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A Threshold Model Of Collective Crime



Published online on


The group nature of offending has been recognized as an inherent characteristic of criminal behavior, yet our insight on the decision to engage in group crime is limited. This article argues that a threshold model offers broad appeal to understand this decision. After discussing the basis of this model and its applicability to collective crime, we offer one example of the kind of research that could stem from this model. Specifically, by using survey data from 583 university students, this study asked respondents to self‐report thresholds for group theft and destruction of property. By experimentally manipulating characteristics of the hypothetical scenario used to measure thresholds, we investigated both the individual‐ and situational‐level correlates of these self‐reported thresholds. The discussion considers the results that emerge from a Tobit regression model and offers suggestions for future research that would provide further refinement of the threshold model.