a criminal manner and commit criminal acts. Some experts feel that if this is true then people, for example, with sociopathy or lack of ability to feel compassion or empathy, are legitimately ill and cannot be held responsible for their behaviors that their minds may be incapable of comprehending (Lyman & Potter, 2007). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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