How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Criminology - Chapter 4 Key Terms

Choice Theory pp.84-103
STUDY
PLAY
Rational Choice Theory (Choice Theory)
The view that crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act.
Classical Criminology
A theory of crime suggesting that criminal behavior is a matter of personal choice, made after the individual considers its costs and benefits, and that the criminal behavior reflects the needs of the offender
Offense-Specific Crime
A crime in which the offender reacts selectively to the characteristics of a particular criminal act.
Offender-Specific Crime
A crime in which offenders evaluate their skills, motives, needs, and fears before deciding to commit a criminal act.
Edgework
The excitement of exhilaration of successfully executing illegal activities in dangerous situations
Seductions of Crime
The situational inducements or immediate benefits that draw offenders into law violations
Situational Crime Prevention
A method of crime prevention that seeks to eliminate or reduce particular crimes in specific settings
Defensible Space
The principle that crime can be prevented or displaced by modifying the physical environment to reduce the opportunity that individuals have to commit crime
Diffusion
An effect that occurs when efforts to prevent one crime unintentionally prevent another
Discouragement
An effect that occurs when crime control efforts targeting a particular locale help reduce crime in surrounding areas and populations
Displacement
An effect that occurs when crime control efforts simply move, or redirect, offenders to less heavily guarded alternative targets
Extinction
An effect that occurs when crime reduction programs produce a short-term positive effect, but benefits dissipate as criminals adjust to new conditions
Replacement
An effect that occurs when criminals try new offenses they had previously avoided because situational crime prevention programs neutralized their crime of choice
General Deterrence
A crime control policy that depends on the fear of criminal penalties, convincing the potential law violator that the pains associated with crime outweigh its benefits
Specific Deterrence
The view that criminal sanctions should be so powerful that offenders will never repeat their criminal acts
Incarceration
Confinement in jail or prison
Recidivism
Repetition of criminal behavior
Incapacitation Effect
The view that placing offenders behind bars during their prime crime years reduces their opportunity to commit crime and helps lower the crime rate
Crime Discouragers
People who serve as guardians of property or people