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The Psychology of Plagiarism
Unformatted Document Text:  while perceptions about campus cheating were not significant. Thus, the Integrity Scale predicted whether a respondent had committed plagiarism beyond perceptions about the prevalence of the offense. Scale scores of journalism and mass communication students did not differ from those in other majors. Table 2 Regression Analysis Predicting Plagiarism B SE B β Constant 2.86 1.41 Integrity -.07 .02 .93*** Cheating on campus -.23 .19 .79 *** p < .001 Significantly, when asked for the single main reason plagiarism occurred among 10 answers that often surface in plagiarism discussions, respondents did not choose external attributions. As Table 3 shows, the explanation chosen most often by those who answered the question (n = 450) was laziness. External excuses that sometimes surface when students discuss plagiarism such as lame assignments or unclear rules were chosen as by less than 2% of respondents. No significant differences emerged when comparing beliefs between plagiarists and non-plagiarists. Table 3 Why Plagiarism Occurs Primary reason Frequency Percent Laziness 143 29.6 People get pressed for time 94 19.5 The Internet makes it easy 93 19.3 By accident; an unintentional mistake 87 18.0 People doubt their ability to get the assignment done without 12 2.5

Authors: Lewis, Norman. and Zhong, Bu.
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while perceptions about campus cheating were not significant. Thus, the Integrity Scale 
predicted whether a respondent had committed plagiarism beyond perceptions about the 
prevalence of the offense. Scale scores of journalism and mass communication students 
did not differ from those in other majors.
Table 2
Regression Analysis Predicting Plagiarism
B
SE B
β
Constant
2.86
1.41
Integrity 
-.07
.02
.93***
Cheating on campus
-.23
.19
.79
*** p < .001
Significantly, when asked for the single main reason plagiarism occurred among 
10 answers that often surface in plagiarism discussions, respondents did not choose 
external attributions. As Table 3 shows, the explanation chosen most often by those who 
answered the question (n = 450) was laziness. External excuses that sometimes surface 
when students discuss plagiarism such as lame assignments or unclear rules were chosen 
as by less than 2% of respondents. No significant differences emerged when comparing 
beliefs between plagiarists and non-plagiarists.
Table 3
Why Plagiarism Occurs
Primary reason 
Frequency  Percent
Laziness
143
29.6
People get pressed for time
94
19.5
The Internet makes it easy
93
19.3
By accident; an unintentional mistake
87
18.0
People doubt their ability to get the assignment done without 
12
2.5


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