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Achievement Motivation and Academic Dishonesty: A Meta-Analytic Investigation

Abstract

Academic dishonesty is a rampant and troubling phenomenon in the educational sector. Although demographic factors have been linked with students’ academic dishonesty in the literature, many of these aspects are difficult to change. However, students’ motivation, a known malleable factor, may allow for opportunities to shape students’ beliefs, goals, and values, which can, in turn, mitigate academic dishonesty. In light of the growing literature on this topic, a research synthesis is needed to clarify discrepant findings and identify salient motivation factors associated with academic dishonesty. Thus, we examined relations between academic dishonesty and motivation as informed by achievement motivation frameworks. From 79 studies, meta-analytic results indicated that academic dishonesty was negatively associated with classroom mastery goal structure, individual mastery approach goals, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, utility value, and internal locus of control. Academic dishonesty was positively linked with amotivation and extrinsic goal orientation. Students’ age was a significant moderator for the relation between intrinsic motivation and academic dishonesty. Implications from meta-analytic findings are drawn with regard to theory and practice.

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Acknowledgments

Part of this work was from Megan Krou’s doctoral dissertation, and the authors would like to thank the committee members: Jodi Holschuh, Taylor Acee, and Hongwei Yu. Also, we would like to extend a special thank you to the study authors who responded to queries and provided data upon request.

Funding

This project has been funded through a Doctoral Research Support Fellowship from the Graduate College at Texas State University.

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Megan Krou and Carlton Fong shared equal first authorship as they jointly contributed to the study conception and design. Data collection and data analysis was conducted by Megan Krou. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Megan Krou, and all authors comments on previous versions of the manuscript. During the revision phase, Carlton Fong contributed valuable expertise necessary for the completion of the revisions. Carlton Fong critically revised the work to address major concerns as the project expanded beyond its original scope. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Carlton J. Fong.

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Parts of this paper were presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

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Table 5 Selection model results

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Krou, M.R., Fong, C.J. & Hoff, M.A. Achievement Motivation and Academic Dishonesty: A Meta-Analytic Investigation. Educ Psychol Rev 33, 427–458 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-020-09557-7

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Keywords

  • Academic dishonesty
  • Achievement motivation
  • Cheating
  • Meta-analysis