Thou shalt not steal: Effects of normative cues on attitudes towards theft

Judith de Groot, Wokje Abrahamse, Sarah Vincent

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In this study, we examine how normative cues influence attitudes towards theft. In a 3 × 2 × 2 within-subjects design (N = 120), we found that people had more negative attitudes towards theft when: 1) a higher value item was stolen than when a lower value item was stolen; 2) the theft took place in a public setting than when it took place in a private setting; and 3) the theft took place in a tidy rather than messy setting. Furthermore, our findings showed interaction effects between the value of a stolen item and 1) the cleanliness of the environment; and 2) the privateness of a setting, on attitudes towards theft. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-444
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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