Research Publication Title

How Motivation Mediates the Relationship Between Intellectualism and Cheating

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Whitney L. Heppner

Abstract

Shaffer (1981) admonished society for anti-intellectualistic attitudes: the lack of respect for critical thinking beyond rote memorization of facts. The current study proposes anti-intellectualism is a predictor of the likelihood of academic cheating, after Chapman et al. (2004) called for exploration of the most important and yet hardly researched of variables determinant of cheating: psychological variables. Additionally, Elias (2008) called for attention to variables related to anti-intellectualism after finding that students who score higher in anti-intellectualism are more likely to view cheating as least unethical. No research has yet attempted to find what mediates this relationship between anti-intellectualism and cheating. We hypothesize that motivation is the key connection between anti-intellectualistic attitudes and academic dishonesty, i.e. those highly intrinsically motivated to learn will value learning itself rather than external rewards and therefore will be less likely to cheat. Additionally, multiple studies have found highest rates of cheating in business students, and the membership in such fields is so pervasive it supersedes the established gender gap in reports of cheating (i.e., males cheat more often; McCabe, Trevino, & Butterfield, 2001). Attention must be paid to such students, as those who are dishonest in college classes tend to be dishonest in the workplace (Nonis & Swift, 2001). Participants will complete a set of self-report questionnaires, including demographics and several personality measures. They will also self-report frequency of unethical academic behaviors. We anticipate that business students will have the highest rates of anti-intellectualism, and thusly cheating, due to low levels of intrinsic motivation.

Start Date

10-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

10-4-2015 3:30 PM

Location

HSB 201

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How Motivation Mediates the Relationship Between Intellectualism and Cheating

HSB 201

Shaffer (1981) admonished society for anti-intellectualistic attitudes: the lack of respect for critical thinking beyond rote memorization of facts. The current study proposes anti-intellectualism is a predictor of the likelihood of academic cheating, after Chapman et al. (2004) called for exploration of the most important and yet hardly researched of variables determinant of cheating: psychological variables. Additionally, Elias (2008) called for attention to variables related to anti-intellectualism after finding that students who score higher in anti-intellectualism are more likely to view cheating as least unethical. No research has yet attempted to find what mediates this relationship between anti-intellectualism and cheating. We hypothesize that motivation is the key connection between anti-intellectualistic attitudes and academic dishonesty, i.e. those highly intrinsically motivated to learn will value learning itself rather than external rewards and therefore will be less likely to cheat. Additionally, multiple studies have found highest rates of cheating in business students, and the membership in such fields is so pervasive it supersedes the established gender gap in reports of cheating (i.e., males cheat more often; McCabe, Trevino, & Butterfield, 2001). Attention must be paid to such students, as those who are dishonest in college classes tend to be dishonest in the workplace (Nonis & Swift, 2001). Participants will complete a set of self-report questionnaires, including demographics and several personality measures. They will also self-report frequency of unethical academic behaviors. We anticipate that business students will have the highest rates of anti-intellectualism, and thusly cheating, due to low levels of intrinsic motivation.