Tim Ursiny

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Feldman, Solomon E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Cheating (Education)--Psychological aspects; Reasoning (Psychology)


The present study investigated the effects of domain of reasoning on cheating behavior and emotional reactions after cheating. In addition, this study examined the effects of confrontation on emotional arousal, emotional attributions and behavioral attributions after cheating or not cheating. The final subject pool consisted of 47 subjects who viewed cheating as a moral issue and 46 subjects who viewed cheating as a social-conventional issue. After filling out a self-report inventory of their current emotional arousal (the Emotional Assessment Inventory), all subjects were tempted to cheat on the Analogical Reasoning Task. Subjects then were given the Emotional Assessment Inventory again along with the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List (MAACL) to determine the effects of cheating or not cheating on emotional arousal. Afterwards subjects were divided into two confrontation groups, one set of subjects being told that the experimenter could identify who cheated or didn't cheat and one set being told that the experimenter could not identify their behavior. Subjects then were given the Emotional Assessment Inventory and Multiple Affect Adjective Check List again as well as the Attribution and Reasoning Questionnaire which assessed emotional and behavioral attributions for cheating or not cheating. Analysis of cheating behavior showed no difference between the two domain groups in terms of occurrence or amount of cheating or in terms of emotional reactions after cheating. However, after confrontation it was found that unidentifiable moral cheaters reported less undifferentiated arousal than any other group of subjects. This finding as well as the finding that subjects showed little affective change in terms of guilt, fear, and depression after cheating was discussed using self-deception theory. After cheaters were confronted, noncheaters showed a dramatic increase in the reported level of pride, contentedness, and self-confidence. In addition, noncheaters tended to concentrate on their behavior and claimed dispositional qualities were responsible for their actions, while cheaters tended to concentrate on situational variables. The lack of utility of domain of reasoning for predicting cheating behavior and emotional reactions after cheating may have resulted from a less than optimal assessment of domain of reasoning. Suggestions are offered for future research.


Bibliography: pages [57]-60.


102 pages




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