Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shoplifting linked to unpleasant personality

Date:
May 28, 2010
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Psychologists have identified dimensions of personality seen in persons prone to shoplifting. Three characteristics in his study stood out: Being male; unpleasant and antisocial; and disorganized and unreliable.

A new study by psychologists at the University of Leicester has identified dimensions of personality seen in persons prone to shoplifting. Three characteristics in his study stood out: Being male; unpleasant and antisocial; and disorganised and unreliable.
Credit: iStockphoto/Anita Patterson-Peppers

A new study by psychologists at the University of Leicester has identified dimensions of personality seen in persons prone to shoplifting. Three characteristics in his study stood out: Being male; unpleasant and antisocial; and disorganised and unreliable.

The study also found that younger and outgoing people are more likely to pilfer from stores or commit minor fraud.

In a paper published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, Dr Vincent Egan of the University of Leicester's School of Psychology and a postgraduate student, David Taylor, revealed that a person's inclination to shoplifting is related to their personality.

Dr Egan commented: "I'm the kind of psychologist who thinks 'what kind of person does (or doesn't do) antisocial things?' when I think about the crimes people commit, so I sought to explore the personalities of people who shoplift or fraudulent in commercial settings, compared to those who claim to be honest. Most forensic psychological research with criminals focuses on sexual and violent offences, so it was interesting to think about different types of offender."

Their findings are based on a sample of 114 shoppers aged from 16 to 80 years of age who anonymously completed four questionnaires to measure personality, consumer ethical beliefs, attitudes to shoplifting, and demographics. Analysis of the data found those lower in emotional stability, higher in extraversion and lower on agreeableness, conscientiousness and intellect were more accepting of unethical consumer behaviour and shoplifting.

Dr Egan said: "My results suggest dishonest consumer behaviour is narrowly associated with how unpleasant and disorganised you are; separate to this, people who commit fraudulent crimes associated with benefitting at the expense of the seller may simply be younger and more outgoing so carried away by the moment."

Of the 114 sampled, 68 had never shoplifted, 30 had shoplifted more than a year ago, and 16 had shoplifted within the past year. The active shoplifters were significantly younger than the inactive shoplifters and those who had never shoplifted. The results also found all the currently active shoplifters were male.

Dr Egan added: "This study looked at ordinary British people visiting a large superstore. It looked at a variety of ordinary shoppers, not just those who had been convicted of shoplifting. We extended thinking by looking at the casual kinds of fraud some people commit. By understanding the pathways into these kinds of offences, we can hopefully reduce them in the future."

He notes shoplifting is a major concern within the British retail industry; according to the Centre for Retail Research, Britain tops Europe's shoplifting league, with over 1.5 billion in shop property stolen per annum, which costs each household an additional 150. It is hoped that these findings will lead to proactive ways to combat such criminal activity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Egan et al. Shoplifting, unethical consumer behaviour, and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 2010; 48 (8): 878 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.02.014

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Shoplifting linked to unpleasant personality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526093616.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2010, May 28). Shoplifting linked to unpleasant personality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526093616.htm
University of Leicester. "Shoplifting linked to unpleasant personality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526093616.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins