Evaluating the Motivation of Other Students to Cheat: A Vignette Experiment
- Cite this article as:
- Rettinger, D.A., Jordan, A.E. & Peschiera, F. Research in Higher Education (2004) 45: 873. doi:10.1007/s11162-004-5952-0
This study uses students' evaluations of a hypothetical situation to assess their beliefs about other students' decisions to cheat on an exam. Participants read a vignette describing an examination in which the protagonist has the opportunity to cheat. The description of the vignette's protagonist was manipulated with respect to his perceived competence in the course and the source (intrinsic or extrinsic) of his motivation. In addition, students rated their own likelihood of cheating in the hypothetical situation. Their self-reported motivation and actual cheating behavior were assessed as well. Vignette results indicate main effects for both competence and motivation, with high competence and intrinsic motivation leading to lower expected rates of cheating. A three-way interaction among the participants' gender, motivation and competence is also evident. As these results are consistent with available theory, support is provided for both the theory and the experimental method.