Individuals enjoy free will, which represents our ability to choose. Most choice theorists believe individuals make choices based on the costs and benefits of an action. If there is little chance of being caught or the punishment is minor, the likelihood of a person choosing to commit a crime increases. Choice theorists believe that swift, certain, and severe punishments deter crime.

After completing this learning module, you will understand:

  • The factors an individual considers when weighing whether to commit a crime
  • The difference between general and specific deterrence and
  • Potential problems with choice theories
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