Research in Higher Education

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 359–364 | Cite as

An empirical investigation of actual cheating in a large sample of undergraduates

  • Marvin Karlins
  • Charles Michaels
  • Susan Podlogar


Cheating behavior of university students enrolled in an upper-division mass-lecture business course was investigated in a two-semester study. It was found that slightly over 3% of the students plagerized/copied a library research assignment. The findings indicate the need for more empirical studies of what studentsdo—as opposed to what theysay they do—when it comes to academic dishonesty in undergraduate education. Such an approach holds the greatest promise for pinpointing just how widespread cheating really is in the lecture halls and classrooms of academe.


Empirical Study Education Research Empirical Investigation Great Promise Undergraduate Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baird, J. (1980). Current trends in college cheating.Psychology in the Schools 17: 515–522.Google Scholar
  2. Bowers, W. J. (1964).Student Dishonesty and Its Control in College. New York: Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  3. Drake, C. A. (1941). Why students cheat.Journal of Higher Education 12: 418–420.Google Scholar
  4. Fass, R. A. (1986). By honor bound: Encouraging academic honesty.Educational Record 67: 32–35.Google Scholar
  5. Haines, V., Diekhoff, G., LaBeff, E., and Clark, R. (1986). College cheating: Immaturity, lack of commitment, and the neutralizing attitude.Research in Higher Education 25: 342–354.Google Scholar
  6. Hetherington, E., and Feldman, S. (1964). College cheating as a function of subject and situational variables.Journal of Educational Psychology 55: 212–218.Google Scholar
  7. Karlins, M., and Hargis, E. (1988). Inaccurate self-perception as a limiting factor in managerial effectiveness.Perceptual and Motor Skills 66:665–666.Google Scholar
  8. Kurre, J., and Tauber, R. (1987). An alternative to multiple exam versions for deterring cheating.Journal of Education for Business 62: 297–299.Google Scholar
  9. Liska, A. (1978). Deviant involvement, associations, and attitudes: Specifying the underlying causal structures.Sociology and Social Research 63: 73–88.Google Scholar
  10. Ludeman, R. (1988). A survey of academic integrity practices in U.S. higher education.Journal of College Student Development 29: 172–173.Google Scholar
  11. Miller, G. (1988). Curbing student dishonesty.The Education Digest 53: 42–45.Google Scholar
  12. Nelson, T., and Schaeffer, N. (1986). Cheating among college students estimated with the randomized-response technique.College Student Journal 20: 321–325.Google Scholar
  13. Raffetto, W. (1985). The cheat.Community Technical and Junior College Journal 56: 26–27.Google Scholar
  14. Scheers, N., and Dayton, C. M. (1987). Improved estimation of academic cheating behavior using the randomized response technique.Research in Higher Education 26: 61–69.Google Scholar
  15. Singhal, A. (1982). Factors in student dishonesty.Psychological Reports 51: 775–780.Google Scholar
  16. Stannard, C., and Bowers, W. (1970). The college fraternity as an opportunity structure for meeting academic demands.Social Problems 17: 371–390.Google Scholar
  17. Stevens, G., and Stevens, F. (1987). Ethical inclinations of tomorrow's managers revisited: How and why students cheat.Journal of Education for Business 63: 24–29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin Karlins
    • 1
  • Charles Michaels
    • 1
  • Susan Podlogar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementUniversity of South FloridaTampa

Personalised recommendations