The Reason Behind Crimes and Other Immoral Acts

by James Tang (1620 views)
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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Why People Do What They Do

The typical definition of a crime is one where an action is deemed as an offence that is punishable by law and thus results in the crime. This rather simple explanation has thus lead in the century old debate on the act of doing something that may be morally wrong but not punishable by the law which implies the act of it not being a crime. 

Throughout history, psychologist have tried to understand the reason behind crimes and immoral acts that are committed by humans and have thus narrowed it down to a few common consensuses. Many people associate crime with poverty, low self-esteem, the neglect of parents as well as poor moral values. In addition to this, the circumstances to which certain individuals are born in seem to also affect the crime rate in specific areas of countries. 

Examples and The Reason Behind Mass Human Psychology

Although many reasons have arisen throughout the years in an attempt to pin point the reason for crimes, one particular theory has stood out over the years. The crime opportunity theory suggests that humans as rational beings would make choices that are rational and thus offenders would choose targets that offers them high rewards in exchange for little to no risk. This can then be simplified into two simple conditions for why crimes exist: One being that there is a motivated individual that is willing to carry out the crime and Two being that the conditions of the environment are ideal for the crime to be conducted. 

Some of the added factors that affect the individual’s motivation includes their living conditions and lifestyle which causes them to become motivated before a crime occurs. However, we find that often times in the modern world, the limiting factor to crimes is the environment because the environment cannot be controlled and thus translates to opportunity when the time arises for the individual.

Key examples to this includes the increasing trend in the United States for residential burglary due to two factors; increased light-weight goods, ready to be stolen such as television sets and the opportunity for the crime to be committed as there were more women leaving their houses vacant to go out to work. 

Singapore’s Low Crime Rate and The Reason Why

In Singapore, where it may be argued that the small population has given rise to low crime rate, that is not exactly true as per say. This is because Singapore, like other well developed Asian country such as South Korea and Japan have attained a level of economic development that sees its people doing well in most aspects of life. 

Corruption is sparse at worst and non-existent at best because the enforcers of such laws be it the government or police officers are well paid. Education such as civics and moral classes are taught to children at a young age to facilitate proper development leading to well-rounded citizens. At the end of the day, a country that is stable with citizens that are satisfied with their monetary gains would result in a low crime rate and one that is focussed on corporate crimes instead of petty misdemeanours.