Student Cheating: A Dramaturgical Analysis of Identity, Deception, and Self-deception

  • Susan A. StearnsEmail author


This study offers a dramaturgical analysis of college students’ cheating behavior. All students who participated in the study claimed to have never cheated in college, yet many of their responses describe their own cheating behaviors. Three socially constructed identities emerged from their deceptive performances: the entertainer, the confessor, and the justifier. Each social identity offers an opportunity for understanding various forms of deception within instructional contexts. Further analysis offers insight regarding how deception is designed for particular audiences and addresses the topic of self-deception.


Deception Self-deception Dramaturgy Accounts Cheating Academic dishonesty Erving Goffman 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eastern Washington UniversityCheneyUSA

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