Cheating and Moral Judgment in the College Classroom: A Natural Experiment
ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a natural experiment involving academic cheating by university students. We explore the relationship of moral judgment (as measured using the defining issues test) to actual behavior, as well as the relationship between the honesty of students self-reports and the extent of cheating. We were able to determine the extent to which students actually cheated on the take-home portion of an accounting exam. The take-home problem was not assigned with the intent of inducing cheating among students. However, the high rate of observed cheating prompted the instructor to return to class and ask the students to provide information on their motivation. The students'' responses are the data analyzed in this natural experiment. We found that in a simple regression the relationship between moral judgment scores and cheating behavior was insignificant. However, when we tested whether including Utilizer scores (i.e. the extent to which people select actions based on notions of justice) affected the relationship of cheating and moral judgment we found that Utilizer affected the relationship significantly. Finally, we found that moral judgment and honesty were not related, but higher levels of cheating behavior related to less honesty.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Sue Pickard Ravenscroft, Apr 12, 2014
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ABSTRACT: Everywhere in the world, the academically immoral and unethical behavior of copying in academic institutions no longer shocks anyone. In this study, the authors argue that this phenomenon is prevalent even within academic institutions of education intended for the training of teachers. That is, students who soon would be responsible for the ethical code of their students. This phenomenon of copying is based on three main factors: Students, the academic institution, and the teaching staff. The students' perception of copying was examined through questionnaires and it can be stated that the phenomenon is considered significantly normative. The lecturers' perception was examined through in-depth interviews and it is emphasized that they are indeed aware of the phenomenon being widespread. Nevertheless, they also think that the institution sets double standards regarding it. On the one hand, the academic institution declares its intent to stamp out the copying phenomenon, while simultaneously encouraging it by being overly tolerant and by not addressing the issue when it does arise in disciplinary committees. Therefore, a self-reinforcing cycle emerges with the students seeing the phenomenon as significantly normative, the academic institution setting double standards, and the lecturing staff finding itself stuck between a rock and a hard place when dealing with the problem.
Psychology of Music 10/2011; 40(6):738-760. DOI:10.1177/0305735611406579 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Academic dishonesty is prevalent across college campuses worldwide, with many students having committed the offence at some point of their academic pursuit. This study addresses the growing concern in academia regarding the diminishing sense of academic integrity and ethical values among students. The paper endeavors to broaden the understanding of the topic in two ways, firstly by focusing on a specific category of students –mainly TESL teacher trainees and secondly by investigating the incidence and motive for cheating in examinations among teacher trainees. The rationale for highlighting this particular group stems from the higher expectations for ethical behavior from teacher trainees, who are expected to respond ethically and prevent academic dishonesty in their capacity as professional practitioners. An online survey was conducted among 71 students enrolled in a four –year teacher education program in a university in Malaysia. The results showed that a majority of respondents (82%) had cheated before and did so albeit knowing the consequences. Predictably the most quoted reason for cheating was lack of preparation and the pressure to excel, as well as instructional situations that are perceived as excessively demanding, Crib notes and copying from peers was clearly the preferred methods. The study helps explain academic dishonesty among teacher trainees and also allow those interested in curbing cheating to focus upon important predictors of academic dishonesty.Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 10/2013; 90:522-529. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.07.122