ESTpaper[1] - Influence of Social Running head: Influences...

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Influence of Social 1 Running head: Influences of Differing Social Norms Influences of Differing Social Norms on Cheating Kyle A. Smith York College of Pennsylvania
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Influence of Social 2 Abstract The effects of two different sources of social norms on student cheating were studied. A sample population of 127 undergraduate students were given one of two different sources of norms, either from a professor or from a student, and then answered identical survey questions about cheating personal habits and perceived habits of others. Results indicated that the students tended to believe the words of the professor more than those of the student. These findings point to the possibility that authority figures are a more reliable source of social norms to teenagers and young adults than are their peers.
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Influence of Social 3 Influences of Differing Social Norms on Cheating A great amount of research has been conducted in the past concerning the development of social norms and the sources from which people are most susceptible to them. Through past research (Emmerich, Goldman, & Shore, 1971), a trend has been identified that younger children tend to relate more to and accept norms from their parents, and that later on in their lives, i.e. adolescence, children tend to relate to and listen to their peers. Lederman, Stewart, and Russ (2001), have shown that even college –aged students fall into this classification, finding that most based their ideas of acceptable alcohol consumption on their own friends habits. Furthermore, research has also shown (Jordan, 2001; McCabe & Trevino, 1997) also found that students’ admittance to cheating correlated highly to their perception of student cheating norms But do these findings always apply? In contrast ,Martens, et. al. (2006), found that social norms are often overestimated based on personal experience and habits. With studies providing conflicting reports of sources of social norms, further research is needed into the conclusions of each study. This study will attempt to identify which source, a professor or a student (authority vs. peer) holds more influence on perceived norms of academic dishonesty on college campuses. The hypothesis for this study is that a norm derived from a student’s peer will more greatly influence their perceptions of student plagiarism and cheating. Method Participants Participants used in this study were undergraduate volunteers from York College of Pennsylvania, taken largely from an introductory Psychology course. The sample consisted of 59 males and 68 females for a total of 127 at a mean age of 19.18 years of age and with a standard deviation of 2.918. One of these participants failed to sufficiently comply with the procedure,
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Influence of Social 4 and their results were thrown out. A large majority of participants in the study were Freshman (89), while 25 Sophomores, 8 Juniors, and 1 Senior also participated. Each participant was given
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PSY 200 taught by Professor Strassle during the Fall '07 term at York College of Pennsylvania.

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ESTpaper[1] - Influence of Social Running head: Influences...

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