Gottgredson and Hirchi put out a theory in 1990 that stated that self control, or the lack of it, was the driving force behind criminal or deviant activity (Donner, Fridell, & Jennings, 2016;Pratt & Cullen, 2000). Their general theory behind unethical behavior included both law enforcement officers and civilians, though the study mainly focused on officer misconduct. Gottgredson argued that those who commit unethical behavior do not have any real motivation behind their actions, only that they wish to avoid pain and are in pursuit of pleasure (Donner etal, 2016). This type of mindset may first present in minor deviant behavior, but is likely to lead to more severe unethical actions. While most people would believe that it is regular practice for adults to consider both the positive and negative consequences of their actions, this is not true for those with low self control issues.
These individuals can acknowledge the benefits of deviant behavior, but have difficulty acknowledging the long term negative costs (Donner et al, 2016). Some typical signs that someone has a tendency towards low self control include minor deviant behavior such as smoking, gambling, drinking, unprotected sex, and reckless driving. Gottfredson and Hirschitheorized that individuals who participate in these actions that provide easy and immediate relief are general and common, hence the name for their theory (Pratt & Cullen, 2000).Acts of fraud and use of force are typically easy forms of seeking immediate gratification(Rebellon, Straus, & Medeiros, 2008). Since officers are in a position of power, it is common for those who act unethically to use these forms of deviant behavior. Officers with a low form of self