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Collegiate Academic Dishonesty Revisited: What Have They Done, How Often Have They Done It, Who Does It, And Why Did They Do It? (external research)
[From the Authors] Academic dishonesty is a serious concern on most college campuses as it cuts to the heart of the purpose of higher education and the pursuit of knowledge. This study examined twenty different types of academic dishonesty as well as potential correlates of academic cheating by surveying 850 students at a four-year Midwestern university. While most past studies have used bivariate analysis, this study expands the literature by also including a multi-variate analysis to determine which correlates were most important in accounting for collegiate academic dishonesty. The results indicated that most of the bivariate associations were not observed in the Ordinary Least Squares analysis, suggesting that after controlling for shared effects, many variables have little overall effect on the summed measure of academic dishonesty. Specifically, only college level, membership to a fraternity or sorority, cheating to graduate, cheating to get a better grade, and past cheating in high school had a significant impact.
From the literature, it appears that academic dishonesty is epidemic across most college campuses, and the majority of students have engaged in it to some degree at some point in their academic careers (Baird, 1980; Davis, Grover, Becker, & McGregor, 1992; Eskridge & Ames, 1993). Documented since at least the 1920s (e.g., Brownell, 1928) and an ongoing concern for the past 80 years (McCabe & Bowers, 1994; McCabe & Trevino, 1996; Spiller & Crown, 1995), research on the subject has intensified during the last two decades (Diekhoff, LaBeff, Clark, Williams, Francis, & Haines, 1996). Academic dishonesty, a serious concern on most college campuses, cuts to the heart of the purpose of higher education. The finished products of the university, its students, may not possess the fundamental information and skills implied by the transcript. Academic dishonesty is an affront to academically honest students as well as most college professors whose purpose is to teach.
Most of those employed in higher education do not condone cheating and view academic dishonesty as a serious problem that needs to be addressed. In order to effectively combat cheating, it is necessary to understand how it is done, who does it, its forms, and why it is done.
This study attempts to broaden the understanding of academic dishonesty in two ways. First, most previous studies have focused on a narrow range of cheating behaviors. This study asked students about 20 different types of academic dishonesty. Second, this study attempted to reveal which correlates were the strongest predictors of academic dishonesty with multi-variate analysis. Correlates from past research were included in the multi-variate analysis. It is important to note that this is an atheoretical study. While no particular theory is utilized to explain academic dishonesty among college students, the results are nevertheless important. Identifying important correlates of academic dishonesty should help provide a better picture of past findings and also allow those interested in curbing cheating to focus upon important predictors of academic dishonesty.
Lambert, E. G., Hogan, N. L., & Barton, S. M. (2003). Collegiate Academic Dishonesty Revisited: What Have They Done, How Often Have They Done It, Who Does It, And Why Did They Do It? Electronic Journal of Sociology.
Link to article: http://www.sociology.org/content/vol7.4/lambert_etal.html
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