Norm-violating behavior is characterized by clear social norms which prescribe the non-occurrence of that behavior. From the theoretical framework of Allport it is derived that specifically norm-conformation is consistent, while violating norms is expected to be inconsistent and more circumstantial. This is in contrast to test-theoretic approaches of delinquent behavior that assume that various norm-violating responses form a consistent answer pattern that is scalable and reliable. In this study we study the inter-correlations, scalability and reliability of norm-violating responses and their relation with the reduction of zero observations. In concordance with Allport’s view it is expected that different norm-violating self-report items have limited interrelatedness and are limited in scalability and reliability in the norm-violating sub-population. The NLSY98 self-report data show that a large majority of respondents (69 %) conform systematically to all ten different norms, while only nine percent admits more than two different violations. The results show that in subsamples of norm-violating respondents, the correlations between items become closer to zero, dependent on the amount of zero reduction. Furthermore, both Loevinger’s H coefficient of scalability and scale reliability become unsatisfactorily low, when 35 % or more strict norm-conforming subjects are removed.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 10, 2013
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