The interplay of moral norms and instrumental incentives in crime causation


Kroneberg, Clemens ; Heintze, Isolde ; Mehlkop, Guido



DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.2010.00187.x
URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j....
Additional URL: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/THE-INTERPLA...
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2010
The title of a journal, publication series: Criminology : The Official Publication of the American Society of Criminology
Volume: 48
Issue number: 1
Page range: 259-294
Place of publication: Hoboken, NJ ; Buffalo, NY
Publishing house: Wiley-Blackwell ; HeinOnline
ISSN: 0011-1384 , 1745-9125
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Allgemeine Soziologie (Kalter)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: Rational choice theories (RCTs) of crime assume actors behave in an instrumental, outcome-oriented way. Accordingly, individuals should weight the costs and benefits of criminal acts with subjective probabilities that these outcomes will occur. Previous studies either do not directly test this central hypothesis or else yield inconsistent results. We show that a meaningful test can be conducted only if a broader view is adopted that takes into account the interplay of moral norms and instrumental incentives. Such a view can be derived from the Model of Frame Selection (Kroneberg, 2005) and the Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation (Wikstrom, 2004). Based on these theories, we analyze the willingness to engage in shoplifting and tax fraud in a sample of 2,130 adults from Dresden, Germany. In line with our theoretical expectations, we find that only respondents who do not feel bound by moral norms show the kind of instrumental rationality assumed in RCTs of crime. Where norms have been strongly internalized, and in the absence of neutralizations, instrumental incentives are irrelevant.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.




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Kroneberg, Clemens ; Heintze, Isolde ; Mehlkop, Guido (2010) The interplay of moral norms and instrumental incentives in crime causation. Criminology : The Official Publication of the American Society of Criminology Hoboken, NJ ; Buffalo, NY 48 1 259-294 [Article]


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