True confessions?: Alumni's retrospective reports on undergraduate cheating behaviors

Ethics and Behavior 19 (1):1 – 14 (2009)
Abstract
College cheating is prevalent, with rates ranging widely from 9 to 95% (Whitley, 1998). Research has been exclusively conducted with enrolled college students. This study examined the prevalence of cheating in a sample of college alumni, who risk less in disclosing academic dishonesty than current students. A total of 273 alumni reported on their prevalence and perceived severity of 19 cheating behaviors. The vast majority of participants (81.7%) report having engaged in some form of cheating during their undergraduate career. The most common forms of cheating were “copying from another student's assignment” and “allowing others to copy from your assignment.” More students reported cheating in classes for their major than other classes. Males and females cheated at the same rates in classes for their major, and males reported higher rates of cheating than females in nonmajor classes. Respondents reported that their top reasons for cheating were “lack of time” and “to help a friend.”.
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