Research on Cheating Perception

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UniSZA student’s perception about cheating in examination
Cheating has always been a problem in academic settings, and with advances in technology such as cell phones, and more pressure for students to score well so that they get into top rated universities, cheating has become an epidemic. At the same time, it has been argued, the moral fiber of society as a whole has started to look less down upon cheating than it did before. A great deal of research has been conducted to study and analyze the growing concern of cheating at the undergraduate level. Over the years, cheating has been considered to be pervasive, irrespective of the fact that academic integrity is one of the most important values of higher education. Cheating takes many forms from simply copying another student’s paper to stealing an exam paper to forging an official university transcript. Cheating has become a disturbing phenomenon for many undergraduate universities around the world. Cheating unfortunately has become a very ordinary part of the lives of many students.

Academic dishonesty is a growing problem and concern for higher education. Studies have indicated between 40% and 60% of students admit cheating to on at least one exam (Jendrek, 1989; Davis, Grover, Becker, & McGregor, 1992 as cited in Davis & Ludvigson, 1995). "Cheating is a term typically used to refer to a wide variety of behaviors considered to be unethical" (Barnett & Dalton, 1981, p. 547-548). Academic dishonesty includes many forms of cheating from copying off another person’s test to plagiarizing information in a term paper. Several reasons have been found for academic dishonesty in the college classroom. "A diminishing sense of academic integrity" is one reason for academic dishonesty (Davis et al., 1992). Today, education is not valued for knowledge. It’s valued as the ticket to get a good job. As reported by Newstead, Franklyn-Stokes, and Armstead (1996), behavior that involves high striving for achievement correlates positively with observed and reported cheating. It has also been found that those who study to learn are less likely to cheat than those who study to get good grades (Weiss et al., as cited by Newstead et al., 1996). Much research shows a negative correlation between intelligence and cheating (Barnett & Dalton, 1981). This could be because of a relationship between intelligence and moral development. Individuals with a higher level of moral development are less likely to cheat because that sort of behavior is morally wrong. William Kibler (1993) who studied moral development went so far as to develop a program that could provide a way for campuses to evaluate academic integrity. According to a study by Lynch and Clark (1985), there is evidence that self-esteem is an important determinant of achievement. A student with high self-esteem is likely to see their ability and performance as higher than a student with low self-esteem. In this case, it would seem that the student with higher self-esteem would be less likely to cheat. However, research has shown because of their need for social approval, the student with high self-esteem is actually more likely to cheat than a student with low self-esteem (Jacobson, Berger, & Millham, 1970). Social approval whether it be from parents, faculty, or friends, is a factor in cheating. Crowne and Marlow (1964) found college students with a high need for approval cheated more often because they are concerned about negative evaluations if they do not succeed (as cited by Jacobson et al., 1970). These findings are similar to a reported Bowers (1964) study where a relationship was found between cheating and both peer group attitudes and the "college climate" for...
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