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ERIC Number: EJ1064643
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: EISSN-1941-3432
Dishonesty and Cheating in a Federal Service Academy: Toleration Is the Main Ingredient
Malmstrom, Frederick V.; Mullin, R. David
Research in Higher Education Journal, v19 Apr 2013
Formal anonymous exit surveys were administered to 747 former cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy from years 2002 to 2011. The cadet honor code specifically states, "We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does." Nevertheless, survey results indicated there was a significant, measurable toleration of dishonesty and cheating by these former cadets. Over 62% of these participants had admitted tolerating other cadets violating the honor code at least once, but less than 9% had actually reported these violations. Results support both Leon Festinger's (1957) Theory of Cognitive Dissonance and Brent and Atkisson's (2011) reformulation of Neutralization Techniques. These former cadets rationalized their behavior by simply disregarding toleration of dishonesty as an honor violation, thus invoking denial of responsibility for their actions. Factors contributing to the failure of whistleblowing as a deterrent to dishonesty and cheating are also discussed. Toleration of dishonest acts by others seems to be by far the most significant contributing force behind one's own subsequent dishonesty.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A