Abstract ：Morality-based interventions designed to promote academic integrity are being used by educational institutions around the world. Although many such approaches have a strong theoretical foundation and are supported by laboratorybased evidence, they often have not been subjected to rigorous empirical evaluation in real-world contexts. In a naturalistic field study (N = 296), we evaluated a recent research-inspired classroom innovation in which students are told, just prior to taking an unproctored exam, that they are trusted to act with integrity. Four university classes were assigned to a proctored exam or one of three types of unproctored exam. Students who took unproctored exams cheated significantly more, which suggests that it may be premature to implement this approach in college classrooms. These findings point to the importance of conducting ecologically valid and well-controlled field studies that translate psychological theory into practice when introducing large-scale educational reforms.
Keywords: academic cheating, trust, collective punishment, unproctored exams, undergraduates, open data
Published journal:Research Article Revision accepted 9/30/20