The construct of “propensity to commit a crime” refers to an individual’s likelihood to engage in unlawful behavior at any point in their lives. Understanding which opinions held by individuals are linked to their willingness to commit a crime may help the media, government and social workers to approach their public messaging in a more effective way. Measuring this construct or identifying patterns that crime-prone individuals exhibit is important in the pursuit of preventing crime. Given the recent rise in domestic abuse, animal abuse, and assault cases in Turkish popular media, we believed it would be useful to have a scale that would allow Social Psychologists to predict which individuals would be most likely to engage in such behaviors.
Data were collected from young adults doing their undergrad (ages between 18 and 25). We utilized the snowballing method to collect our data. Total sample size of the data was 50 (M = 21.50, SD = 1.46). Participants between 21 to 23 made up most of our data (80%). There were no 25-year-old participants. 58% of the sample was female and the rest were male. 88% of participants were from Turkey. 10% of participants were from other nationalities (Egypt, France, Georgia, and Lebanon). 88% of participants live in Turkey while the rest lives in other countries (England, France, Georgia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Syria).
Content and Convergent Validity
- We chose a forensic psychologist and a social psychologist to rate our items. The experts rated the items on a 4-point Likert scale.
- Two of our items were disregarded by both experts. They disagreed on 6 of the items and upon further discussions, they decided to exclude 2 more items and agreed to keep the rest.
- Content validity was found to be 32/40 = 0.80 [good]
- As predicted per literature like Gouveia-Pereira et al. (2016) and Adjorlolo et al. (2017) have studied and cited the relationship between propensity to commit crime and impulsivity: a positive correlation
- The PTCC scale and the BIS scales were found to be positively and significantly correlated: Spearman Coefficient = 0.55, p<.001.
Independent samples t-test showed us:
- no significant effect of city type (urban vs. rural) on neither propensity to commit crime (PTCC) nor impulsivity (BIS): t(36) = -1.27, p =.21 and t(41) = -.40, p =.69, respectively.
- no significant effect of gender (female vs. male) on neither propensity to commit crime nor impulsivity: t(20.38) = –.99, p =.33 and t(41) = –.96, p =.35, respectively.
One Way ANOVA results showed us:
- no significant effect of personality type (extroverted vs. introverted vs. neither) on neither propensity to commit crime nor on impulsivity: F(2,35) =.78, p =.47 and F(2,40) = 1.19, p =.32, respectively.
- no significant effect of neighborhood safety on neither propensity to crime nor on impulsivity: F(3,34) =.37, p =.76 and F(3,39) =.21, p =.89, respectively.
- PTCC ???? Cronbach’s α =.90 [very good]
- BIS ???? Cronbach’s α = 0.84 [good]
Split-half Reliability – done by dividing items into two groups of even and odd items:
- PTCC ???? Spearman-Brown Coefficient = 0.92 [very good]
- BIS ???? Spearman-Brown Coefficient = 0.88 [good]
Propensity to commit a crime (PTCC) is a variable that helps to assess the probability of a particular individual getting involved in illegal behavior. Identifying personal, psychological, cultural, social, or other factors that may move an individual forward in unlawful actions is critical for crime prevention. This article investigates on the selection of youngsters in order to reveal whether or not there is a correlation between PTCC and personal as well as social background. 88% of the participants were from Turkey which has recently experienced a considerable rise in the level of abuse, hence providing the newest material for research. The rest were from other locations, which allows for a variety of sociocultural environments to estimate.
The data were collected from undergraduate students aged 18 and 24 inclusive and then processed by two psychologists, notably, forensic and social ones. Such an approach enables reaching a maximal validity of the content and, subsequently, the results. The parameters to measure were PTCC and impulsivity of an individual (BIS), and the factors to analyze were gender, personality type, city type, and neighborhood safety. None of those, however, proved to have a significant effect on either BIS or PTCC of those who took part in the investigation.
The outcomes specify several possible directions for further research, for instance, a bigger and more diverse selection or an alternative set of characteristics to examine. As the majority of the participants were from Turkey and lived there, the cultural background did not vary considerably from person to person. In case it does, however, the findings may be substantially different, which actually determines the need for similar research of a larger scope.