A rational-choice approach to violence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

There are arguably two basic theoretical approaches to violence and crime: rational choice perspectives and frustration-aggression approaches. The first assumes that behavior has a purpose or goal. Offenders harm others and break laws because they can achieve outcomes they value (the rewards) at not too high a cost. Costs include external consequences (e.g., punishment) as well as internal, psychological consequences (e.g., guilt) resulting from the violation of moral beliefs. Rational choice theorists use the name reluctantly because they know that rationality is “bounded,” that is, that behavior reflects subjective judgments about payoffs, and that individuals often make careless decisions that can have disastrous outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationViolence
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Theory to Research
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages71-90
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781317521389
ISBN (Print)9781583605615
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Felson, R. B. (2014). A rational-choice approach to violence. In Violence: From Theory to Research (pp. 71-90). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315721231-11