Tactics to curb cheating less effective in disliked courses
Encouraging students to learn and master content, rather than pass a test, discourages academic cheating, according to research by Eric Anderman, professor of educational psychology.
But his latest study is the first to show that emphasizing mastery doesn’t work as well to decrease cheating in courses students said they disliked. People with a high need for sensation are risk-takers, Anderman said. A high need for sensation best predicted whether students would take a risk and cheat in a disliked class.
However, emphasizing mastery may still help reduce cheating indirectly. The study showed that, even in disliked classes, if they were perceived as focusing on mastery, students were less likely to believe cheating was acceptable. This correlated with a lower likelihood of cheating. Also, interventions can be developed to help risk-taking students.