The effects of an increase in benefits on criminal incidents perpetrated by members of radical environmental and animal rights groups
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Rational choice theory is based upon the notion that all action is intentional and purposive; that individuals act with the expressed purpose of attaining a certain end that is consistent with their hierarchy of preference (Friedman & Hechter, 1988). Individuals acting in accordance with their best interest rests on the assumption that all people are rational individuals and that they fully understand the effects of their actions. In fact, much of the previous research conducted on the rational choice perspective has focused on the role of increasing costs in affecting offender decision-making. In contrast, this investigation concentrates on the benefits side of the rational choice equation, measured through pro-environmental and animal rights legislation in relation to criminal incidents perpetrated by the extremist’s end of this movement. More specifically, this study seeks to answer has pro-animal and environmental legislation decreased the frequency of criminal acts perpetrated by members of radical environmental and animal rights groups? This is evaluated through a paired samples t- test of 1,068 incidents from the Eco-Incidents Database.