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Control Theory

-Criminal behavior results when an individual's bond to society is weak or broken
-Individuals with weak bond have low self-control

-All human behavior is determined by the rational, self-interested pursuit of pleasure.

-Force and fraud (crime) do not result from abnormal social conditions, psychological motivations, or unique abilities
-Instead Crime is an expression of the fundamental human tendency to rationally pursue self-interest.


-An individual's investment in conventional behaviors
-Fear that an individuals investment will be lost should they engage in criminal behavior
-Material goods


Morality is a function of an individual's internalization of society's norms
-Violation of norms is to act contrary to the wishes and expectations of others
-Individuals who violate norms have a weak attachment to the expectations of other people.

Individuals with weak attachment to society
-Do not internalize social norms
-Do not care about the wishes or opinions of other people
-Not bound by social norms and free to deviate


People don't commit crime because they are too involved in conventional activities
-Working Hours
-After school activities and recreational facilities keep individuals out of trouble
-High school drops are significantly more crime prone than those who stay in school

Elements of Self-Control

Low Self Control= impulsive, insensitive, physical as opposed to mental, risk taking, short-sighted, nonverbal, and will engage in other risky behaviors
-Drug use
-Illicit Sex

Criminal acts provide immediate gratification of desires:
-Low self-control= present orientation
-High self-control= cautious, cognitive, verbal

Criminal acts provide easy or simple gratification of desires:
-Money without work, sexe without courtship, revenge without court.
-Individuals with low self control lack diligence, tenacity, or persistence

Crime provides few or meager long-term benefits:
-Crime interferes with long-term commitments to

Crime requires little skill or planning:
-Individuals with low self-control tend to have low IQ and lack basic job skills.

Crime results in the pain and suffering of victims
-Individuals with low-self control= self-centered, indifferent, or insensitive to the suffering of others.

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