Van Gelder, J.-L., & De Vries, R. E. (2016). Traits and states at work: lure, risk and personality as predictors of occupational crime. Psychology, crime & law, 22(7), 701–720. doi:10.1080/1068316X.2016.1174863
This study linked individual characteristics to proximate factors operating in the moment of decision-making to predict occupational crime. We distinguished between people’s task-related conscience, as embodied by the Conscientiousness personality trait, and a more general moral conscience as embodied by the Honesty-Humility trait, hypothesizing that both traits are differentially related to the way situational characteristics, such as costs and benefits, are perceived. We operationalized the concept of ‘felt lure’ emanating from the benefits of a crime, defining it as an affective state that tempts people to commit a criminal act, and examined it next to perceived risk of sanction as a proximate predictor of criminal choice. In line with our predictions, Conscientiousness and Honesty-Humility significantly predicted occupational criminal choice as did felt lure and perceived risk. Specifically, perceived risk and felt lure mediated the relations between Conscientiousness and Honesty-Humility on the one hand, and occupational criminal choice on the other.