Who cheats at university?   
The contribution of demographic, situational and psychological factors to dishonest academic behaviours


Helen Marsden
Marie Carroll
James T. Neill

Australian Journal of Psychology, 57, 1-10, 2005


The present study investigated the dishonest academic behaviours of Australian university students (N = 954) and their relationships with demographic factors, academic policy information provided to students, academic self-efficacy, and academic orientation.  It was hypothesised that higher levels of dishonesty would be associated with low learning-orientation, high grade-orientation, low academic self-efficacy and non-receipt of information about the rules of cheating and plagiarism.  Descriptive analyses revealed high levels of self-reported academic dishonesty for cheating, falsification and plagiarism.  Regression analyses revealed demographic variables, academic orientation and academic self-efficacy to have differential predictive value for the three types of dishonesty, underlining the argument that it is misleading to measure academic dishonesty as a unidimensional construct.  The results are discussed in terms of implications for strategic interventions and academic policy formulation.

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