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Public Policy Implications of Different Theories

Presentation outlining public policy implications of rational choice theory; trait theories; social structure theories; social conflict theories and developmental theories. Thorough overview of each policy implication, identify policies and results. To include definition of theory, explanation of how crime is interpreted according to the theory, summary of policy implications, example of public policy currently in effect, result of public policy.

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Rational choice theories;
This material is taken from the website:"
1. Humans are purposive and goal oriented.
1. Humans have sets of hierarchically ordered preferences, or utilities.
2. In choosing lines of behavior, humans make rational calculations with respect to:
o the utility of alternative lines of conduct with reference to the preference hierarchy
o the costs of each alternative in terms of utilities foregone
o the best way to maximize utility.
3. Emergent social phenomena -- social structures, collective decisions, and collective behavior -- are ultimately the result of rational choices made by utility-maximizing individuals.
4. Emergent social phenomena that arise from rational choices constitute a set of parameters for subsequent rational choices of individuals in the sense that they determine:
o the distribution of resources among individuals
o the distribution of opportunities for various lines of behavior
o the distribution and nature of norms and obligations in a situation."

The rational choice theory means that the criminal is a reasoning person. In other words he weights and balances the means, ends, costs and benefits of committing crime. In other words it means that making it difficult for him to commit crime would be an effective strategy.
There are several policies that have been made on the basis of this theory, the most notable being that it should be made difficult for criminals to commit crime. In this context, it is believed that reducing the opportunity for committing a crime will be an effective method of reducing crime. Policy decisions include surveillance in the areas prone to crime, having cameras in place where there are chances of crime and making it mandatory to have cars and homes locked. There are other policies like having a PIN number for credit cards so that even if a card is stolen it cannot be used.

The result of such policies is that it has helped in reducing crime to an extent.

Trait theories: This material is taken from the website:" A trait is what we call a characteristic way in which an individual perceives, feels, believes, or acts. When we casually describe someone, we are likely to use trait terms: I am, for example, somewhat of an introvert, a pretty nervous person, strongly attached to my family, frequently depressed, and (if I do say so myself) very intelligent. I have a good sense of humor, fond of languages, very fond of good food, not at all fond of exercise, and a little obsessive. You see: I have just given you ten traits that actually go a long way towards describing me!
Psychologists, especially personologists, are very interested in traits. They are especially interested in finding which traits are broad and possibly genetically based, as opposed to ones that are rather peculiar and change easily. Over the years, we have had a number of theories that attempt to describe the key traits of human beings. "

There are three strategies that are ...

Solution Summary

This posting discusses public policy implications of rational choice theories and other theories. .. In addition, this posting discusses the results of each policy.