Does Commitment to a No-Cheating Rule Affect Academic Cheating?

54 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2018 Last revised: 16 Aug 2019

See all articles by Tobias Cagala

Tobias Cagala

Deutsche Bundesbank

Ulrich Glogowsky

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Johannes Rincke

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg

Date Written: August 1, 2019

Abstract

Educators around the globe often require students to commit to academic integrity by signing a no-cheating declaration. This paper evaluates how such no-cheating declarations affect academic cheating. Exploiting data from a field experiment with undergraduate students, we identify cheating by comparing the similarity in multiple-choice answers of seat neighbors and counterfactual neighbors. Our main finding is that students plagiarize more after having signed a no-cheating declaration. This effect is driven by students of below-average ability. Regarding channels, we find evidence suggesting that requesting a commitment to a no-cheating rule weakens the social norm of academic integrity and triggers psychological reactance.

Keywords: commitment, compliance, cheating, declaration of compliance, deterrence, ethics, lying, enforcement, monitoring, signature

JEL Classification: C91, C93, D03, D81

Suggested Citation

Cagala, Tobias and Glogowsky, Ulrich and Rincke, Johannes, Does Commitment to a No-Cheating Rule Affect Academic Cheating? (August 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3111855 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3111855

Tobias Cagala

Deutsche Bundesbank ( email )

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

Ulrich Glogowsky (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, Bavaria 80539
Germany

Johannes Rincke

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg ( email )

Schloßplatz 4
Erlangen, Bavaria 91054
Germany

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