Most Likely Shoplifter: Unpleasant Male

LEICESTER, England, June 8 (UPI) — Shoplifters tend to be anti-social, unreliable, disorganized and usually male, British researchers suggest.

Researchers at the University of Leicester in England say they tried to identify the features of people prone to shoplifting. Study leader Dr. Vincent Egan and colleagues say shoplifting is related to personality.


Three characteristics stand out — being male, being unpleasant/anti-social, and being disorganized, or unreliable.

Egan and postgraduate student David Taylor had shoppers ages 16-80 anonymously complete four questionnaires on personality, consumer ethics, attitudes and demographics. Out of their sample of 114, 68 never shoplifted, 30 had shoplifted more than a year ago and 16 had shoplifted within the past year, the researchers say.

The study, published in Personality and Individual Differences, concludes the more extroverted — but lower on the scale for being emotionally stable, agreeable, conscientious and intelligent — are more likely to find unethical consumer behavior and shoplifting acceptable.

The researchers also find younger, outgoing people tend to pilfer from stores or commit minor fraud.

“My results suggest dishonest consumer behavior is narrowly associated with how unpleasant and disorganized you are; separate to this, people who commit fraudulent crimes associated with benefiting at the expense of the seller may simply be younger and more outgoing, so carried away by the moment,” study leader Dr. Vincent Egan says in a statement.

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Categorized | Ethics, Other
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