Exploring the relationship between Internet ethics in university students and the big five model of personality

  • Karim N
  • Zamzuri N
  • Nor Y
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Abstract

The widespread use of the Internet and the convenient mechanism it provides, such as easy access, easy downloads, and easy copy and paste functions have made many types of unethical behaviors easier, particularly those involving students in academic settings. Among the issues in ethics within the academic environment that can be triggered by the Internet are fraudulence, plagiarism, falsification, delinquency, unauthorized help, and facility misuse. Given these issues, the study seeks to investigate the extent to which students at a public university in Malaysia engage in such unethical behavior and their relationship with the big five personality model. This study was conducted using a survey method of 252 students in three different academic faculties. The results of factor analyses confirm and refine the reliability of the scales for both big five personality variables and unethical Internet behaviors as conceptualized through Internet triggered academic dishonesty (ITADS). The findings indicate that personality traits such as (1) agreeableness, (2) conscientiousness and (3) emotional stability are significantly and negatively correlated with unethical Internet behavior in university students. Significant differences in facility misuse are also observed between the three academic faculties investigated. This research should provide significant contributions to educators in designing the computer ethics curriculum and in allowing for educational institutions as well as other organizations in developing relevant policies and guidelines on matters pertaining to academic conduct, utilization of computers and Internet, and recruitment exercises. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Applications in subject areas
  • Cross-cultural projects
  • Higher education
  • Human-computer interface
  • Interdisciplinary projects
  • Media in education

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Authors

  • Nor Shahriza Abdul Karim

  • Nurul Hidayah Ahmad Zamzuri

  • Yakinah Muhamad Nor

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