The rational-choice based perspectives have a significant impact on the criminology because they contribute to the rational explanation of crimes and criminal behavior of individuals. In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that rational-choice based perspectives have a number of strengths, among which it is possible to distinguish the focus on reason and logic as key factors that help to explain crime and its causes. In such a context, the criminal behavior of individuals is viewed by criminologists is analyzed in details from the rational point of view. In such a way, criminologists minimize the risk of error.
On the other hand, rational-choice based perspectives have certain limitations. For instance, criminologists using the rational-choice based perspectives should focus the rational explanation of the behavior of criminals but often criminals act illogically being overwhelmed with feelings and emotions, which prevent them from logical reasoning (Felson, 1994). In such a context, rational-choice based perspectives become ineffective because criminologists should pay more attention to psychology of offenders and to the specific environment, which affected the behavior of criminals and circumstances of the crime.
Nevertheless, the rational-choice based perspectives are quite effective as long as the analysis of the psychology and psychological characteristics of offenders are not needed for investigation of crimes or anti-social behavior (Deflem, 2004). In such a way, rational-choice based perspectives can help criminologists to focus on the study of rational perspectives on crime.
Developmental theories have a significant impact on the development of criminology. At the same time, the rise of criminology and the impact of developmental theories were closely intertwined with the progress in sociology and psychology because studies conducted by outstanding psychologists, such as L. Vygotsky, contributed to the development of new trends and theories in criminology (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). In fact, the developmental theories contributed to the expansion of the view on potential offenders. To put it more precisely, developmental theories contributed to the formation of the view on offenders in the context of their cognitive development. What is meant here is the fact that individuals are vulnerable to the impact of their environment, education and socialization process (Hallsworth, 2005). Therefore, criminologists should take into consideration the background of potential offenders as well as other individuals to understand their inclinations to anti-social or criminal behavior.
In such a situation, developmental theories contributed to the shift from traditional view on offenders. Developmental theories reject traditional theories which explained criminal behavior of individuals by their heredity solely or by their social environment solely (Wilson, 1980). Instead, developmental theories contributed to the formation of a broader view on an individual in the context of the cognitive development of an individual. The developmental theories facilitate the understanding of a criminal behavior and factors influencing the behavior of offenders.
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