Poster Title

Academic Integrity: Effects of the University Pledge on Cheating and Plagiarism

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

University of Kentucky

KY House District #

75

KY Senate District #

13

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Academic Integrity: Effects of the University Pledge on Cheating and Plagiarism

Brian Patrick Bates, Robert Neeley, James Donovan & Alon Robinson,

Andrea Friedrich & Steven Arthur

Academic integrity is emphasized at a university. Students are expected to uphold academic honesty, and instructors are expected to make decisions about students’ academic conduct. However, academic dishonesty is not always clearly defined, which can lead students and instructors towards different perceptions of whether academic rules have been violated (Donovan, et al. 2016). New technologies involving social media may exacerbate these discrepancies, since students can easily access large amounts of information through resources such as Google, Facebook, etc. As such, it may be unclear to students whether they are in violation of university standards when they use these technologies to collaborate or complete assignments.

The following experiments test two possible methods of changing students’ perceptions of these behaviors using two separate between-subjects designs. Experiment 1 primed half of the participants with academic integrity by providing portions of the University of Kentucky student code of conduct. Experiment 2 provided explicit definitions of plagiarism taken from the University of Kentucky Senate Rules. Students then evaluated 15 behaviors that could be interpreted as academically dishonest.

Findings indicate that these manipulations changed students’ overall perceptions on which behaviors are acceptable in an academic environment. The implications for providing students with information on the parameters of what counts as unacceptable academic behavior are discussed.

Keywords- cheating, academic conduct, honesty, dishonesty, integrity, plagiarism, digital media environment

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Academic Integrity: Effects of the University Pledge on Cheating and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity: Effects of the University Pledge on Cheating and Plagiarism

Brian Patrick Bates, Robert Neeley, James Donovan & Alon Robinson,

Andrea Friedrich & Steven Arthur

Academic integrity is emphasized at a university. Students are expected to uphold academic honesty, and instructors are expected to make decisions about students’ academic conduct. However, academic dishonesty is not always clearly defined, which can lead students and instructors towards different perceptions of whether academic rules have been violated (Donovan, et al. 2016). New technologies involving social media may exacerbate these discrepancies, since students can easily access large amounts of information through resources such as Google, Facebook, etc. As such, it may be unclear to students whether they are in violation of university standards when they use these technologies to collaborate or complete assignments.

The following experiments test two possible methods of changing students’ perceptions of these behaviors using two separate between-subjects designs. Experiment 1 primed half of the participants with academic integrity by providing portions of the University of Kentucky student code of conduct. Experiment 2 provided explicit definitions of plagiarism taken from the University of Kentucky Senate Rules. Students then evaluated 15 behaviors that could be interpreted as academically dishonest.

Findings indicate that these manipulations changed students’ overall perceptions on which behaviors are acceptable in an academic environment. The implications for providing students with information on the parameters of what counts as unacceptable academic behavior are discussed.

Keywords- cheating, academic conduct, honesty, dishonesty, integrity, plagiarism, digital media environment