Deterrence is the omission or curtailment of crime out of fear of legal punishment. People may refrain entirely from committing crime out of fear of legal punishment, or they may only curtail or restrict their criminal behavior because of it. An example of curtailment would be a burglar taking a break from burglary believing that repetition will eventually result in being caught. There are three ways deterrence can be considered a psychological theory. First, the terms fear and perceived punishments, which are central to deterrence theory, are psychological variables. Second, deterrence is compatible with learning and rational choice theories, which are psychological theories. Third, other psychological variables, such as morality, self-control, and emotion, may condition the deterrent effects of perceived punishments.


Put briefly, the logic of ...

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