Using the Scenario Method to Analyze Cheating Behaviors

Journal of Academic Ethics 11 (1):17-33 (2013)
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Using student self-reported cheating admissions and answers from a hypothetical cheating scenario, this paper analyzes the effects of individual and situational factors on potential cheating behavior. Results confirm several conclusions about student factors that are related to cheating. The probability of cheating is associated with younger students, lower GPAs, alcohol consumption, fraternity/sorority membership, and having cheated in high school. Student perceptions of the certainty and severity of punishment appear to have a negative and significant impact on the probability of cheating on in-class assignments. Students who report a belief that cheating is never acceptable appear to be significantly less likely to cheat in any circumstance. This study illustrates the context-dependent nature of academic dishonesty, and the associated difficulty in understanding the relationships between measurable factors and cheating behavior



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