Article

Offender Decision-Making and Motivation

Volkan Topalli

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online May 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0105
Offender Decision-Making and Motivation

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Though it may seem odd to think of it as such, breaking the law (i.e., criminality) is a social behavior, one that occurs through a process of decision making as do other social behaviors. Cognitivists regard decision making as a continuous process based on an individual’s interaction with the environment. Social scientists are concerned with the manner in which this process produces individual decisions, guided by logic and rationality. They see offender decision making as a problem-solving pursuit that ends when an acceptable or suitable solution to the decision maker’s dilemma is reached. Because the process is cognitive and individuated but embedded within a larger social and cultural context, questions about the nature of offender decision making lie at the core of what criminology is, and why it is a field of study rather than a discipline in and of itself.

Article.  5144 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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