- Published: January 26, 2022
- Updated: January 26, 2022
- University / College: University of Colorado Boulder
- Level: School
- Language: English
- Downloads: 8
Self-control is a theory that has been suggested for digital crime research. This theory was established by Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson in the 1990s, A General Theory of Crime. It considers the causes of crime as an out of control action and that individuals respond to this coercion merely when they have low self-control (Cullen & Agnew, 2006). In reference to their book, A General Theory of Crime, the authors illustrate the significant attributes that classify people with or lack self-control (Hirschi, & Gottfredson, 1990). People with low-self control are irresponsible, insensible, material in place of mental, risk-takers, thoughtless and non-verbal, and they will be inclined to take part in the crime and corresponding actions (Hirschi, & Gottfredson, 1990). Individuals with attributes of low self-control are known to take part in abnormal actions since they desire to achieve burning fulfillment and pleasure. On the other hand, people with self-control have the ability to slow down their burning fulfillment needs. These people are associated with certain positive attributes. These include the following. They are cautious, sentimental, vocal, and thoughtful (Hirschi & Gottfredson, 1990). People with self-control know the outcomes of taking part in abnormal actions like crime in general and have the power to stop or slow down their fulfillment needs. Ultimately, individuals with low self-control have features that lead them to commit crimes, like digital crime.
Self-Control Theory is a Cause for Digital Crime
This selected theory is the most applicable cause of digital crime. This is due to the fact that digital platforms have elements that can lure many people to seeking gratification upon accessing vital information, for instance, access to crucial information and discrete data. Thus, it is only people with proper self-control that can slow down their desire to obtain crucial information or getting hold of private or classified information. In this regard, people with low self-control will always seek risky means and ways to commit crimes in order to fulfill their desire for illegal access to information/material goods or classified data.
Examples of Non-digital Crimes Caused by Self-Control Theory
Robbery – This is one of the non-digital criminal activities suggested to be caused by self-control theory. According to Holtfreter, et al., (2008), many people who indulge in robbery activities are known to be suffering from low self-control. It is apparent that they end up stealing other people’s property for their own fulfillment without thinking about the possible risks and outcomes like imprisonment or inconvenience caused and suffering to the victim.
Murder – Murder is a capital offense associated with people with extremely low self-control or no self-control at all. The perpetrators of this crime are known to lead a thoughtless life where they value their own desires and wish for other people’s death, as long as they fulfill their own desires- monetary, power, and influence (Moon, McCluskey, & McCluskey, 2010).
In conclusion, it is apparent that self-control is a significant theory for crime in general. This is based on the fact that people with low self-control are irresponsible, insensible, risk-takers, thoughtless and non-verbal, and are known to be inclined to taking part in criminal and equivalent activities to fulfill their desires and immediate needs. Therefore, it is as well possible to link the theory of self-control to the digital/cyber crimes witnessed in the past and in the future.
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EduPony. (2022) 'Crime theories'. 26 January.
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