A configurative synthesis of evidence for fear in the criminal decision-making process

  • Paul GillEmail author
  • Lisa Tompson
  • Zoe Marchment
  • Florian Hetzel
  • Sanaz Zolghadriha
  • Aiden Sidebottom
Original Article


This paper reviews what previous research has found on the role of fear and other associated feelings in the criminal decision-making process, and the techniques that might plausibly amplify such emotions so as to reduce or disrupt intent. To this aim, we conduct a systematic review of the offender decision-making literature (23 studies), incorporating a qualitative synthesis of the role of fear in the criminal decision-making process. The results section is formed of six parts based on dominant themes identified in our eligible studies, namely evidence of fear in offender decision-making, the presumed sources of fear, variation in levels and/or the effect of fear across offenders, the specific role of fear across aspects of the crime process (before, during, after), the results of fear and offender fear management processes. We conclude with a discussion of the implication for crime prevention policies.


Offender decision-making Fear Systematic review Configurative synthesis Fear management 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Gill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lisa Tompson
    • 1
  • Zoe Marchment
    • 1
  • Florian Hetzel
    • 1
  • Sanaz Zolghadriha
    • 1
  • Aiden Sidebottom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Security and Crime ScienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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