Hot Criminology or What Homer’s Odyssea Can Teach Criminologists About Decision Making

Jean-Louis van Gelder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


Even though evidence for the influence of ‘hot’ visceral states such as intoxication, sexual arousal and intense emotions on criminal conduct is accumulating, this has not yet led to a shift in thinking about criminal decision processes. In this chapter, I argue that the rational choice perspective breaks down under the influence of such affective states and discuss an alternative framework of criminal choice, the hot/cool perspective of criminal decision-making. More specifically, I will elaborate on visceral influences on the criminal choice process and explain that such influences are pervasive, systematic and, to a certain extent, predictable. Moreover, I will show that to a large degree, these visceral states influence the choice process in similar fashion and share a number of properties. Finally, I argue that taking this into account not only leads to more accurate criminal choice theory but can also improve crime prevention approaches, which often are based on outdated models of human behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Rational Choice for Crime Prevention
EditorsDanielle M. Reynald, Benoit Leclerc
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781315441207
ISBN (Print)9781138217225
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameCriminology at the Edge


Dive into the research topics of 'Hot Criminology or What Homer’s Odyssea Can Teach Criminologists About Decision Making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this