This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Routine Activity Theory And Rational Choice Theory

1396 words - 6 pages

The study of criminology is why individuals commit crimes and why they behave in certain situations. When you understand why someone might commit a crime, you can come up with ways to prevent or control the crime. There are several different theories in criminology, in this paper I will be discussing Routine Activity Theory and Rational Choice theory. I will be comparing and contrasting as well between the two of these theories.
Routine Activity Theory focuses on situations of crime. This theory was used by Cohen and Felson (1979) to explain the rising crime rates in the United States. Cohen and Felson explained that crime rates could vary without actual changed in the number of potential offenders or offender motivation. The theory has three assumptions; a likely offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a guardian. A likely offender includes anyone with an inclination to commit a crime (Felson, 1983). Examples of a suitable target would be a person, object, or place (Cohen and Felson, 1979). Capable guardians would refer to police patrols, security guards, parents, neighbors, friends, and etc. Cohen and Felson (1979) argued that the same structure of routine activities influences criminal opportunity and therefore affects trends in direct contact predatory violations. Drawing from the human ecological theories, Cohen and Felson (1979) suggested that the structural changes in routine activity patterns can influence crime rates by affecting the convergence in time and space of the three elements that I listed above. Offenders are on the prowl and looking for how alert the victim is, if their alone, and the time of the day. Followers of this theory believe that crime is inevitable, and that if the target is attractive enough, crime will happen. Effective measures must be in place to deter crime from happening. Felson and Clarke (1998) put forth the acronym VIVA to clarify the four elements that influences a target’s risk of being victimized by crime. They are value, inertia, visibility, and access. Value refers to what the target is worth to the offender. Inertia refers to the ability of a target to be taken. Visibility refers to how easily targets are seen by offenders. Access is how easily targets can be accessed by offenders. Each of these elements are important to the routine activity theory and can lead to increases in crime without any change in the offender population (Felson and Clarke, 1998).
Rational Choice Theory concentrates on reasons that an individual thinks through each action, deciding whether or not the crime is worth committing. The goals can be financial, pleasure, or some other beneficial result. The Rational Choice Theory perspective as presented by Cornish and Clark (1985) is based upon three concepts; (one) criminal offenders are rational and make choices and decisions that benefit themselves; (two) a crime- specific focus is required; and (three) there is a distinction between choices related to criminal...

Find Another Essay On Routine Activity Theory and Rational Choice Theory

Classical and Rational Theory Essay

962 words - 4 pages , because many people repeatedly commit crimes. So, while this explains a portion of the criminals it did not explain the majority of criminals (career burglars, bank robbers, rapist etc). This led to a paradigm shift which began to focus more on criminal behavior and why people commit crimes.One of the paradigm changes was the rational theory. This paradigm hinged on the fact that human had free will. This paradigm also includes routine theory and

Rational Choice Theory in Political Science

4419 words - 18 pages notion of the “rational consumer” from traditional economic theory. (Downs 1957, 7) Therefore, we see that rational choice theory rejects the notion that political and economic activity remain separable. (Ordeshook 1986, ix) Furthermore, modern rational choice theory has four other basic assumptions: methodological individualism, purposeful action, measurable, definite, and exhaustive outcomes, and the ability to order all preferences. (see

Rational Choice Theory and Swordfish A Development of Theory and Character

1785 words - 7 pages then be examined against the rational choice theory to explain why each character engages in their criminal activity. Swordfish starts off in a showdown between Gabriel Shear’s American terrorist group and the entire gambit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Gabriel is minutes away from successfully robbing the World Banc. Everything is in place for the heist to be completed. As a bargaining chip Gabriel has all of the civilians in the

Routine Activities Theory

1742 words - 7 pages theory must be able to be tested by objective, repeatable evidence, but not against empirical findings. In order to assess the value of the theory, its usefulness for effective policy implications are evaluated. (Akers, 2009, p. 5-11) Routine Activities Theory includes elements from deterrence and rational choice theories. Routine Activity Theory provides a simple and influential imminent into the sources of crime problems. This theory states that

The Routine Activities Theory

1112 words - 4 pages defined concepts, have logically stated and internally consistent propositions. If a theory contains pointless ideas or is inconsistent, it can't really explain anything. Scope refers to the assortment of events that it propositions to explain. Routine Activities Theory includes elements from deterrence and rational choice theories. Routine Activity Theory provides a simple and influential imminent into the sources of crime problems. The main idea is

Routine activities theory

2493 words - 10 pages Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. According to the tribunal, destroying part of a part of a group constitutes genocide under Article 4 of the Statute; and in this particular case the intent of the Serbian army to destroy the military age men, suggested an intent to destroy in part the Bosnian Muslim group of Srebrenica. Routine Activity Theory The routine activities theory is one of the main theories of the neoclassical school of criminology

The Rational Choice Theory: Criminology by Frank Schmalleger

1885 words - 8 pages Gone are the days of pick-pockets and traditional thieves stealing your money and wrist-watches right off of your body. The deviants of today are turning to a safer and easier alternative to gain access to your possessions – the internet. Rational choice theory as defined by Frank Schmalleger in his text Criminology is “a perspective that holds that criminality is the result of a conscious choice and predicts that individuals choose to commit

Choice Theory

1016 words - 4 pages branched out throughout the world. Dr. Glasser received many awards for his outstanding work, which includes an honorary degree from the University of San Francisco, the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Professional development award in 2003 and ACA’s “A legend in Counseling Award” in 2004 (, 2008).The Choice Theory states that a person’s behavior is inspired by what the person wants or needs at that

Child Abuse: Routine Activities Theory

896 words - 4 pages /child-physical-abuse.html Inkling for Web. (n.d.). Retrieved from Klevens, J., Duque, L., & Ramirez, C. (2002). The Victim-Perpetrator Overlap and Routine Activities: Results From a Cross-Sectional Study in Bogotá, Colombia. Journal Of Interpersonal Violence, 17(2), 206. Long-term physical and mental health consequences of childhood physical

A Discussion on Routine Activities Theory

1005 words - 5 pages In a study published in 2011, the Crime Prevention Division of the Department of Attorney General and Justice defined routine activities theory as “a crime that occurs when the an accessible target, the absence of capable guardians that could intervene, and the presence of a motivated offender come together in any given space and time” (Routine activities theory, 2011). Although this report was published in New South Wales, Australia, routine

The Rational Choice Theory versus The Trait Theory on the Issue of the Reduction or Control of Crime

819 words - 3 pages there are obvious problems with both theories. However, in weighing both theories' possible effectiveness on the reduction or control of criminal activity, I concluded that the Rational Choice Theory would be more effective.The Rational Choice Theory is based on the idea of free will and that criminals choose to commit crimes."According to this view, law-violating behavior should be viewed as an event that occurs when an offender decides to risk

Similar Essays

Rational Choice Theory Essay

1292 words - 5 pages the rational choice theory are also seen when comparing it to the routine activity theory, which proposes that three elements are needed for crime: motivated offenders, suitable targets, and the absence of capable guardians (Cohen and Felson, 1979). Hence, environmental conditions must be right for crime to occur. This relates to one similarity of the rational choice theory, which is the account for situational variables such as the likelihood

Rational Choice Theory Essay

670 words - 3 pages “And thus, the actions of life often not allowing any delay, it is a truth very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine the most true opinions we ought to follow the most probable” (René Descartes). Much of a manager’s day-to-day work involves solving problems and making decisions. To assist in decision-making they often use a management theory approach to reach their goals. The Rational Choice Theory is a decision-making theory

Theories Of Symbolic Interactionism Exchange Theory And Rational Choice Theory

1073 words - 4 pages Theories of Symbolic Interactionism Exchange Theory and Rational Choice Theory This essay will address actions of individuals and the contribution individual actions make to the social structure, how society flows to the actor via the “Me” and is constructed or reconstructed by the “I,” giving the “I” a place in creating society. I will further analyze the theories and explore the impact of norms and values on the decisions by the actors

Rational Choice Theory, Rational Choice Approach To Crime Causation,Rational Choice Theory And Deterrence Theory's Impact On Crime Prevention Strategies

529 words - 2 pages The rational choice approach to crime causation is composed of several different concepts. According to this theory, criminal behavior is the product of careful thought and planning. Offenders choose crime after considering both personal factors-money, revenge, thrills, entertainment- and situational factors, such as target availability, security measures, and police presence (Siegel, 2008). Once the decision has been made to commit a specific