Information and Credible Sanctions in Curbing Online Cheating Among Undergraduates: A Field Experiment
40 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2022 Last revised: 21 Apr 2022
Date Written: February 2022
The rapid increase in online instruction in higher education has heightened concerns about cheating. We use a randomized control design to test whether informing students that we can detect plagiarism reduces cheating. We further test whether informing students they have been caught cheating reduces subsequent cheating. We find informing students about our capability to detect plagiarism has little effect on cheating. Notifying students that they have been caught cheating and are on a watch list reduces subsequent cheating attempts by at least 65 percent depending on the class and sample. We test for peer effects but conclude we cannot credibly identify peer effects distinct from own-cheating propensities.
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