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Beyond Rational Choice : The Hot/Cool Perspective of Criminal Decision Making

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Van Gelder, J.-L. (2013). Beyond Rational Choice: The Hot/Cool Perspective of Criminal Decision Making. Psychology, crime & law, 19(9), 745-763. doi:10.1080/1068316X.2012.660153.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-6674-7
This paper proposes a general framework of criminal decision making that assumes both 'cool' cognition and 'hot' affect, i.e. feelings, to influence criminal choice. Drawing from judgment and decision making research and social psychology, the hot/cool perspective extends rational choice and deterrence theories by explaining how affect is likely to influence criminal decisions alongside cognitive considerations, such as the perceived costs and benefits of crime. It is shown how the hot/cool perspective offers a more realistic account of criminal decision making processes than existing decision models and approaches and also allows for the explanation of criminal behaviors that are difficult to explain in terms of rational choice.