Behavior Data Systems
Assessment Tests and Interviews Reliable Computer Graded Assessment


Shoplifting Inventory (SI)
Designed for Shoplifter (misdemeanor and felony) Assessment

The Shoplifting Inventory (SI) is designed for shoplifter evaluation. Shoplifters come from a variety of backgrounds, from rural and urban settings, and are representative of different ages, genders, ethnic groups and educational backgrounds. The Shoplifting Inventory (SI) has 7 scales (measures): 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Shoplifting Scale, 3. Impulsiveness Scale, 4. Peer Pressure Scale, 5. Alcohol Scale, 6. Drugs Scale, 7. Self-Esteem Scale. The SI consists of 141 items and takes 30 minutes to complete. This is a unique test that explores motivation, attitude and need. It assesses areas deemed necessary for adequately understanding shoplifters.


** Shoplifting Inventory **
  • Defendant (misdemeanor and felony) assessment in court settings.
  • Help in determining the seriousness of the problem and the client's needs.
  • Male and female defendants in probation and community corrections.
  • Diversion program screening.
  • Assist in case management information gathering.



Theories about shoplifting proliferate. However, shoplifter motivation is complex. Many shoplifters regard themselves as special. Some have inflated self-esteem; whereas, others disapprove of themselves. Shoplifters often believe they are entitled to the things they want and take them when they can. These people believe they are entitled. Then, there are the antisocial and uncaring shoplifters. Some shoplifters blame their actions on substance abuse. Many claim their shoplifting is impulsive. Peer pressure, particularly during adolescence, can be a powerful influence. And then, there are people who don't know why they shoplift. Yet, they do steal from stores during shopping hours.

The SI has 141 items and takes 30 minutes to complete. It has a high 5th to low 6th grade reading level. SI tests are scored on-site with reports available within 3 minutes of data input.

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Seven SI Scales (Measures)

  1. Truthfulness Scale: Measures how truthful the shoplifter was while completing the SI. It identifies denial, problem minimization and attempts to fake good.
  2. Shoplifting Scale: Measures a person's tendency toward stealing things from stores. This is more of a characterological scale and measures the probability of shoplifting.
  3. Impulsiveness Scale: Measures a tendency to act on sudden impulse. Some people respond suddenly or spontaneously; whereas, others are more deliberate.
  4. Peer Pressure Scale: Measures a person's susceptibility to peer pressure and the influence of others.
  5. Alcohol Scale: Measures the frequency and magnitude of alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol refers to beer, wine and other liquor.
  6. Drugs Scale: Measures illicit drug use and abuse. Drugs refer to marijuana, cocaine, crack, amphetamines, barbiturates and heroin. This scale is independent of the Alcohol Scale.
  7. Self-Esteem Scale: Measures a person's perception of self. Self-esteem incorporates an attitude of acceptance-approval versus rejection-disapproval of oneself. It describes the person one believes oneself to be.

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SI Test Booklet

Shoplifting Inventory (SI) test booklets are provided free. These booklets contain 141 items and are written at a high 5th to low 6th grade reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the SI. Questions are direct and easily understood. It takes 30 minutes, on average, to complete this test. SI test booklets are available in both English and Spanish.

SI Reports

In brief, SI reports summarize the offender's self-reported history, explain what attained scores mean and offer specific score-related recommendations.

Within 3 minutes from test data entry, automated (computer-scored) 3-page reports are available on-site. These reports summarize a wealth of information in an easily understood format. For example, these reports include an SI profile (graph), which summarizes test findings at a glance. Also included are explanations of what each score means and specific score-related recommendations.

Significant items (direct admissions) are highlighted, and answers to the built-in interview (the last sequence of multiple choice items) are presented. Emphasis has been placed on having meaningful reports that are helpful and easily understood.

If you would like to go directly to an example SI report, click on the SI Example Report link. The example SI report is presented at the end of this webpage.

Advantages of Screening

Screening and assessment instruments filter out individuals with serious problems that may need referral for a more comprehensive evaluation and/or treatment. This filtering system works as follows:

Risk Range Percentile Total Percentage
Low Risk 0 - 39% 39%
Medium Risk 40 - 69% 30%
Problem Risk 70 - 89% 20%
Severe Problem 90 - 100% 11%

Reference to the above table shows that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at or above the 70th percentile. These risk range percentiles are based upon the offenders that have taken the SI. This procedure is fair and avoids extremes, i.e., over-identification and under-identification of problems and risk.

A court, probation department or assessment agency's policy might refer clients with severe problems (11%) for further evaluation and/or treatment. In this case, 11% of the people screened (Severe Problem) would be referred. Or, policy might refer offenders with identified problems (Problem and Severe Problem). In this case, 31% of the people would be referred. In these examples, 89% or 69% (contingent upon adopted policy) of the people screened would not be referred for additional (and expensive) services.

Budgetary savings (dollars) would be large with no compromises in needy people receiving appropriate evaluation and/or treatment services. Indeed, more needy people would receive help. Without a screening program, there is usually more risk of over or under-utilization of additional professional services.

SI Software

The SI is available online at, and for additional information, visit

SI Database

The SI system contains a proprietary database. Earlier, it was noted that all SI used diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems, and the test data along with related demographics are downloaded into the SI database. This expanding database allows ongoing research and testing program summary capabilities that were not possible before. Ongoing research ensures quality control. Annual testing program summaries provide program self-evaluation.

Built-in Database

The SI permits ongoing research and annual program summary -- at no additional cost. When the 25 or 50 tests on a data diskette are used, that diskette is returned to Behavior Data Systems and downloaded into the expanding SI database.

No personal information, names, social security numbers, etc. are ever downloaded into any test database.

Advantages of this proprietary database are many and include database (research) analysis and annual testing program summary reports. Returned diskettes from a state, department, court or agency can be selected from the database for research analysis. Database analysis insures quality control.

After downloading test data returned diskettes are destroyed.

In summary, having all used SI test data centrally filed at Behavior Data Systems' offices has many advantages. Database analysis permits ongoing cost efficient research that includes scale alpha coefficients, frequency distributions, correlations, ANOVA, cross-tab statistics along with reliability, validity and accuracy determinations. The SI Research Study link takes you to the research study at the bottom of this webpage.

Annual Summary Reports

Behavior Data Systems can access each of its tests' built-in databases for statistical analysis and summarization of all tests administered in a year. Annual Summary Reports are prepared for state, department, agency and even some individual providers -- at no cost to them. These reports are provided as a professional courtesy to large volume test users. Summary reports include demographics, court-history when relevant, and test statistics (reliability, validity and accuracy). Has anyone offered to summarize your testing program? Annually? At no additional cost to you? Minimum testing volume for annual reports is 350 tests. There is no maximum limit. Behavior Data Systems' annual reports range in size from 350 tests to over 55,000 tests annually. An example Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on this Annual Summary Report link.

Reliability and Validity

The SI has a built-in proprietary database that insures inclusion of all tests administered in a confidential (no names) manner. And, these reliability, validity and accuracy statistics are reported in the research summary document titled "SI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." SI scales maintain high reliability coefficients.

For example, coefficient alpha's for SI scales are reported below for 1,037 shoplifters screened in the year 2002.

SI Scales Coefficient
Truthfulness Scale .86 p<.001
Shoplifting Scale .86 p<.001
Peer Pressure Scale .87 p<.001
Self-Esteem Scale .94 p<.001
Impulsiveness Scale .87 p<.001
Alcohol Scale .92 p<.001
Drugs Scale .91 p<.001

All SI scales have alpha coefficients well above the professionally accepted standard of .75 and are highly reliable. All coefficient alphas are significant at the p<.001 level.

Early SI studies used criterion measures and were validated with other tests, e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L and F-Scales, 16PF, SAQ-Adult Probation III, MacAndrews, Defendant Questionnaire, etc. Much of this research is summarized in the "SI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." And, ongoing database analysis (research) is done to evaluate reliability and validity.

Staff Member Input

Some people advocate fully automated assessment; Behavior Data Systems does not. The SI is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment. When available, court records should be reviewed. Experienced staff should also interview the offender. For these reasons, the following statement is contained in each SI report: "Shoplifting Inventory or SI reports are confidential and should be considered working hypotheses. No diagnosis or decision should be based solely upon these results. The SI is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment and review of available records."

Unique SI Features

Truthfulness Scale: Identifies denial, problem minimization and faking. It is now known that many offenders attempt to minimize their problems. A Truthfulness Scale is a necessary component in contemporary tests. The SI's Truthfulness Scale has been validated with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), polygraph exams, other tests, truthfulness studies and experienced staff judgment. The SI's Truthfulness Scale has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid and accurate. In some respects, the SI's Truthfulness Scale is similar to the MMPI's L and F-Scales. It consists of a number of items that most people agree or disagree with.

Truth-Corrected Scores: Have proven to be very important for assessment accuracy. This proprietary truth correction process is comparable to the MMPI's K-Scale correction. The SI's Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with the other 8 scales. The Truth Correction equation converts raw scores to Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores. Raw scores reflect what the offender wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the offender is attempting to hide.

More than just another alcohol or drug test. In addition to alcohol and drugs, the SI assesses other important areas of inquiry like truthfulness, denial and faking, self-esteem, peer pressure, impulsiveness, etc. The SI is specifically designed for shoplifter screening.

Three ways to give the SI. The SI can be administered in three different ways: 1. Paper-pencil test booklet format is the most popular testing procedure. SI English and Spanish test booklets and answer sheets are available. 2. Tests can be given directly on the computer screen. Some agencies dedicate computers for SI testing. And, 3. Human Voice Audio in English or Spanish is available. These three test administration modes are discussed in the "SI: Orientation and Training Manual." Each test administration mode has advantages and some limitations. Behavior Data Systems offers these three test modes so test users can select the administration mode that is optimally suited to their needs.

Reading Impaired Assessment: Reading impaired offenders represent 20+ percent of the offenders tested. This represents a serious problem to other treatment tests. Behavior Data Systems has developed an alternative for dealing with this problem: Human Voice Audio.

Human Voice Audio: Presentation of the SI is in English and Spanish. Clients' passive vocabularies are often greater than their active vocabularies. Hearing items read out loud often helps reduce cultural and communication problems. This administration mode requires earphones and simple instructions to orient the offender to the up-down arrow keys on the computer keyboard. Human Voice Audio is an alternative approach for screening reading impaired offenders.

Confidentiality: Behavior Data Systems encourages test users to delete offender names from diskettes before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. Once offender names are deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting offender names does not delete demographics or test data, which is downloaded into the SI database for subsequent analysis. This proprietary name deletion procedure involves a few keystrokes and insures offender confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).

Test Data Input Verification: Allows the person that inputs test data from the answer sheet into the computer to verify the accuracy of their data input. In brief, test data is input twice, and any inconsistencies between the first and second data entries are highlighted until corrected. When the first and second data entries match or are the same, the staff person can continue. This proprietary Data Input Verification procedure is optional, yet strongly recommended by Behavior Data Systems.

Inventory of Scientific Findings: Much of the SI research has been gathered together in a document titled "SI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." This document summarizes SI research chronologically -- as the studies were completed. This chronological reporting format was established largely because of the SI database, which permits annual database analysis of all tests administered.

Test Unit Fee (Cost): SI cost information can be reviewed by clicking on the Test Unit Fee (Cost) link. There is only the one cost or charge, and that is the test unit fee. Everything else is included at no additional cost to the test user. This includes: test booklets, answer sheets, training manuals, upgrades, ongoing database research, annual summary testing reports, staff training and support services. Do not be misled by some test publishers' à la carte pricing like separate costs for each test administration as well as for each of the test-related items listed above. Instead of asking for the test administration cost, ask for the total cost involved in using a test. We believe Behavior Data Systems' one test unit fee is very affordable.

Free Examination Kit: A 1-test demonstration diskette is available on a 30-day cost free basis. Demo diskettes are in Windows format. The Examination Kit includes a 1-test demo diskette, installation CD (with instructions), test booklet, answer sheet and some descriptive materials. Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. does want the test booklet and diskette returned within 30 days.

Selecting a Shoplifter Screening Instrument or Test

If you are selecting a screening instrument or test for shoplifter assessment, the following Comparison Checklist should prove helpful. It lists important screening test qualities. The "Other" column represents any other test you might want to compare to the SI.

Designed Specifically for Shoplifter Assessment Yes  
Test Reliability and Validity Research Provided Yes  
Test Completed in 30 Minutes Yes  
Reports within 3 Minutes On-Site Yes  
Truthfulness Scale to Detect Minimization and Faking Yes  
Truth-Corrected Scores for Accuracy Yes  
Three Test Administration Options Yes  
     1. Paper-Pencil (English and Spanish) Yes  
     2. On Computer Screen (English and Spanish) Yes  
     3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish) Yes  
Delete Client Names (insures confidentiality) Yes  
HIPAA (federal regulation) Compliant Yes  
Test Data Input Verification (insures accuracy) Yes  
Available in English and Spanish Yes  
Built-in Database at No Additional Cost Yes  
Alcohol and Drugs Scales Yes  
Peer Pressure Scale Yes  
Impulsiveness Scale Yes  
Self-Esteem Scale Yes  
Shoplifting Scale Yes  
Easily Understood Reports Yes  
Available online Yes  
Helpful Score-Related Reports Yes  
Annual Summary Reports (Free) Yes  
ASAM Compatible Recommendations Yes  
Staff Training (Free) Yes  
Examination Kits (Free) Yes  
Thirty-Day Money Back Guarantee Yes  
Very Affordable Test Unit Fee Yes  

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Shoplifting Inventory (SI) reports consist of 3 printed pages. Within 3 minutes of test data entry, SI reports are scored, interpreted and printed on-site.

The first page of the SI report presents the offender's name, some brief demographics and a self-reported court history. The SI Profile (graph) identifies SI scales by name, presents attained scale scores and graphically summarizes the nine scale scores. The Truthfulness Scale paragraph completes the first page of the SI report.

The second page of the SI report presents seven scale paragraphs: Alcohol Scale, Drugs Scale, Antisocial Scale, Shoplifting Scale, Entitlement Scale, Peer Pressure Scale and the Self-Esteem Scale. Each of these paragraphs gives the offender's attained score, explains what that score means and presents score-related recommendations.

The third page of the SI report begins with the Impulsiveness Scale paragraph. Significant items (direct admissions or unusual answers) are presented for the Alcohol, Drugs, Antisocial and Shoplifting Scales. Space is provided for staff comments or recommendations, their signature and date of the assessment. Page 3 concludes with a reproduction of the shoplifter's answers to all 141 items.

With regard to the Shoplifting Inventory (SI) its criminogenic needs include:  Shoplifting, Entitlement, Peer Pressure, Self-Esteem, Impulsiveness, Antisocial Thoughts and Substance (alcohol and other drugs) Abuse.  It is not by chance that these criminogenic needs represent the Shoplifting Inventory (SI) scales or measures.

Additional information can be provided upon request by writing:
Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.
P.O. Box 44256
Phoenix, Arizona 85064-4256

Our telephone number is (602) 234-3506.
Our fax number is (602) 266-8227.
and our e-mail address is

Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. Copyright © 2007