Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Relationships among Students' Achievement Goals, Willingness to Report Academic Dishonesty, and Engaging in Academic Dishonesty

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Relationships among Students' Achievement Goals, Willingness to Report Academic Dishonesty, and Engaging in Academic Dishonesty

Article excerpt

Academic dishonesty (AD) has long been considered an important research topic (Anderson, 1998; Whitley & Keith-Spiegel, 2001). In empirical studies scholars have examined the effect of external factors (e.g., pressure from teachers), internal factors (e.g., personality traits, self-efficacy), and contextual factors (e.g., peer atmosphere, school policies) on AD and have reported specific variables as potentially important predictors of AD. For example, some researchers have provided evidence supporting an association between achievement goals (AG) and AD. Stephens, Romakin, and Yukhymenko (2010) found significant differences in motivation, beliefs, and behaviors related to AD between students in the Ukraine and students in the United States. Although these students had similar levels of academic task valuation and orientation toward mastery, US students reported being more oriented toward performance goals than did their Ukrainian counterparts. In addition, US students reported more severe judgments regarding the inappropriateness of AD, and lower levels of engagement in AD than did Ukrainian students.

Rettinger, Jordan, and Peschiera (2004) examined the responses of US college students to a hypothetical situation to assess their beliefs concerning other students' decisions to cheat on an examination, self-reported motivation for cheating, and actual cheating behavior. These authors found that students who perceived others as having higher extrinsic motivation than themselves were inclined to believe that others would cheat for academic gain, and students who acknowledged their own extrinsic motivation also admitted the likelihood that they themselves would cheat. In contrast, students with high levels of competence and intrinsic motivation reported low rates of cheating. Yang, Huang, and Chen (2013) investigated Taiwanese students' AD, and found that three academic dishonesty motivations (ADM; opportunism, inadequacy, and self-promotion) and one specific AG (mastery approach) are predictors of AD. However, they did not find evidence linking performance orientation and AD. Whether or not culture comes into play requires further study.

As AD has been hypothesized as a multidimensional construct, and the most frequently used measure of AD operationalizes the construct as such (Akbulut et al., 2008; Yang, 2012; Yang et al., 2013), researchers have mainly focused on these variables individually, with little emphasis on multivariate correlations among variables. Given that the impact of AD-related factors may be more complex than expected, with a combination of relationships among factors, it is necessary to explore the multivariate relationships among these variables. Therefore, in this study we extended the study of Yang et al. (2013) to validate the multidimensional relationships among AG, willingness to report peers' AD (WRAD), and ADM by using canonical correlation analysis (CCA). In particular, we hypothesized that AG and WRAD together would be significant predictors of ADM, and further, that AG, WRAD, and ADM, together, would have explanatory power for AD.


Participants and Procedure

The participants in this study were students of schools of management, science/engineering, and humanities at national universities in southern Taiwan. Contact was made with teachers in selected schools to request their assistance in distributing the questionnaires. Due to the sensitive nature of the survey, the instructors clarified the academic purpose of the current study and reassured the respondents of the voluntary, anonymous, and confidential nature of the study.

During a regular class period approximately one month after the beginning of the summer semester, three graduate students distributed 463 surveys, of which 32 were returned incomplete. Thus, 431 usable questionnaires were collected, resulting in an effective response rate of 93.09%. The average age of respondents was 21.24 years (range = 19-24). …

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