• An Approach Integrating Deterrence and Rational Choice Theory. A criminological study using an integrative theoretical approach

Lambert Academic Publishing
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(Bradley Poole received his B.A. from the University of Memphis in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Mr. Poole received his M.A. from the University of Memphis in Criminal Justice and a Graduate Certificate in Govt. Management. He has worked extensively with the Crisis Intervention Team Center as a law enforcement verbal de-escalation trainer.)


This study used an integrative theoretical approach. Criminological theories (deterrence and rational choice) were utilized in the theoretical framework for this study. A massive literature review was included in this study to help connect the theories being integrated. In the fall of 2010, approximately 505 students from the University of Memphis were used as the unit of analysis to examine their perceptions about offending, specifically, illegal parking. The respondents were all given a questionnaire that was used to measure two essential components of deterrence theory: certainty and severity of punishment. The questionnaire also asked the respondents about their perceptions of illegal parking issues on campus. This component assisted the researcher in testing rational choice theory as students underwent a cost/benefit analysis. Certainty and severity of punishment both proved to be factors that deterred the students from offending. However, students’ perceptions about offending were not associated with students’ actual offending patterns.

MATERIAS: Deterrence, integrated theories, Illegal Parking, Rational Choice