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1 Academic Dishonesty: Honor Codes and Other Contextual Influences Author(s): Donald L. McCabe and Linda Klebe Trevino Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 64, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1993), pp Published by: Ohio State University Press Stable URL: Accessed: 14/03/ :18 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact Ohio State University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Higher Education.

2 Academic Dishonesty Donald L. McCabe Linda Klebe Trevino Honor Codes and Other Contextual Influences Research and media reports have established the continued pervasiveness of academic dishonesty among students on America's college campuses [12, 13, 22, 25, 26, 33, 46]. While some colleges have responded with academic integrity classes and increased efforts to convince reluctant faculty members to report student cheaters [13], there is a renewed interest the concept of "community" as an effective foundation for campus governance. For example, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching'special report, Campus Life: In Search of Community, concludes, "What is needed, we believe, is a larger, more integrative vision of community in higher education. a place where individuals accept their obligations to the group and where well-defined governance procedures guide behavior for the common good" [10, p. 7]. Derek Bok, in Universities and the Future of America, echoes this theme: [U]niversities need to consider the larger campus environment beyond the classroom. An obvioustep in this direction is to have rules that prohibit lying, cheating, stealing, violent behavior, interference with freexpression, or other acts that break fundamental norms. Such rules not only protect the The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Rutgers Graduate School of Management Research Resources Committee, Exxon Research and Engineering Company, and First Fidelity Bancorporation. Donald L. McCabe is associate professor at the Graduate School of Management, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Newark, and Linda Klebe Trevino is associate professor at the Smeal College of Business Administration, The Pennsylvania State University-University Park. Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 64, No. 5 (September/October 1993) Copyright by the Ohio State University Press

3 Academic Dishonesty 523 rights of everyone in the community; they also signal the importance of basic moral obligations and strengthen habits of ethical behavior [5, pp ]. Bok offers the honor code as perhaps the most effective approach in matters of academic integrity, but acknowledges that, "the pervasive competition for grades; the size, diversity, and impersonal nature of many large universities; their lack of any honor code tradition; and the widespread distaste for accusing one's classmates" combine to work against such an approach [5, p. 87]. Although the honor code tradition dates back over a century, the viability of such codes on today's campuses is open to some question [12]. Small, relatively homogeneous campuses have generally given way to large, culturally diverse institutions which lack any apparent sense of community or common purpose among students other than getting a credential and a job. Despite the fundamental nature of this question, there is a surprising paucity of empirical research which addresses the effectiveness of honor codes. The study discussed here attempts to help fill this gap by comparing academic dishonesty in colleges that have honor codes and those that do not. The few studies that have addressed the effectiveness of honor codes [7, 9] have generally considered code effectiveness independent of context. We believe that it is importanto acknowledge and understand the complexity of the social systems within which honor codes are embedded and the fact that other contextual factors may be as important or more importanthan the existence of an honor code by itself. Thus this study extends beyond previous work by studying the effectiveness of honor codes within a more complex social context. Honor Codes in Context Academic Dishonesty Depending on one's definition of academic dishonesty, the data collection methods employed, and other variables, prior studies repor that anywhere from 13 to 95 percent of college students engage in some form of academic dishonesty [12, 17, 20, 21, 26,30,31, 42]. A major dichotomy that separates these prior studies is the level of analysis. One stream of researc has focused on individual differences thoughto be predictive of cheating behavior, such as gender [45], grade point average [1, 22], work ethic [15], Type A behavior, competitive achievement-striving [35], and self-esteem [44]. In contrast, other studies have concentrated on the institutional level of analysis and examined such contextual factors as honor codes [7, 8, 9], faculty responses to cheating [26], sanction threats [33, 42], and social learning [33].

4 524 Journal of Higher Education Although the "individual differences" approach helps to understand individuals' predispositions to cheat, the findings are not particularly useful to the university administrator searching for effective institutional responses to issues of academic dishonesty. By investigating contextual factors that may be associated with academic dishonesty and that are open to administrative influence, the study discussed here makes an important contribution to our understanding of this complex issue. In addition to addressing the important question of honor code effectiveness, it examines the role of a number of related contextual factors, including the degree to which academic integrity policies are understood and accepted, the enforcement of these policies, and the perceived behavior of peers. Among previoustudies that have investigated contextual factors, we are aware of only one [6], conducted thirtyears ago, that reaches beyond a single classroom or university and considers the effectiveness of honor codes along with other contextual variables. Thus this study, which investigates the relative influence of multiple contextual factors across students at thirty-one institutions of higher learning, makes an important contribution to the extant literature. The Influence of Honor Codes on Academic Dishonesty Although still in a significant minority, honor codes can be found in an increasing number of institutions of higher education [18, 41]. Sheldon Steinbach, general counsel of the American Council on Education, was recently quoted as saying, "Honor codes look like they are in a state of revival on America's college campuses" [41]. This renewed interest in honor codes implies the belief that codes can influence academic dishonesty, and the limited empirical research available supports this belief. For example, Campbell [8] compared cheating among students under an honor system and a proctor system at the same university and found the students under the honor system were less likely to cheat. Canning [9] conducted an experiment in five sociology classes before and after an honor system was established. Students were provided the opportunity to cheat by grading their own papers, without knowing that duplicates had been previously made and graded by the instructor. The incidence of cheating was reduced after an honor system was implemented and was reduced by nearly two-thirds after having the honor system in place for five years. A survey of medical students [7] governed by an honor code at the University of Alabama School of Medicine measured student perceptions of and adherence to the code. Ninety-two percent of the respondents reported that they had not observed any code violations, suggesting code effectiveness. However, the lack of a non-code comparison group makes it impossible to attribute the low level of academic dishon-

5 Academic Dishonesty 525 esty to the code in this study. One study, conducted in 1964, directly compared academic dishonesty at code and non-code schools [6]. This study found that schools with traditional honor systems - those where students pledge to abide by an honor code and take responsibility for detection and sanctioning of academic dishonesty when it occurs - had the lowest rate of academic dishonesty. In general, previous researc has done little to develop the theoretical underpinnings of the proposed inverse relationship between honor codes and academic dishonesty and to explain why students are expected to cheat less when governed by an honor code system. At least several plausible explanations are possible. First, in most honor systems, students pledge to abide by a code that clarifies expectations regarding appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Thus, wrongdoing is more clearly defined under honor code systems. When the definition of wrongdoing is made clear, it becomes more difficult for potential cheaters to rationalize and justify cheating behavior, and the incidence of cheating may be lower as a result. Second, honor code systemshifthe responsibility for control of academic dishonesty from faculty and administrators to students [6]. In most systems, students are given responsibility for the detection of violators and for the judicial aspects of the system, such as determininguilt and assigning penalties [6, 32]. Research by Schwartz [38] suggests that individuals must ascribe responsibility to the self if moral norms are to be activated and to influence behavior. Therefore, cheating may be lower under honor systems because students take responsibility for academic dishonesty. Finally, students governed by an honor system are frequently given privileges such as unproctored exams. It is likely that they would be willing to comply with an honor system to preserve such valued privileges. Thus, cheating may be lower under honor code systems because students wish to protecthe privileges the system provides. Hypothesis 1: Honor codes are associated with decreased academic dishonesty. Because codes vary extensively in their content and implementation, other contextual factors may influence academic dishonesty beyond the mere existence of a code. For example, the honor code may be administered by faculty, by administrators, by student honor committees, or by some combination of these groups. At some universities, students either sign a general pledge not to cheat or are required to sign a specific pledge of honor on individual tests and major written assignments. At other institutions, such as Princeton, Smith, Bryn Mawr, and Rice, if students observe an honor code violation, they are held responsible for reporting

6 526 Journal of Higher Education it [4]. Some honor codes, such as the one at the University of Virginia, are also tied to severe sanction systems requiring expulsion for any serious violation [41]. At the other extreme, an institution may have an honor code that is detailed in the student handbook but is relatively unknown to students and faculty because it is not a living component of the institutional culture. Also, it is possible for institutions of higher education to create a strong climate supportive of academic integrity without actually having an explicit code. Given the complexity of social systems and the variations among honor codes, it is relevanto ask the question, how important are honor codes relative to other contextual factors? This study provides an opportunity to examine the independent contributions of a number of such contextual variables and their relative contributions in a multivariate context. Other Contextual Influences on Academic Dishonesty Understanding and acceptance of academic integrity policies. Academic integrity policies can differ significantly in their content and in the manner in which they are communicated. As a result, important differences are likely to be found in the understanding and acceptance of these policies on different campuses. For example, although it may be unlikely that students and faculty would not know of the existence of a formal code, its specific provisions may be poorly communicated and understood. Thus, students and faculty will be less likely to adhere to policies that they either do not know about or do not understand. Further, research demonstrates that faculty members may be reluctant to follow institutional policies when they observe a student cheating, preferring to settle the matter "one-on-one" with the student [4, 26, 34]. Finally, students may view academic integrity policies as "just another hurdle to be overcome on the road to a career" [18, p. 33]. Thus, combined faculty and student understanding and support of the institution's academic integrity policies may be more importanthan the simple existence or nonexistence of an honor code. Hypothesis 2: Academic dishonesty will be inversely related to understanding and acceptance of academic integrity policies. Enforcement of ethical guidelines. Whether or not an explicit honor code exists, academic dishonesty may depend upon the sanction system, particularly how effectively academic integrity rules and guidelines are enforced. Deterrence theory suggests that for misconducto be inhibited, wrongdoers must perceive, first, that they will be caught and, second, that severe penalties will be imposed for the misconduct [19]. The under-

7 Academic Dishonesty 527 lying cognitive mechanism is the expectation of punishment and the notion that individuals will behave in ways that maximize rewards and minimize costs. Tittle and Rowe [42] found that the threat of being caught and punished significantly deterred test cheating among college students. More recently, Michaels and Miethe [33] found that the perceived probability of punishment and the perceived severity of punishment were inversely correlated with cheating in an honor code setting. Because academic dishonesty can often be concealed from faculty members, students' perceptions about the certainty of being caught may depend upon the likelihood that another student would report the misconduct. Such peer reporting of academic dishonesty part of the explicit honor code at many educational institutions where "nontoleration clauses" often oblige and occasionally require students to report violations [18]. Hypothesis 3: Academic dishonesty will be inversely related to the perceived certainty of being reported by a peer. Deterrence theory also suggests that, all else being equal, an increase in the severity of consequences for a deviant act should reduce the number of individuals willing to risk it [47]. If the penalty is severe enough, the potential consequences may simply outweigh the potential reward of the misconduct. Not surprisingly, prior research indicates that this logic applies to student perceptions concerning the severity of penalties for acts of academic dishonesty [33]. Hypothesis 4: Academic dishonesty will be inversely related to the perceived severity of penalties. Behavior of peers. Academic dishonesty may also be influenced by students' perceptions of their peers' behavior. This proposed relationship is supported by social learning theory [2] and the notion that unethical behavior is learned through the influence of example [37] or through the acceptance and reinforcement of cheating in peer groups. For example, studies of academic cheating have found fraternity/ sorority membership increases cheating behavior [1, 21, 39]. Although frequently explained in terms of opportunity structures [21, 39], these findings may also be explained in terms of social learning theory and differential association theory. Social learning theory [2] emphasizes that much of human behavior is learned through the influence of example. Individuals learn by observing other people's behavior and its consequences for them. Thus, according to social learning theory, seeing referent others cheat successfully

8 528 Journal of Higher Education should increase the tendency of the observer to behave in similar ways [2]. Hypothesis 5: Academic dishonesty will be positively related to perceptions of peers' academic dishonesty. Beyond these hypothesized bivariate relationships, administrators dealing with academic dishonesty issues need to understand the relative influences of the independent variables (existence of an explicit honor code, understanding and acceptance of academic integrity policies, certainty of being reported, severity of penalties, and peers' behavior) on academic dishonesty. Thus, an important contribution of this study is the opportunity provides to explore the relative influences of these contextual variables. Research Procedures Sample The hypotheses were tested using a sample of 6,096 students from thirty-one U.S. colleges and universities. Initial sample selection focused on thirty-three institutions that had participated in a conference on honor systems held at Princeton University in 1988, and fourteen institutions with honor codes ultimately indicated a willingness to participate. These institutions were generally small and highly selective in their admissions policies, and we identified non-honor code institutions with similar profiles. Seventeen of the thirty-eight non-code schools contacted also agreed to participate. The institutional characteristics of these code and non-code schools sugges that the two groups are comparable with regard to both size (mean number of students = 3441 for non-code and 3407 for code institutions) and academic selectivity (mean SAT score = 1236 for non-code and 1249 for code institutions). The only substantive difference is the inclusion of five all-female institutions the code school sample versus none among the non-code schools. However, all of the analyses discussed below were replicated on the reduced sample of twenty-six coeducational institutions, and no substantive differences were found between the two sets of analyses. Data Collection At twenty-eight of the thirty-one institutions, surveys were mailed to a random sample of 500 students in the fall of Three schools asked to include their entire senior class in the survey. Thus, 15,904 surveys were mailed in total. Respondents were asked to complete the survey anonymously and return it by mail or to special collection boxes set up

9 Academic Dishonesty 529 at a central campus location. A total of 6,096 surveys were returned for an overall response rate of 38.3 percent. The return rate at honor code schools (41.4 percent) was significantly higher than at non-code schools (35.7 percent). Eighty-eight percent of respondents were seniors, 9 percent were juniors, and the remaining 3 percent could not be classified. The profiles of respondents gender, ethnicity, and mix of majors were compared with their respective institutional profiles (based upon published figures and additional data provided by our institutional contacts). With a single exception, these comparisonsuggested that the profiles of respondents closely matched their respective institutional profiles, lessening concerns about potential non-respondent bias in the sample. However, there is evidence of some gender bias. Based on available demographic profiles for each school, we would have expected a female/ male ratio of 55/45 among respondents. However, females returned surveys at a significantly higherate, for the actual female/male ratio among respondents was 62/38. The primary effect of this bias toward honor code institutions and women is to understate the actual level of cheating in the overall sample, because the results indicate that cheating is less prevalent in each of these groups. However, separate analyses for the code versus non-code and the female versus male segments of the sample suggesthat these biases do not materially affecthe nature of the relationships discussed here. Measures Academic dishonesty. The dependent variable was a composite measure consisting of twelve types of self-reported academic dishonesty: using crib notes on a test; copying from another student during a test; using unfair methods to learn what was on a test before it was given; copying from another student during a test withou their knowledge; helping someon else to cheat on a test; cheating on a test in any other way; copying material and turning it in as your own work; fabricating or falsifying a bibliography; turning work done by someon else; receiving substantial, unpermitted help on an assignment; collaborating on an assignment when the instructor asked for individual work; copying a few sentences of material from a published source without footnoting it. Respondents were asked to identify the frequency with which they had engaged in each of these behaviors on a four-point Likert scale (from never = 1 to many times = 4). A composite measure was constructed by calculating the total number of self-reported violations, and this measure had a scale Cronbach's alpha of (All relationships were also evaluated using the test and non-test cheating components of this measure as separate

10 530 Journal of Higher Education dependent variables. No substantive differences were found between these analyses and the more general results discussed here.) The composite academic dishonesty measure could range from 12 to 48 for any individual, with 12 representing no self-reported academic dishonesty of any kind and 48 representing frequent academic dishonesty across all of the categories described. The scores for this variable ranged from 12 to 45 with an overall mean of and a standard deviation of However, the academic dishonesty variable was highly skewed, and inspection of the residuals in subsequent regression analyses suggested that the standard assumptions of normality were violated. Thus a log transformation [11] of the academic dishonesty variable was used in all statistical analyses. (The residuals in the regression analyses employing this log transformation are normally distributed.) This transformed measure of academic dishonesty had a mean of 2.70 and a standard deviation of Explicit honor code. A dummy variable was utilized to signify whether an individual institution employed an explicit honor code. The work of Melendez [32] was used to define the minimum code criteria: unproctored examinations, an honor pledge, student reportage (non-toleration), and the existence of a court or peer judiciary. Administrators participating institutions provided the data needed to make the determination and, in every case, they agreed with the authors' classification of their institution. Understanding/acceptance of academic integrity policy. Understanding/ acceptance of the academic integrity policy was measured with four items on the student survey. These items asked the respondento rate: "the average student's understanding of [the institution's] policies on academic honesty," "the faculty's understanding of these policies,"the faculty'support of these policies," and "the effectiveness of the institution's policies on academic honesty" on a four-point Likert scale from very low to very high. Cronbach's alpha for this scale was Certainty of being reported. Student perceptions of the certainty of being reported were measured by a single four-point Likert-scale item that asked "how likely (very unlikely to very likely) is it that the typical student at [the institution] would report such violations?" Severity of penalties. Student perceptions of the severity of their school's penalties for academic dishonesty were measured using a single four-point Likert scale item which asked respondents to rate the "severity of penalties for cheating at [their school]" from very low to very high. Peers' behavior. The measure of peer behavior employed here consisted of three items: student perceptions of how frequently (never to very often on a five-point scale) either plagiarism or test cheating oc-

11 Academic Dishonesty 531 curred at their school and an objective measure of the actual number of times (never to many times on a four-point scale) the respondent had observed another student cheating on a test or exam. Due to the differences in the underlying metrics of these variables, each of the components was standardized before combining them into the peers' behavior measure. For each component, z scores were calculated, the three z scores were combined, and a constant value of 10 was added to the sum of the z scores to create the peers' behavior variable. This measure had a mean of 9.99 and a standard deviation of Cronbach's alpha for the scale was computed to be Findings A t-test was used to compare the means of code and non-code respondents on the academic dishonesty variable. As predicted (hypothesis 1), self-reported cheating was significantly higher among students in the non-code sample than among those in the honor code sample (t = , p < ). The academic dishonesty means were 2.62 in the honor code sample and 2.77 at the non-code schools. (The means for the untransformed measure of academic dishonesty were and 16.56, respectively.) As detailed in table 1, academic dishonesty was significantly correlated with: (1) the understanding/ acceptance of academic integrity policies (hypothesis two); (2) the perceived certainty of being reported (hypothesis three); (3) the perceived severity of penalties (hypothesis four); and (4) the perceptions of peers' behavior (hypothesis five), supporting all of the hypothesized bivariate relationships. The more interesting policy question is the relative impact of each of these independent variables on cheating behavior. To examine this ques- TABLE I Intercorrelations of Study Variables Measure N M S. D. Intercorrelations Code Certainty of being caught Understanding of policy Severity of penalties Peers' behavior Academic dishonesty NOTE: All correlations are significant at p <

12 532 Journal of Higher Education tion, a multiple regression model was constructed with academic dishonesty as the dependent variable and existence of an explicit honor code (entered as a dummy variable), the understanding/acceptance of academic integrity policies, the certainty of being reported, the severity of penalties, and peers' behavior as the independent variables. The model was significant and, with the exception of the understanding/ acceptance of policy measure, all of the independent variables made statistically significant contributions to the final model. Peers' behavior had by far the strongest influence on academic dishonesty. These results are reported in table 2. Post hoc analysis. Given the importance of peers' behavior, a crucial issue may be to understand how the wider institutional context influences this variable. Although we did not hypothesize these relationships, a post-hoc multiple regression analysis of the relation between the perception of peers' behavior and other contextual factors provide some insighto guide future research and policy considerations. As shown in table 3, this analysis indicates that the understanding and acceptance of academic integrity policies has the strongest association with students' perceptions of their peers' behavior. Discussion The correlational data (table 1) supporthe hypotheses that academic dishonesty positively associated with perceptions of peers' academic dishonesty, and negatively associated with the understanding of academic integrity policies, the certainty of being reported, and the severity of penalties. Further, a t-test found significantly lower self-reported academic dishonesty among students at honor code institutions. TABLE 2 Regression of Peers' Behavior, Code, Severity of Penalties, Certainty of Being Reported, and Understanding of Policy on Academic Dishonesty Explanatory Variable b Beta p Constant Peers' behavior Code Severity of penalties Certainty of being reported Understanding of policy NOTE: N = R2 = , Adjusted R2 = , F(5,5461) = , p <

13 Academic Dishonesty 533 TABLE 3 Regression of Understanding of Policy, Code, Certainty of Being Reported, and Severity of Penalties on Peers' Behavior Explanatory Variable b Beta p Constant Understanding of policy Code Certainty of being reported Severity of penalties NOTE: N = R2 = , Adjusted R2 = , F(4,5602) = , p < The multivariate analysis found that the perception of peers' behavior was the most influential contextual variable, suggesting that social learning theory may be particularly useful for understanding academic dishonesty behavior among college students. The strong influence of peers' behavior may suggesthat academic dishonesty not only is learned from observing the behavior of peers, but that peers' behavior provides a kind of normative support for cheating. The fact that others are cheating may also suggesthat, in such a climate, the non-cheater feels left at a disadvantage. Thus, cheating may come to be viewed as an acceptable way of getting and staying ahead [18]. Consider the following comments from study respondents: "[Academic dishonesty] rampant at,... so much so that the attitude seems to be everybody does it - I'l be at a disadvantage if I don't"; "If others do it, you're being left behind by not participating"; "It's the '90's; you snooze, you lose"; "When most of the class is cheating on a difficult exam and they will ruin the curve, it influences you to cheat so your grade won't be affected." An important implication of this study for future research and for the management of academic dishonesty may be that any movemento adopt honor codes is ill conceived if it is undertaken as the sole solution to the academic dishonesty problem. Academic dishonesty a complex behavior influenced by multiple variables beyond the mere existence of an honor code. The post-hoc analysi suggested that an institution's ability to develop a shared understanding and acceptance of its academic integrity policies has a significant and substantive impact on student perceptions of their peers' behavior, the most powerful influence on self-reported cheating. Striving for mutual understanding of these policies may be extremely important. Thus, programs aimed at distributing, explaining, and gaining student and faculty acceptance of academic integrity policies may be

14 534 Journal of Higher Education particularly useful. As suggested elsewhere [33], these programs may include the signing of honor pledges, reminders about the seriousness and consequences of academic dishonesty, and statements in course syllabi about academic misconduct. Interestingly, the present research one of the lowest rates of selfreported academic dishonesty was found at a non-honor code institution. However, this institution is strongly committed to the concept of academic honor, making it a major topic of discussion in its student handbook and at orientation sessions for incoming students, where it goes to great lengths to ensure that its policy is understood and that academic honor is the obligation of every member of the campus community. At the other extreme, one of the higher incidences of unethical behavior was found at a school with a long-standing honor code. However, students reported a low level of understanding and acceptance of the school's policy and the official with primary responsibility for administering the honor code supported this finding by suggesting that the institution has diminished its efforts in communicating and implementing its code in recent years. In the final analysis, the most important question to ask concerning academic dishonesty may be how an institution can create an environment where academic dishonesty socially unacceptable, that is, where institutional expectations are clearly understood and where students perceive that their peers are adhering to these expectations. Although there are no simple answers, one alternative may be Kohlberg's [27, 28] suggestion that schools should become "just communities." Schools organized around the "just community" concept are governe democratically, and students participate in the development of a social contracthat defines norms, values, and members' rights and responsibilities. The underlying assumption is that the institutional climate created in these "just communities" will provide the conditions that are necessary for moral development and behavior [23, 36]. Although more research is needed to determine whether "just communities" can actually discourage academic dishonesty in higher education settings [24], the data reported here suggest that this concept deserves further study. In addition to the more objective support offered for this position, is instructive to look at student comments from honor code schools that seem to have achieved some shared sense of responsibility for academic dishonesty among their students. For example, in response to a question which probed motivations for not cheating, the following responses were not unusual: "I like the respect I get at [the institution] and wouldn't do anything to jeopardize that"; "Peer pressure - you would feel very em-

15 Academic Dishonesty 535 barrassed if other studentsaw it"; "as for cheating on a test, it's socially unacceptable"; "I did many of these 'academic dishonesty' things in high school - but not since arriving at [the institution] - the atmosphere is one of respect for the student - and so I have respect for the system"; "Respect for [the institution's] openness/freedom"; "Respect for others in the class - cheating may penalize them as well." One respondent pointed out, "We do not 'report' people like the Honor Board was some hit squad - confrontation a student-to-student level is much more common & always the first and usually the only step taken." We believe that Amitai Etzioni [16] would see these comments as evidence that "when a community is intact, there is little need for government of any kind." By contrast, students at schools with high levels of self-reported cheating often discuss the issue of academic dishonesty in terms of a 'we' versus 'they' mentality. Cheating by us (students) is acceptable because they (faculty and/or administrators) 'deserve' it for any number of reasons - unreasonable assignments, the poor quality of teaching, and unclear instructions major assignments were mentioned frequently by students. Of course, the conclusionstated here must be interpreted light of the methodological limitations of this study. For example, because this study relied upon cross-sectional survey data, the observed linkages between the independent variables and academic dishonesty are correlational and not necessarily causal. In addition, although we insured complete anonymity and confidentiality of the survey data, bias due to self-report and social desirability may have influenced the results. For example, it is possible that respondents at a code institution would be less willing to admit academic dishonesty on a survey. Further, given our sample, we can not generalize beyond small, selective institutions. There is some research evidence to sugges that less cheating occurs in smaller, more selective institutions [6], and it is important for researchers to either measure or control for (as was done here) these extraneous sources of variance. However, despite possible differences in absolute cheating levels, there is no theoretical reason to believe that the underlying nature of the relationships between the independent variables and the dependent variable would be different in larger, less selective institutions. Finally, given our primary interest comparing academic dishonesty in code versus non-code institutions, we believe that the large multiinstitution sample used here, that includes an approximately equal number of code and non-code schools, is a major strength of this study. The sample is particularly interesting because the smaller, more selective institutions studied here representhe undergraduate institutions of a

16 536 Journal of Higher Education disproportionate share of our nation's leaders. For example, almost one in five (18.5 percent) of Business Week's 1991 Corporate Elite (the CEOs of the nation's top 1000 firms) earned a degree [14] at one of the participating institutions. Thus, this study provides a unique opportunity to understand the academic environments that help to shape the leaders of this nation. This investigation contributes to a small but growing empiricaliterature on academic dishonesty and is one of few empirical studies to examine the role of honor codes in combination with other theoretically important contextual factors in reducing academic dishonesty. These contextual variables are particularly relevant because they are open to administrative influence. In response to the key question about honor code effectiveness, the findings suggesthat the mere existence of an honor code is not as important as other social context factors. Academic dishonesty most strongly associated with the perceptions of peers' behavior. It is influenced to a lesser degree by the existence of a code, certainty of being reported, the perceived severity of penalties and, indirectly, by the understanding and acceptance of academic integrity policies. Although additional research will be needed to understand how these factors operate and how they can be influenced, clearly the findings of this research are hopeful. Although they leave many questions unanswered, they demonstrate that the vision of the Carnegie Foundation that our campuses become places "where individuals accept their obligations to the group and where well-defined governance procedures guide behavior for the common good" [10, p. 7] may not be unrealistic. Although the task will be difficult, the success achieved by several of the schools studied in this sample, code and non-code schools alike, attest that it is possible. References 1. Baird, J. S. Current Trends in College Cheating. Psychology in the Schools, 17 (1980), Bandura, A. Social Foundations of Thought and Action. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Beltramini, R. F., R. A. Peterson, and G. Kozmetsky. "Concerns of College Students Regarding Business Ethics." Journal of Business Ethics, 3 (1984), Berger, J. "Honor Code: Rewards and Pitfalls of an Ideal." New York Times, 9 March 1988, p. B9. 5. Bok, D. Universities and the Future of America. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, Bowers, W. J. Student Dishonesty and Its Control in College. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University, 1964.

17 Academic Dishonesty Brooks, C. M., et al. "Student Attitudes toward a Medical School Honor Code." Journal of Medical Education, 56 (1981), Campbell, W. G. A Comparative Investigation of Students under an Honor System and a Proctor System in the Same University, Los Angeles: University of Southern California Press, Canning, R. "Does an Honor System Reduce Classroom Cheating? An Experimental Answer." Journal of Experimental Education, 24 (1956), Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Campus Life: In Search of Community. Princeton, N.J.: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Cohen, J., and P. Cohen. Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, Collision, M. "Survey at Rutgers Suggests that Cheating May Be on the Rise at Large Universities." Chronicle of Higher Education, 24 October 1990, pp. A31 - A "Apparent Rise in Students' Cheating Has College Officials Worried." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 January 1990, p. A "The Corporate Elite." Business Week, 25 November 1991, Eisenberger, R., and D. M. Shank. "Personal Work Ethic and Effort Training Affect Cheating." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49 (1985), Etzioni, A. "A New Community of Thinkers, Both Liberal and Conservative." The Wall Street Journal, 8 October 1991, p. A Eve, R. A., and D. G. Bromley. "Scholastic Dishonesty among College Undergraduates: Parallel Tests of Two Sociological Explanations." Youth and Society, 13 (1981), Fass, R. A. "By Honor Bound: Encouraging Academic Honesty." Educational Record, 67 (1986), Gibbs, J. P. Crime, Punishment, and Deterrence. Amsterdam: Elsevier, Haines, V. J., et al. "College Cheating: Immaturity, Lack of Commitment and the Neutralizing Attitude." Research in Higher Education, 25 (1986), Harp, J., and P. Taietz. "Academic Integrity and Social Structure: A Study of Cheating among College Students." Social Problems, 13 (1966), Hetherington, E. M., and S. E. Feldman. "College Cheating as a Function of Subject and Situational Variables." Journal of Educational Psychology, 55 (1964), Higgins, A. "Research and Measurement Issues in Moral Education Interventions." In Moral Education: A First Generation of Research and Development, edited by R. L. Mosher, pp New York: Praeger, Higgins, A., and F. Gordon. "Work Climate and Socio-Moral Development in Two Worker-owned Companies." In Moral Education: Theory and Application, edited by M. W. Berkowitz and F. Oser, pp Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, Jayna, M. R. "Ah, Fall: Class, Exams - and Cheating." APA Monitor, 22 (1991), Jendrek, M. P. "Faculty Reactions to Academic Dishonesty." Journal of College Student Development, 30 (1989), Kohlberg, L. "High School Democracy and Educating for a Just Society." In Moral

18 538 Journal of Higher Education Education: A First Generation of Research and Development, edited by R. L. Mosher, pp New York: Praeger, "The Just Community Approach to Moral Education in Theory and Practice." In Moral Education: Theory and Application, edited by M. W. Berkowitz and F. Oser, pp Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, Lane, M. S., and D. Schaupp. "Ethics in Education: A Comparative Study." Journal of Business Ethics, 8 (1989), Leming, J. S. "Cheating Behavior, Subject Variables, and Components of the Internal-External Scale Under High and Low Risk Conditions." Journal of Educational Research, 74 (1980), Liska, A. "Deviant Involvement, Associations and Attitudes: Specifying the Underlying Causal Structures." Sociology and Social Research, 63 (1978), Melendez, B. Honor Code Study. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, Michaels, J. W., and T. D. Miethe. "Applying Theories of Deviance to Academic Cheating." Social Science Quarterly, 70 (1989), Nuss, E. M. "Academic Integrity: Comparing Faculty and Student Attitudes." Improving College and University Teaching, 32 (1984), Perry, A. R., et al. "Type A Behavior, Competitive Achievement-Striving, and Cheating among College Students." Psychological Reports, 66 (1990), Power, F. C., A. Higgins, and L. Kohlberg. Lawrence Kohlberg's Approach to Moral Education. New York: Columbia University Press, Rosenhan, D. L., B. S. Moore, and B. Underwood. "The Social Psychology of Moral Behavior." In Moral Development and Behavior, edited by T. Lickona, pp New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston Schwartz, S. "Words, Deeds, and the Perceptions of Consequences and Responsibility in Action Situations." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10 (1968), Stannard, C. I., and W. J. Bowers, "The College Fraternity as an Opportunity Structure for Meeting Academic Demands." Social Problems, 17 (1970), Stevens, G. E. "Ethical Inclinations of Tomorrow's Citizens: Actions Speak Louder?" Journal of Business Education, 59 (1984), Tabor, M. B. W. "Honor Codes Get a Second Look." Christian Science Monitor, 30 January 1987, p. B Tittle, C. R., and A. R. Rowe. "Moral Appeal, Sanction Threat, and Deviance: An Experimental Test." Social Problems, 20 (1973), Tom, G., and N. Borin. "Cheating in Academe." Journal of Education for Business, 63 (1988), Ward, D. A. "Self-Esteem and Dishonest Behavior Revisited." The Journal of Social Psychology, 126 (1986), Ward, D. A., and W. L. Beck. "Gender and Dishonesty." The Journal of Social Psychology, 130 (1990), Wellborn, S. N. "Cheating in College Becomes an Epidemic." US. News & World Report, 89 (20 October 1980), Zimring, F. E., and G. J. Hawkins. Deterrence: The Legal Threat in Crime Control. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

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