Making our Measures Match Perceptions: Do Severity and Type Matter When Assessing Academic Misconduct Offenses?

Journal of Academic Ethics 12 (4):251-270 (2014)


Traditional approaches to measurement of violations of academic integrity may overestimate the magnitude and severity of cheating and confound panic with planned cheating. Differences in the severity and level of premeditation of academic integrity violations have largely been unexamined. Results of a study based on a combined sample of business students showed that students are more likely to commit minor cheating offenses and engage in panic-based cheating as compared to serious and planned cheating offenses. Results also indicated there is a significant interaction between severity and type of cheating. We hypothesized serious and planned cheating offenses would be related to justifications and found the largest differences were between panic and planned. Finally, panic and minor cheating were associated with two self-control-related personality traits. Implications for cheating research are discussed

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