Deterrence and Decision Making: Research Questions and Theoretical Refinements

  • Greg Pogarsky
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Deterrence is a process in which threatened or actual sanctions discourage criminal acts. There are not only official sanctions, such as incarceration or probation, but also non-legal punishments. For example, people refrain from offending to avoid stigma or disapproval from others. Deterrence requires that behavior is purposive; it assumes potential criminal actors weigh the incentives and disincentives to offend. The likelihood that an individual will commit a given crime is negatively related to his or her perceptions of the certainty, severity, and celerity of punishment for that crime. The formation of these threat perceptions is central to deterrence and, more generally, to society’s capacity for deterrence-oriented crime control.


Criminal Behavior Deterrent Effect Crime Control Ambiguity Aversion Attitude Transference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greg Pogarsky
    • 1
  1. 1.University at Albany, SUNYAlbanyUSA

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