Deciphering decision-making: Exploring the differences of criminal decision-making between offenders and college students



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Previous research has used rational choice to look at criminal decision-making, with the majority of the research using college student samples. The current study uses a sample of college students and offenders to extend upon a previous research comparing the decision-making of the two samples and examining three different types of crime; drive while intoxicated, commit robbery and get into a fight. Comparing the two samples on their decision-making to provided support for rational choice in that individual’s do consider costs and benefits. The current study found that the students and offenders decision-making was comparable for one type of crime, but not for the other two. The findings, implications and future research are discussed.



Decision-making, Rational choice, Offenders, College students