Journal of Academic Ethics 12 (4):287-298 (2014)

Using a parallel mixed-methods design, the current study examined university students’ perceptions of academic cheating through collecting and analyzing both the quantitative and qualitative data. Our quantitative findings corroborate previous research that male students have engaged more in academic cheating than females based on students’ self-reports, and that undergraduate students are less willing to discuss issues on academic cheating as compared with their graduate counterparts. Five themes emerged from the thematic analysis of the qualitative data: flexible definitions for cheating, environmental promotion of cheating, the moral transgression of cheating, cheating as an ambiguous justification, and cheating as a conscious decision making process. The mixed-methods findings indicate that there is no relationship between students’ gender or classification and their endorsements of the qualitative themes. However, non-White students are more likely to endorse the theme “cheating as an ambiguous justification.” Implications for reducing and preventing academic cheating at the university level are discussed
Keywords Academic cheating  Graduate students  Undergraduates  Mixed-methods
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DOI 10.1007/s10805-014-9219-x
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