Legal Consciousness in Determination of Corrupt Behavior



The article discusses the structure of legal consciousness in the view of the effect of its components on the choice between corrupt and non-corrupt behavior. For more detailed analysis, the research sample was comprised of students of a departmental institution of higher education specializing in jurisprudence, experienced law enforcement officials as well as convicts serving sentences in correctional facilities for the crimes they had committed (including corruption-related ones). It has been established that one's choice of corrupt behavior is directly related to the general level of development of one's legal consciousness. Convicts are more characterized by underdeveloped mindset for respecting the rule of law: they yield to corruption in situations with no other way to resolve their problem or if giving a bribe feels less "costly". Essential structural components of corrupt behavior have been revealed: strong belief that corruption is ineradicable, allowing acts of bribery under certain circumstances, legal immaturity, motives to justify such behavior, mixed or contradictory attitudes towards corruption. The general level of one's legal consciousness influences one's choice between corrupt and non-corrupt behavior.

General Information

Keywords: legal consciousness; legal attitudes; corruption psychology; corrupt and non-corrupt behavior; personality of a corrupt official; reasons for acts of corruption

Journal rubric: Psychology of Deviant and Criminal Behavior

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Chernysheva E.V. Legal Consciousness in Determination of Corrupt Behavior [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2021. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 120–131. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2021110209. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena V. Chernysheva, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor,, Federal State Public Educational Establishment of Higher Professional Training «Ural Law Institute of the Ministry of Interior of Russian Federation», Ekaterinburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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