Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Criminology

Major Professor

Shayne Jones, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Michael Lynch, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Norman Poythress, Ph.D.

Keywords

personality traits, corporate crime, business crime, environmental crime, offending intentions

Abstract

Psychopathy has become a highly researched personality disorder in order to better understand criminal and violent behavior (Hare, 1993). Measures of psychopathy have proven to be useful tools in predicting outcomes of institutionalized populations by predicting future dangerousness (Hare, 1999). While several experts in the field of psychopathy allude to the idea of the successful psychopath and their presence in the corporate world (Hare, 1993; Babiak & Hare, 2006), very little research has been done in this area. The current study builds upon the small amount of empirical research by testing hypotheses regarding the relationship between psychopathic personality traits and intentions to engage in white collar crime. Using a sample of 181 university students, psychopathic personality traits were measured using the Psychopathic Personality Inventory - Revised (PPI-R). In addition, scales were developed to measure attitudes toward white collar offending and vignettes were constructed to measures intentions to engage in white collar crime. Four relationships are of primary focus: 1.) Do psychopathic personality traits account for variability in attitudes toward white collar crime?; 2.) Do attitudes toward white collar crime correlate with intentions to engage in white collar crime?; 3.) Are psychopathic personality traits related to intentions to offend and?; 4.) Do attitudes toward offending mediate the relationship between psychopathy and intentions to offend? A major finding is that the Self-Centered Impulsivity factor of the PPI-R accounts for a significant amount of variance in intentions to engage in white collar crime and environmental crime. Additional relationships between psychopathy, attitudes, and intentions are also discussed.

Share

COinS