Attitudes Toward, and Intentions to Report, Academic Cheating Among Students in Singapore

Ethics and Behavior 11 (3):261-274 (2001)
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In this study, we examined students' attitudes toward cheating and whether they would report instances of cheating they witnessed. Data were collected from three educational institutions in Singapore. A total of 518 students participated in the study. Findings suggest that students perceived cheating behaviors involving exam-related situations to be serious, whereas plagiarism was rated as less serious. Cheating in the form of not contributing one's fair share in a group project was also perceived as a serious form of academic misconduct, although a majority of the students admitted having engaged in such behavior. With regard to the prevalence of academic cheating, our findings suggest that students are morally ambivalent about academic cheating and are rather tolerant of dishonesty among their peers. On the issue of whether cheating behaviors should be reported, our findings revealed that a majority of students chose to take the expedient measure of ignoring the problem rather than to blow the whistle on their peers. Implications of our findings are discussed.



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