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Elaborating the Individual Difference Component in Deterrence Theory

Posted: 10 Jan 2012  

Alex R. Piquero

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences; Griffith University

Raymond Paternoster

University of Maryland

Greg Pogarsky

State University of New York (SUNY) - School of Criminal Justice

Thomas Loughran

University of Maryland

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

Deterrence theory and criminal justice policy hold that punishment enhances compliance and deters future criminal activity. Empirical research, however, is decidedly mixed, with some studies finding that punishment weakens compliance, some finding that sanctions have no effect on compliance, and some finding that the effect of sanctions depends on moderating factors. In this review, we do not consider whether sanctions affect compliance but instead consider the conditions under which sanctions affect compliance. Specifically, we focus on understanding the kinds-of-people dimension of sanctions and deterrence to include individual differences (in social bonding, morality, discount rate, impulsivity, social network position, decision-making competence) and situational differences (in emotions, alcohol/drug use). Upon reviewing the empirical evidence, we identify important gaps for theoretical and empirical work and comment on how this work relates to public policy.

Suggested Citation

Piquero, Alex R. and Paternoster, Raymond and Pogarsky, Greg and Loughran, Thomas, Elaborating the Individual Difference Component in Deterrence Theory (December 2011). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 7, pp. 335-360, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1982340 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102510-105404

Alex R. Piquero (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

800 W. Campbell Road, GR31
Richardson, TX 75080
United States
972-883-2482 (Phone)
972-883-6572 (Fax)

Griffith University

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

Raymond Paternoster

University of Maryland ( email )

College Park
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Greg Pogarsky

State University of New York (SUNY) - School of Criminal Justice ( email )

Draper 219
1400 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12222
United States

Thomas Loughran

University of Maryland ( email )

2220 LeFrak Hall
College Park, MD 20742
United States

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