Research in Higher Education

, Volume 45, Issue 8, pp 873–890

Evaluating the Motivation of Other Students to Cheat: A Vignette Experiment

  • David A. Rettinger
  • Augustus E. Jordan
  • Francisco Peschiera


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.

curriculum cheating academic integrity motivation competence sex 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Rettinger
    • 1
  • Augustus E. Jordan
    • 2
  • Francisco Peschiera
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentYeshiva UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentMiddlebury CollegeUSA

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