Thou Shalt Not Steal: Effects of Normative Cues on Attitudes towards Theft

DOI: 10.4236/psych.2013.44062   PDF   HTML     4,642 Downloads   6,956 Views   Citations


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.

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Groot, J. , Abrahamse, W. & Vincent, S. (2013). Thou Shalt Not Steal: Effects of Normative Cues on Attitudes towards Theft. Psychology, 4, 438-444. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.44062.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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