The Relationship between Overt Verbal Attitude Responses toward Cheating Behavior, Achievement Needs, and Cheating on Test Items
Alvernaz Mulcahy, Gloria Lorraine
Lawson, John R.
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between overt verbal attitude responses of college students toward cheating behavior, achievement needs, and cheating behavior on test items. A further purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between grades and/or the number of errors made on an exam and cheating or non-cheating behavior. Procedure: The sample was comprised of sixty-six subjects-thirty- three cheaters and thirty-three non-cheaters. A stratified random sample was drawn from 184 students in six sections of Education 110 classes at the University of Maryland. The cheaters were matched with a group of noncheaters by sex and class. The data was obtained in three separate experimental sessions. During the first session a 35 item multiple-response attitude measure was administered to the subjects during the usual class period. Attitude toward cheating in a college setting was assessed utilizing an instrument developed by the writer in a pilot study. The second experimental session occurred one week after the presentation of the attitude measure. The McClelland n Achievement measure was administered using a set of four TAT-type pictures used to elicit imaginative stories which could be scored for the presence or absence of achievement related imagery. The third experimental session occurred two weeks after the administration of the n Achievement measure. During the third session the professor was absent from class by prior arrangement. The writer presented a twenty minute taped lecture which focused upon elementary statistical concepts. Immediately following the taped lecture the subjects were administered a 30 item multiple-response test. Subjects were provided with an opportunity to exhibit cheating behavior in a classroom setting while correcting their own examination papers after a copy of their original responses was surreptitiously recorded. Findings: 1. There were no differences in verbal attitude responses toward cheating behavior between subjects who exhibited cheating behavior and those who did not. 2. There were no differences in achievement needs between subjects who exhibited cheating behavior and those who did not. 3. There were differences in the number of errors made by subjects who exhibited cheating behavior and those who did not. 4. There were no differences in grades between subjects who exhibited cheating behavior and those who did not. 5. There were no differences in cheating and noncheating behavior between subjects who scored high and low on a verbal (written) measure of attitudes toward cheating. 16. There were no differences in cheating and noncheating behavior bet ween subjects with high and low need achievement scores.