The Rationality of Punishment - Measuring the Severity of Crimes: An AHP-Based Orders-of- Magnitude Approach
Level: IntermediateType: Document
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Pittsburgh
: The document is from Thomas Saaty's unpublished book "New Mathematics and Measurement for the Physical, Social and Life Sciences" finished in 2004. This is chapter 10: The Rationality of Punishment - Measuring the Severity of Crimes: An AHP-Based Orders-of- Magnitude Approach. This chapter gives a short account of various world efforts to recognize and value people’s intangible contributions. The measurement of intangibles is a difficult, though not impossible, undertaking. The value of munificent acts can be accounted for by linking them in gradual steps to larger or smaller similar acts. Shared salient criteria can then be used to determine relative worth through numerical judgments and prioritizations. An Analytic Hierarchy Process-based structure, with priorities and pair-wise comparison matrices, captures the relationship between small benevolent acts and significant life-time sacrifices. This makes it possible, when desired or necessary, to convert generous acts to equivalent numerical and monetary values. The coherent approach of the Analytic Hierarchy Process enables us to harness the power of humanity’s altruistic roots and escape the prevailing gain-loss mentality. Focus subsequently shifts from resource scarcity to the abundance of abilities that can enrich society in new ways.