Study of a Cognitive Dissonance Intervention to Address High School Students' Cheating Attitudes and Behaviors

Ethics and Behavior 19 (3):218-226 (2009)
Forty-four high school students took part in focus-type group that used an induced hypocrisy paradigm developed from cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957) to reduce cheating behavior. Posttesting following the intervention showed that, contrary to expectations, these students' attitudes toward cheating and self-reported cheating behaviors did not decrease relative to those of 65 control participants who did not participate in the group intervention. All participants reported a greater intention to cheat in the future at posttest as well as an increase in cheating behavior. Although participants did not view cheating favorably, a large majority admitted cheating and indicated that they had never been caught
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