Project Advisor(s)

Dr. Daniel Corts

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Disciplines

Educational Psychology

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Surveys indicate around 75% of undergraduates intentionally cheat on schoolwork and, not surprisingly, there are normative beliefs among students that this figure is correlated with course difficulty (Rettinger, Jordan, & Peschiera, 2004; Rettinger & Kramer, 2009; Witherspoon, Maldonado, & Lacey, 2010). We asked whether student-teacher rapport might moderate those beliefs, hypothesizing that rapport with a teacher reduces the estimated likelihood of cheating.

Researchers distributed an online survey to traditional-aged college students at a selective liberal arts college receiving 95 completed forms. Participants indicated whether they had engaged in each of 14 academically dishonest behaviors (Witherspoon, Maldando, & Lacy, 2010), which represented classroom-based (e.g. copying test answers) or out-of-class (e.g. plagiarism) behaviors. Independent variables were assessed by the Difficulty Appropriateness Inventory (Heckert et al, 2006) and a modified measure of student-teacher rapport and teacher immediacy (Gorham, 1988; Gorham & Christophel, 1990).

Hierarchical regression showed a significant association between difficulty and out-of-class cheating (beta= 4.02) that was moderated by rapport (beta = -4.29) such that strong faculty-student relationships reduced the tendency to cheat, F(3, 27)=5.932, p< .003, adjusted Rsq = .330. There was a similar moderating effect of rapport on difficulty (beta = -4.834) when in-class cheating was the dependent variable F(3, 27) = 4.79, p = .008, adjusted Rsq = .275.

In conclusion, these data support previous research connecting difficulty to increased academic dishonesty. In addition, the data provide new evidence that a positive experience with a teacher may prevent some of that cheating from occurring.

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May 3rd, 12:00 AM May 3rd, 12:00 AM

Student-Teacher Rapport Moderates the Relationship between Course Difficulty and Academic Dishonesty

Surveys indicate around 75% of undergraduates intentionally cheat on schoolwork and, not surprisingly, there are normative beliefs among students that this figure is correlated with course difficulty (Rettinger, Jordan, & Peschiera, 2004; Rettinger & Kramer, 2009; Witherspoon, Maldonado, & Lacey, 2010). We asked whether student-teacher rapport might moderate those beliefs, hypothesizing that rapport with a teacher reduces the estimated likelihood of cheating.

Researchers distributed an online survey to traditional-aged college students at a selective liberal arts college receiving 95 completed forms. Participants indicated whether they had engaged in each of 14 academically dishonest behaviors (Witherspoon, Maldando, & Lacy, 2010), which represented classroom-based (e.g. copying test answers) or out-of-class (e.g. plagiarism) behaviors. Independent variables were assessed by the Difficulty Appropriateness Inventory (Heckert et al, 2006) and a modified measure of student-teacher rapport and teacher immediacy (Gorham, 1988; Gorham & Christophel, 1990).

Hierarchical regression showed a significant association between difficulty and out-of-class cheating (beta= 4.02) that was moderated by rapport (beta = -4.29) such that strong faculty-student relationships reduced the tendency to cheat, F(3, 27)=5.932, p< .003, adjusted Rsq = .330. There was a similar moderating effect of rapport on difficulty (beta = -4.834) when in-class cheating was the dependent variable F(3, 27) = 4.79, p = .008, adjusted Rsq = .275.

In conclusion, these data support previous research connecting difficulty to increased academic dishonesty. In addition, the data provide new evidence that a positive experience with a teacher may prevent some of that cheating from occurring.