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NCJ Number: 200555 Find in a Library
Title: Economic Crime: Does Personality Matter?
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:335-355
Author(s): Tage Alalehto
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the influence of personality on the likelihood of engaging in economic, or white collar, crimes.
Abstract: Since the mid-1980’s, with the publication of Sutherland’s White Collar Crime, it has been widely accepted that personality characteristics do not have an impact on an individual’s decision to engage in economic crimes. Instead, economic crime has been regarded as a collective act born within the complexity of an organization. The author attempts to dispute this widespread belief by analyzing an on-going, qualitative research project in which 128 Swedish businessmen were interviewed regarding the business activities of close colleagues. The interviews related to the construction industry (51), the engineering industry (41), and the music industry (36), and were considered “informant” interviews because the interviewees were reporting on the behaviors and characteristics of others. The author compared the interview data with the few existing international studies of economic crime in this region. Results indicated that economic criminal activities were more likely to occur among three personality types: the positive extrovert, the disagreeable, and the neurotic. On the other hand, two personality characteristics were associated with lawful behavior: the conceited and the agreeable. As such, the author concludes that personality does indeed impact economic crime, which holds important implications for treatment possibilities. Future research should continue to examine the impact of personality characteristics on criminal behavior, and should situate personality variables within the social context in which the individual operates in order to get a more rounded understanding of criminal behavior. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Personality assessment; White collar crime causes
Index Term(s): Psychological evaluation; Psychological influences on crime; White collar offenders
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