The Effects of Type of Information and Method of Dissemination on the Reporting of a Shoplifter

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Abstract

The present study demonstrated increased reporting rates of a staged shoplifting in a university bookstore. Two methods of information presentation (lecture format, mass-media campaign) succeeded in producing these effects. The type of information given to 72 male and 99 female students was also varied and included: (1) how and why to report shoplifting, (2) the social-psychological factors which inhibit reporting, and (3) a combination of these. All types of information increased the reporting rates compared to the control groups. The lecture format increased reporting rates above that of the mass-media groups. No sex differences were found. The findings have implications for the way factual knowledge and attitudes interact in influencing behavior.

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