Rationalizing the Decision to Cheat: An Empirical Analysis to Determine Whether Social Rational Orientation Can Predict Academic Dishonesty




Krou, Megan R.
Acee, Taylor W.
Pino, Nathan W.
Hoff, Meagan

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Academic dishonesty is a wide-spread issue in educational institutions, including higher education. This study determined if there was a correlation between social rational action orientations and the likelihood of engaging in academically dishonest acts. The relationship between course value and academic dishonesty was also examined. The researchers obtained data from 357 undergraduate students at a large public university in the Southwest. The instrument included a scale that was created to determine student social rational orientation membership. To measure potential academic dishonesty behaviors, vignettes were created and manipulated to portray either low or high perceived course value. Overall, this study found that social rational orientation and perceived course value predicted the likelihood of engaging in academically dishonest acts. This study uncovered new variables that can be used to predict academic dishonesty by elucidating how students rationalize their decision to cheat.



academic dishonesty, higher education, social rational orientation, cheating


Krou, M. R., Acee, T. W., Pino, N. W., & Hoff, M. A. (2019). Rationalizing the decision to cheat: An empirical analysis to determine whether social rational orientation can predict academic dishonesty. Journal of College and Character, 20(1), pp. 9-24.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI