1st Edition

Affect and Cognition in Criminal Decision Making

    269 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Research and theorizing on criminal decision making has not kept pace with recent developments in other fields of human decision making. Whereas criminal decision making theory is still largely dominated by cognitive approaches such as rational choice-based models, psychologists, behavioral economists and neuroscientists have found affect (i.e., emotions, moods) and visceral factors such as sexual arousal and drug craving, to play a fundamental role in human decision processes.

    This book examines alternative approaches to incorporating affect into criminal decision making and testing its influence on such decisions. In so doing it generalizes extant cognitive theories of criminal decision making by incorporating affect into the decision process. In two conceptual and ten empirical chapters it is carefully argued how affect influences criminal decisions alongside rational and cognitive considerations. The empirical studies use a wide variety of methods ranging from interviews and observations to experimental approaches and questionnaires, and treat crimes as diverse as street robbery, pilfering, and sex offences. It will be of interest to criminologists, social psychologists, judgment and decision making researchers, behavioral economists and sociologists alike.

    1. Introduction Affect and Cognition in Criminal Decision Making: Between Rational Choices and Lapses of Self-Control, Jean-Louis Van Gelder, Henk Elffers, Danielle Reynald and Daniel Nagin  2. Affect and the Reasoning Criminal: Past and Future, Ronald V. Clarke  3. Affect and the Dynamic Foreground of Predatory Street Crime: Desperation, Anger, and Fear, Volkan Topalli and Richard Wright  4. Posterior Gains and Immediate Pains: Offender Emotions Before, During and After Robberies, Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard, Wim Bernasco, Scott Jacques and Babet Zevenbergen  5. The Role of Sexual Arousal and Perceived Consequences in Men’s and Women’s Decisions to Engage in Sexually Coercive Behaviors, Jeff Bouffard  6. Sexual Arousal and the Ability to Access Sexually Aggressive Consequences from Memory, M. Lyn Exum and Ashley Zachowicz  7. Emotional Arousal and Child Sex Offending: A Situational Perspective, Richard Wortley and Stephen Smallbone  8. "I Would Have Been Sorry": Anticipated Regret and the Role of Expected Emotions in the Decision to Offend, Amy Sariti Kamerdze, Tom Loughran and Ray Paternoster  9. Anticipated Emotions and Immediate Affect in Criminal Decision Making: From Shame to Anger, Jean-Louis van Gelder, Danielle Reynald and Henk Elffers  10. Emotional Justifications for Unethical Behavior, Shaul Shalvi, Jean-Louis van Gelder and Job van der Schalk  11. A Neuropsychological Test of Criminal Decision Making: Regional Prefrontal Influences in a Dual Process Model, Kyle Treiber  12. Traits and States of Self-Conscious Emotions in Criminal Decision Making, Stephen G. Tibbetts.


    Jean-Louis van Gelder currently works as a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR). His research interests focus on criminal decision making where he applies insights from social psychology and social cognition to study the interplay of affect and cognition on criminal decisions. Recently, he started researching multiple self models and future self continuity, to apply them to criminal behavior. Other research interests include personality and crime and informality in developing countries.

    Henk Elffers is a senior-researcher at NSCR and professor of empirical research into criminal law enforcement at VU University Amsterdam. He has worked in the field of rule compliance, spataila criminology, rational choice, guardianship, punishment.

    Daniel Nagin holds a PhD in Urban and Public Affairs from Carnegie Mellon University, where he is now the Teresa and H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics, and a specialist on deterrence theory. He has amply published on various aspects of the rational choice paradigm in criminology.

    Danielle Reynald trained as a social-psychologist (London) and did a Ph.D in criminology (Amsterdam). She is a lecturer in Criminology at Griffith University, where she teaches spatial and environmental criminology. Her specialism is guardianship research.

    "Personally, the editors (and contributors) convinced me of the critical importance of this field in criminology."  

    Benoit Leclerc, PhD, Senior Lecturer, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University