To cheat or not to cheat: effects of moral perspective and situational variables on students' attitudes

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One hundred and ninety-six Israeli middle-school students participated in a study that explored the effects of moral orientation (moral versus conventional)and of three situational variables on attitudes toward two types of cheating in school exams--copying from others ('active')and letting others copy ('passive'). Several vignettes that were comprised of different combinations of the three situational variables--exam importance, supervision level and peers' norms--were used as the main instrument. It was found that a-morally oriented students approved significantly more of cheating than morally oriented students. Importance of exam had marginally significant effects on active copying. Level of supervision during exam and classmates' norms had significant effects on both active and passive cheating attitudes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University College Dublin Ireland

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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