Decision making in criminals
1. Anum Suhail
2. Mahum Azhaar
3. Pakeeza Arif
4. Shahtaj Shakir
5. Soofia Hussain
6. Syeda Amna Burhan
7. Wajeeha Ghani
According to James Stoner,
"Decision making is the process of identifying and selecting
a course of action to solve a specific problem."
According to Trewartha and Newport
"Decision making involves the selection of a course of
action from among two or more possible alternatives in
order to arrive at a solution for a given problem."
Criminology is the scientific study of crime, including its causes, responses
by law enforcement and methods of prevention.
Sub-groups of criminology:
Penology: The study of prisons and prison systems
Bio criminology: The study of the biological basis of criminal behavior
Feminist criminology: The study of women and crime
Criminalistics: The study of crime detection
OUR AIM/WHAT WE WANT TO DO
Why we chose criminology and decision
Firstly we as psychology students were eager to know that why people are
engaged in criminal behaviors
Secondly we wanted to know about their mental thinking and their
decision making abilities i.e. on what basis do such people commit so
How these individuals decide which steps should be taken for a particular
Decision Making and Criminality:
overview of Eric Johnson and John Payne’s chapter on THE DECISION TO
COMMIT A CRIME provides us a concepts and findings from behavioral
decision theory and of their applicability to an understanding of criminal
Instead they suggest that given the human cognitive system is limited in
information processing capabilities, choice behavior is more realistically
distinguished in terms of its bounded rationality.
Two main themes:
First Concerns about the construction by the decision maker of
internal representations of crucial aspects of the decision problem
which leads them to analyze the implications of the prospect theory
both for the framing of choices by the possible criminal.
Second theme is concerned with the decision processes that
operate upon the representations.
As remarked by Carroll, decisions made
by police, prosecutors, judges, juries
and parole boards all follow 3 things
1) the offenders’ choice of which
crime to commit,
2) 2) the choice of target and the
choice of the method
3) moment of committing the crime.
• we consider options one by one, then we select an option as soon as we find one
that is satisfactory and or just good enough to meet our minimum level of acceptability.
Core principle of classical school and rational
choice of theories.
How Crimes can be controlled:
By using punishments which are combination of
proper degrees of certainty, severity and clarity.
Normative Theories of Rational Choice:
Expected utility theory is an account of how to choose rationally when you
are not sure which outcome will result from your acts.
Choose the act with the highest expected utility
the cognitive limitation of their minds and rationality of individuals is limited
by the information they have and the finite time they have to make a
. According to Cognitive Psychology researches:
it has been concluded that active processing of information is a serial
process which occurs in memory of limited capacity, duration and ability to
put information in more permanent storage
Why They use Heuristics:
because of which people are pushed to used heuristics to keep the
information processing demand of complex problem solving tasks within
their bounded limits.
Hypothetical Reasoning, Social Cognition, :
A practical reasoning pattern that often occurs within everyday life.
Various criminologist terms criminals as rational agents that perform careful
consideration of alternatives before they decide to commit a crime. Peers
influence can also be very important because in certain situations
adolescents are put up due to peer pressure
Rational Choice Theory:
In criminology, it describes crime as the result of intentional process in which
pros and cons are considered
They stress more on the expected reward for committing a crime and its
related costs and benefits revolving around the criminal activity.
Social Bonding theory:
The individual tend to attempt crime or inadequate acts when their bonds
with the society or community are weakened or threatening after break up.
Basically Social bond theory later on developed into social control theory
4 components of social bonding:
1) Attachment to families
2) Commitment to social norms and institutions
3) Involvement in activities
4) The belief that these things are important.
Social control theory:
When a person is experiencing lack of social connections or a lack of
social networks that would normally prohibit into criminal activity, the
likelihood that the individual will engage in criminal activity increases.
Biological and Biosocial theories:
Contemporary biological theories concentrate more on differences in genetic
and other biological factors that are in interaction with the environment which
less probably to refer bio defects or abnormalities
FACTS AND FIGURES:
Males have greater chances to commit crime and violence than the females
According to research analysis, males are strong in attempting crimes
PROSPECT THEORY(an analysis of decision under risk)
A theory that people value gains and losses differently and, as such, will base
decisions on perceived gains rather than perceived losses.
Also known as "loss-aversion theory
• Rational Misbehavior? Evaluating an Integrated Dual-
Process Model of Criminal Decision Making
Main objective of this research:
Test the hypothesis that dispositional self-control and morality relate to
criminal decision making via different mental processing modes, a ‘hot’
affective mode and a ‘cool’ cognitive one.
Undergraduate students using scenarios describing two different
types of crime, illegal downloading and insurance fraud.
Both self-control and morality are operationalized through the
HEXACO model of personality.
Negative state affect, i.e., feelings of fear and worry evoked by a criminal
prospect, and perceived risk of sanction were found to mediate the
relations between both dispositions and criminal choice.
Processing mode was manipulated by having participants rely on either
their thinking or on their feelings prior to deciding on whether or not to
make a criminal choice.
These results extend research that links stable individual dispositions to
proximal states that operate in the moment of decision making.
The results also add to dispositional perspectives of crime by using a
structure of personality that incorporates both self-control and morality.
•Specifying the Direct and Indirect Effects of Low Self-Control and
Situational Factors in Offenders' Decision Making: Toward a More
Complete Model of Rational Offending
This paper builds on work by Nagin and Paternoster.
They contend that two recent developments in criminological theory, self-control and
rational choice, have been explored separately rather than in conjunction with one
Nagin and Paternoster found direct effects for variables from each of these theories
and called for more research into simultaneous examination of the two.
They advance three hypotheses concerning the integration of low self-control
into a rational choice framework:
1. That low self-control will have both direct and indirect effects via situational
characteristics on intentions to shoplift and drive drunk;
2. That situational characteristics will have direct effects on intentions to
deviate, as well as effects on other situational factors; and
3. That a model uniting the effects of low self-control and situational
characteristics will provide a good fit to the data.
3)Criminal Decision Making: The Development of
Adolescent Judgment, criminal Responsibility, and
EVIDENCE THROUGH THEORIES OF
Theories hypothesize that throughout adolescence, judgment is impaired
because the development of several psychosocial factors that are
presumed to influence decision making lags behind the development of
the cognitive capacities that are required to make mature decisions.
Use of innovative video technique to examine the role of several
psychosocial factors—temporal perspective, peer influence, and risk
perception—in adolescent criminal decision making.
56 adolescents aged 13–18 yrs
Results revealed that detained youth were more likely to think of future-oriented
consequences of engaging in the depicted delinquent act and
less likely to anticipate pressure from their friends than no detained youth.
Examination of the developmental functions of the psychosocial factors
indicates age-based differences on standardized measures of temporal
perspective and resistance to peer influence and on measures of the role
of risk perception in criminal decision making
Susan Denise Atkins
Susan Denise Atkins was a member of the "Manson family", led by
Manson and his followers committed a series of nine murders at four
locations in California, over a period of five weeks in the summer of
ACCORDING TO HER,
“The only complete man I have ever met“.
Under the direction of Charlie Manson, she stabbed actress Sharon
Tate to death and had participated in the murder of music teacher
In early 1967, while staying with friends in San Francisco, Susan Atkins met
Charles Manson, and by summer she was on a road trip with Manson and
By July 1969, Atkins was a trusted member of Manson's inner circle, and he
took her and two others with him to shake down a man named Gary
Hinman for money.
Atkins died in prison in 2009
WHAT INFLUENCED SUSAN
IMPLICATION OF THEORY:
1) Rational theory- : Murders were less costly as compared to loosing Mason’s
2) Role fulfillment-: A tendency to conform to others' decision-making
She along with Mason and other members try to fulfill their expectations
regarding her and try to be liked by them and maintain her position in the
Lost Boys: Hopelessness, Peer Pressure
Lead to Youth Violence
16-Year old Tommy was surrounded by family, but it was
love for that family he said that prompted him to
allegedly be part of a home invasion robbery.
LOVE OF FAMILY
Become part of
a home invasion
Hanging around with wrong crowd (peer influence)
Reference from theories :
Stress or strain leads towards criminal acts
Engaging in criminal acts to escape from strain
Crime control policies:
It refers to methods taken to reduce crime in a society. Penology often focuses on the use
of criminal penalties as a means of deterring people from committing crimes and
temporarily or permanently incapacitating those who have already committed crimes
Adoption of the expected utility model:
The idea that a criminal act is the result of a rational cost/benefit
calculation suggests that everyone, not just “criminal types," may choose to
commit a crime under the right circumstances.