Think more before you cheat: The influences of attitudes toward cheating and cognitive reflection on cheating behavior

Abstract

Cheating is widely considered a condemnable behavior in society and a big problem in the educational system. In this study, we employ the information-processing-based Bayesian Mindsponge Framework to explore deeper the subjective cost-benefit evaluation involving the perceived value of cheating. Conducting Bayesian analysis on 493 university students from Germany, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, and Japan, we found that students who have more positive attitudes toward cheating are more likely to cheat. However, a higher capability of cognitive reflection acts as a moderator that negates the above effect. Re-evaluation of prior thoughts allows for more accurate assessments of the associated risks and possible costs, which help reduce the probability of carrying out cheating behavior. As rapid technological advancement may introduce new and efficient cheating methods, a better understanding of the psychology of cheating in students can help schools prepare better countermeasures.

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