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Cultural Differences in Academic Dishonesty: A Social Learning Perspective

Abstract

In this study, we examined the role of social learning theory in explaining academic dishonesty among 673 college students in the United States, France, and Greece. We found support for social learning theory such that perceived peer dishonesty was incrementally valid as a predictor of self-reported academic dishonesty across three countries beyond personal factor of conscientiousness and demographic factor of age. Contrary to expectation, perceived penalty for academic cheating received support in the U.S. sample only. Justification for academic dishonesty contributed incremental variance after controlling for other factors including age, conscientiousness, perceived penalty for cheating and peer dishonesty across three countries. In addition, cultural differences accounted for almost 50% of the explained variance in academic dishonesty with French students reportedly engaged in significantly more academic cheating behavior than Greek and U.S. students. Discussion and implications for business ethics teaching and research were discussed.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Note that it is chronological age, not academic standing (e.g., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, undergraduate vs. graduate) that predicts academic cheating because more senior, higher level students engaged in about the same frequency of academic dishonesty as lower level ones (Whitley 1998).

  2. Non-significant t-test results were obtained in demographic variables between students who provided complete data and those with missing data for the French and Greek samples.

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Hendy, N.T., Montargot, N. & Papadimitriou, A. Cultural Differences in Academic Dishonesty: A Social Learning Perspective. J Acad Ethics 19, 49–70 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-021-09391-8

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Keywords

  • Academic dishonesty
  • France
  • Greece
  • U.S.
  • Ethics education
  • Cultural differences