Minor identified two more techniques of neutralization in addition to the five techniques that were identified by Sykes and Matza. These two techniques are:
- Defense of Necessity. Defense of necessity reduces guilt by allowing offenders to view their deviance as the only choice available to them in a given set of circumstances. Offenders may claim their criminal behavior was necessary to survive or to achieve vital economic goals.
- Metaphor of the Ledger. In metaphor of the ledger, offenders feel they have built up a sufficient supply of "good" behavior to their credit and thus can indulge in some "bad" behavior without any feelings of guilt.
Rationalization is usually thought of as referring to the process of finding some logical excuse for a questionable action that has already occurred, but it can also apply to the thoughts leading to the action and to the final decision to act. Rationalization usually comes into play after the crime has been committed but the mere availability of rationalization seems to play a role in committing crime. Thinking up a seemingly good reason for unacceptable behavior is the simplest way to avoid feelings of guilt. By redefining the meaning of a certain behavior, people can rationalize their behavior as being justified under the circumstances.
Smigel found that the nearer people are to the situation, the easier it is for them to rationalize their illegal behavior. He found that people who had cheated to gain unemployment compensation rationalized that their behavior as not illegal since they had contributed half the money.
Some criminal rationalize their actions by seeing themselves as "problem solvers" who are trying to better a bad situation. Others may claim "everybody else is doing it." Most criminals do not invent these rationalizations on their own, they are simply taking existing definitions that they have learned from others and applying them to their own behavior (differential association and social learning theories).