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A MULTIFACETED EXPLANATION OF ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR USING THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOUR, SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY, AND TECHNIQUES OF NEUTRALIZATION.

Date

2021-03-11

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

ORCID

0000-0002-8148-6772

Type

Thesis

Degree Level

Doctoral

Abstract

The Theory of Planned Behaviour, Social Identity Theory, Cognitive Dissonance, and Techniques of Neutralization were used in this study to investigate whether situational variables could account for antisocial behaviour. In the first phase, an elicitation study was conducted to determine undergraduate Psychology students’ (N = 97) attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control associated with three types of behaviour: legal and normed, illegal and normed, and illegal and not normed. In addition to determining participants’ views on attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control, valued groups (i.e., groups who are valuable to the respondents) were ascertained from the elicitation study. The second phase of this study involved the manipulation of three situational variables in hypothetical scenarios: the three behavioural types, the valued groups of parents and friends, and six types of neutralizations (i.e., reasons that allow the behaviour to be acceptable) in scenarios. Undergraduate Psychology students and staff at the University of Saskatchewan (N = 478) indicated acceptability of the described behaviours. Findings indicated that antisocial behaviours were enacted as the result of situational variables, specifically, the three behavioural types, the presence of the valued groups of parents and friends, and six types of neutralization. As expected, the three variables interacted to affect the degree to which participants endorsed the behaviour described in the scenario. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate six base model scenarios that reflected the three types of behaviours, the two types of valued groups, and six types of neutralization. The fit of the models decreased as the legality and norming of the behaviour moved from legal and normed to illegal and not normed, indicating that individuals endorse both antisocial and prosocial behaviours that are enacted based on situational variables. The evidence from this study highlights the importance of policy to prevent the development of antisocial attitudes. That is, it demonstrates the importance of limiting the exposure of individuals to the situational variables that increase the risk of antisocial and criminal conduct. The prevention of crime is possible with policies that are built on empirical evidence such as those found in this study.

Description

Keywords

Theory of Planned Behaviour, Social Identity Theory, Techniques of Neutralization, Cognitive Dissonance, Structural Equation Modeling, Antisocial Behaviour.

Citation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Psychology

Program

Psychology

Citation

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DOI

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