Certainty of Punishment and Criminal Thinking: Do the Rational and Non-rational Parameters of a Student’s Decision to Cheat on an Exam Interact?

Glenn D. Walters, Robert D. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether criminal thinking interacts with the rational requirements of human decision-making in a group of college students. A convenience sample of 315 undergraduates (114 males, 201 females) completed self-report measures of criminal thinking and estimated their likelihood of cheating on an exam given different levels of certainty of apprehension. A repeated-measures analysis of covariance revealed that students were significantly more likely to seize on the opportunity to cheat when the certainty of getting caught was 10% than when it was 50% and that students with higher levels of criminal thinking were more likely to take the opportunity to cheat than students with lower levels of criminal thinking. In addition, students exhibiting moderate proactive criminal thinking and moderate to high reactive criminal thinking were significantly less likely to be deterred from cheating when the odds of getting caught were low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-295
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice Education
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Keywords

  • Rational choice
  • certainty of apprehension
  • cheating on an exam
  • criminal thinking

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Certainty of Punishment and Criminal Thinking: Do the Rational and Non-rational Parameters of a Student’s Decision to Cheat on an Exam Interact?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this