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The Psychology of Plagiarism
Unformatted Document Text:  suited to study plagiarism, different results may be produced by other scales used by scholars to study deviance, such as those measuring Machiavellianism, alienation or locus of control. Because plagiarists see their copying as a compromise between principles and expediency, mere exhortations won’t reduce its prevalence. Journalists instead must spend time delineating what information requires attribution and how credit should be conveyed in a profession that operates without footnotes. Plagiarists see the offense as a relative, rather than an absolute, matter. Thus, rather than exist as solely an individual- level issue, plagiarism is also an ethical concern that is situationally determined. Reducing its occurrence requires that professionals spend more time defining the ambiguities that allow the offense to flourish in a profession that considers tradeoffs an integral part of the job. Journalists who wonder why plagiarism occurs may find an answer in the informal psychology hypothesis, though perhaps not the one they hoped for. The plagiarist, it seems, is not distinguished by personality but by a more flexible approach to what requires attribution. Endnotes

Authors: Lewis, Norman. and Zhong, Bu.
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suited to study plagiarism, different results may be produced by other scales used by 
scholars to study deviance, such as those measuring Machiavellianism, alienation or 
locus of control. 
Because plagiarists see their copying as a compromise between principles and 
expediency, mere exhortations won’t reduce its prevalence. Journalists instead must 
spend time delineating what information requires attribution and how credit should be 
conveyed in a profession that operates without footnotes. Plagiarists see the offense as a 
relative, rather than an absolute, matter. Thus, rather than exist as solely an individual-
level issue, plagiarism is also an ethical concern that is situationally determined. 
Reducing its occurrence requires that professionals spend more time defining the 
ambiguities that allow the offense to flourish in a profession that considers tradeoffs an 
integral part of the job. Journalists who wonder why plagiarism occurs may find an 
answer in the informal psychology hypothesis, though perhaps not the one they hoped 
for. The plagiarist, it seems, is not distinguished by personality but by a more flexible 
approach to what requires attribution. 

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