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crime in terms of costs and benefits


crime in terms of the sense people have of things


individuals assess costs and benefits and choose the situation that is more beneficial

narrow model of rational choice

expected utility

narrow model - RTC --> considers probability of future outcomes

the actor never has complete knowledge for decision making


the human brain is a limited info processor


availablity heuristic

RTC - human brain as limited info processor

compensatory strategy

RTC - human brain as limited info processor

noncompensatory strategy

RTC - human brain as limited info processor

actors do not always maximize



RTC - actors do not always maximize

losses are weighted more than gains


Whether something is a loss or a gain depends on the actor's perspective


wide model of rational choice

tangilble and intangible aspects of situations considered

actual utility

based on past experiences - wide model of RTC

looks at present experience: juvenile delinquency has actual utility b/c relieves negative emotions and gives self-esteem

wide model of RTC

bounded rationality

influences limit what an individual will consider doing in a particular situation - wide model of RTC

triggering effect, instrumentality effect, intent effect

show bounded rationality; wide model of RTC

Swiss guns and Aborigine guns show

bounded rationality - civic service and hunting --> wide model of RTC

look into person and understand what they are feeling; how crime carries person away; criminal seduces himself into criminal activity

Phenomenology - Katz

Righteous Slaughter

Phenomenology - Katz

3 emotions associated with murder:

humiliation, righteousness, rage; Phenomenology - Katz


Phenomenology - Katz

a person evokes emotions within himself and experience carries the person away

Phenomenology - Katz

shoplifting = person experiences deviant impulses; intensified self-consciousness; and extreme self-control

Phenomenology - Katz

burglary is about violating one's personal space (not instrumental)

Phenomenology - Katz

Colloquially, the thief and the vandal screw their victims

Phenomenology - Katz

gets away from causalities--> it's about what is going on in person's entire being (not just head) --> carries person away to commit crime

Phenomenology - Katz

differential association theory: learning theory


mechanistic/situational theory; historical/genetic theory


traces criminal behavior back to its source

historical/genetic theories Sutherland

Deductive theory/propositional theory


Criminal behavior is learned


criminal behavior is learned through interaction with other persons in process of communication

Sutherland; communication of gestures

communication of gestures


the principle part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups

Sutherland - copresence



when criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes: 1. techniques of committing the crime that can be complicated or simple 2. the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes

Sutherland - linguistic constructs; rationalization (Cressey)

linguistic constructs; rationalization


the specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfav

Sutherland - definitions learned from differential social organization, competition/individualism, horizontal mobility

differential social organization, competition/individualism, horizontal mobility


a person becomes delinquent when favorable definitions to violation of law > unfavorable definitions to violation of law


differnetial associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity


the process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning


while criminal behavior is an expression of needs and values, it is not explained by those needs and values since non-criminal behavior is an expression of those same needs and values


neutralization of guilt

Sykes and Matza

gave concrete examples of definitions unfavorable to the law

Sykes and Matza

criminal must deal with guilt ahead of time

Sykes and Matza

sources of techniques of neutralization

middle class values; Sykes and Matza

delinquent/subterranean values

excitement, thrills, kicks, drifting and grandiose dreams, conspicuous consumption, aggressiveness, violence Sykes and Matza

middle class values

discipline, routine, standardization, protestant ethic, professionalism, softness, peace Sykes and Matza

middle class wanted excitement thrills and kicks

Sykes and Matza

delinquents are just tapping into mainstream values

Sykes and Matza

delinquents are not a subculture of their own and are not oppositional

Sykes and Matza

the reason why values displayed by delinquents gets so much attention: indulging in mainstream values

Sykes and Matza

"values...which are in conflict or in competitions with other deeply held values but are still recognized and accepted by many"

Sykes and Matza

denial of responsibility

Sykes and Matza

denial of injury

Sykes and Matza

denial of victim

Sykes and Matza

define yourself as true victim

Sykes and Matza

condemn the condemner

Sykes and Matza

appeal to higher authority

Sykes and Matza

black boxes

Akers - learning theory

explains why person acquires definitions

Akers - learning theory

explains why some individuals association more with criminals than conformists

Akers - learning theory

explains why some definitions lead to criminal action while others don't

Akers - learning theory

focuses on criminal action, not definitions --> personal and social dynamics of criminal action to explain crime

Akers - learning theory

reinforcement and punishment

Akers - learning theory

steal something, get high fives

PR - Akers - learning theory

kid annoy, mom gives ice cream

PR - Akers - learning theory

negative reinforcement

some bad circumstance alleviated by committing crime Akers - learning theory

inept parenting

NR Akers - learning theory

techniques of neutralization

NR - Akers - learning theory

being smacked; jail time

PP - Akers - learning theory

paying fine, losing friends for committing crime

NP - Akers - learning theory

differential reinforcement

the balance of anticipated or actual rewards and punishments that follow or are consequences of behavior - Akers - learning theory

why do people associate with criminal groups more than conforming groups?

Akers - learning theory; peer influence --> he chooses who will influence his behavior

Coercion Model - kid learns coercive bheavior from parents ineptitude

Akers - learning theory; Gerald Patterson

selection effects

Akers - learning theory; coercion model --> only group left

amplification effects

Akers - learning theory; bad crowd causes kid to become more delinquent

thought you could learn criminal behavior through imitation (watching TV)

Akers - learning theory

believes definitions unfavorable to law are not necessary for crime to occur

Akers - learning theory

replaces definitions with differential reinforcement

Akers - learning theory

definition referred to discriminative stimuli

a person looks at some situation and sees characteristics of that setting which triggers expectations in his RATIONAL mind that crime will be rewarding (open window) Akers - learning theory

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