The person behind the “broken window” : the influence of the environment and personality on undesired behavior

Austrup, Sebastian (2011) The person behind the “broken window” : the influence of the environment and personality on undesired behavior.

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Abstract:The Broken Windows Theory predicts that when disorder is present in a surrounding, people will behave in an antisocial way. How exactly a disorderly environment affect a person and which mechanisms could make the person behave in an anti-social way? Approaches regarding that topic are mostly dealt in context of the Broken Windows Theory. Popularity of this approach ranks behind its controversy. Goal of the present study was to assess the influence of the environment and camera surveillance on human behavior, moderated by a personality trait. In a 2 x 2 factorial design in which participants were confronted with a tidy and untidy setup of a room they got the opportunity to cheat for money and leave mess behind. The influence of environmental factors was stronger in people who feel their lives are being controlled by external factors, meaning they have an external locus of control. Moreover we found no damping effect on cheating of camera surveillance in our experiment nor did it raise the self-awareness of the participants. Results suggest that there has to be an extra „push“ to act antisocial in a disorderly environment, with witch has to be dealt in further research.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Keywords:Disorder and crime, Personality factors, Stealing, Lying, Social control, Social proof
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/59931
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