Integration of Cognitive Deficits and Rational Choice theory

Read the scenarios presented below. The scenario you select will be used for all three essays. Assume the evaluator has read the scenario.  The scenario is intentionally brief to allow creativity and the opportunity to provide hypothetical information specific to your theoretical application.  When applying your selected theories, tell the reader if you are theorizing about the crime and/or criminality and/or the criminal justice response.

Scenario A (My chosen scenario)

Gary has been arrested for three counts of child sexual assault and five counts of production of child pornography. Gary was previously employed as an elementary school teacher in a small northern Ontario town. He is described in media as a child sexual exploiter, aged 43 years and married with no children.



My two chosen theories


Rational Choice theory (Refer to chapter 2 in the Crim 300w book).


Cognitive (IQ) Deficits (Refer to Ch. 2 P 38, 39 of Crim 300w book for an introduction of cognitive deficits. (An outside source will also be required for this.



Essay Structure

Organize your essay according the following guidelines:

A. Introduce your scenario/topic and your essay’s purpose.

Specify the theories you selected. 

B. Theory exploration #1 (RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY)

Demonstrate that you understand the significant facets of this theory and how the theory would apply directly to the scenario.  How does the theory further our understanding of the scenario? 

C. Theory exploration #2 (Cognitive Deficits. Make sure to explain beyond the label and what makes someone susceptible to having cognitive deficits)

Demonstrate that you understand the significant facets of this second theory and how the theory would apply directly to the scenario. How does the theory further our understanding of the scenario?

D. Compare and contrast theories selected

Which approach is most compelling? Why? Identify one strength and one weakness for each theory examined? Discuss the strengths and weaknesses in the context of the scenario.

E. Explain how the two theories can be integrated to fit this scenario? Please specify what kind of integration you are proposing. (Refer to Pages 303-313 in crim 300w textbook)


F. What do the theories advocate in terms of policy and practice in reference to the above scenario?

Consider at least one policy/practice for each theory selected in the context of the scenario. 




Crim 300w Textbook – (Chapters 1,2,10)

Osgood, D. W. (1998, July/August). Interdisciplinary integration: Building criminology by stealing from our friends.   The Criminologist, 23(4), 1, 3–4, 41. Retrieved September 12, 2008, from

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