Cheating on college exams

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The goal of the present research was to investigate cheating among undergraduates in two different contexts: low competitiveness versus high competitiveness. Participants were 56 undergraduates from Faculties of Engineering of two kinds of public universities located at Sao Paulo State. In one of the kinds, named Without Competition, students enter knowing the Engineering specialization they will follow, whereas in the other, named With Competition, the students' grades during the two first years of a basic cycle will determine the Engineering specialization they will follow. The participants completed a questionnaire about cheating during the last months. In both universities, communication of answers during examinations occurred between friends. Cheating was less frequent in the university with high competitiveness. Results were discussed from the perspective of the Theories of Social Interchange and Reciprocal Altruism.




da Silva, G. A., da Rocha, M. M., Otta, E., Pereira, Y. L., & Bussab, V. S. R. (2006). Cheating on college exams. Psicologia: Reflexao e Critica, 19(1), 18–23.

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