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The Psychology of Plagiarism
Unformatted Document Text:  was based on a study that drew 40 pairs 52 from adjectives that ranked high in Goldberg’s seminal factor analysis. 53 Each adjective in the pair was placed at opposite ends of a line, with the numbers one through seven between them. Respondents were instructed to pick the number on the continuum between each adjective pair that best described them, with the numbers forming a 7-point Likert scale. The 40 adjective pairs, with eight for each element of the Big Five, were: for extroversion, passive-active, unenergetic-energetic, submissive-dominant, timid-bold, conforming-independent, humble-proud, quiet- talkative and retiring-sociable; for agreeableness, cold-warm, disagreeable-agreeable, critical-lenient, stubborn-flexible, suspicious-trusting, unfair-fair, selfish-selfless and stingy-generous; for conscientiousness, undependable-reliable, negligent-conscientious, careless-careful, disorganized--well-organized, lazy-hard working, untraditional- traditional, liberal-conservative and impractical-practical; for neuroticism, emotionally unstable-emotionally stable, insecure-secure, nervous-at ease, high strung-relaxed, temperamental-even tempered, emotional-unemotional, envious-not envious and subjective-objective; and for openness, uncultured-cultured, ignorant-knowledgeable, stupid-intelligent, imperceptive-perceptive, uncreative-creative, simple-complex, uncurious-curious, and unanalytical-analytical. The neuroticism rankings were reverse- scored so that the strength of the scores would parallel the other four measures and reflect the concept of emotional stability. The adjective pairs were listed alphabetically in the survey to inject a measure of randomness. The primary dependent variable was measured by a question asking respondents how often they had plagiarized in the previous two years, without defining the offense. The absence of a definition undoubtedly understated the frequency of plagiarism by

Authors: Lewis, Norman. and Zhong, Bu.
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was based on a study that drew 40 pairs
 from adjectives that ranked high in Goldberg’s 
seminal factor analysis.
 Each adjective in the pair was placed at opposite ends of a line, 
with the numbers one through seven between them. Respondents were instructed to pick 
the number on the continuum between each adjective pair that best described them, with 
the numbers forming a 7-point Likert scale. The 40 adjective pairs, with eight for each 
element of the Big Five, were: for extroversion, passive-active, unenergetic-energetic, 
submissive-dominant, timid-bold, conforming-independent, humble-proud, quiet-
talkative and retiring-sociable; for agreeableness, cold-warm, disagreeable-agreeable, 
critical-lenient, stubborn-flexible, suspicious-trusting, unfair-fair, selfish-selfless and 
stingy-generous; for conscientiousness, undependable-reliable, negligent-conscientious, 
careless-careful, disorganized--well-organized, lazy-hard working, untraditional-
traditional, liberal-conservative and impractical-practical; for neuroticism, emotionally 
unstable-emotionally stable, insecure-secure, nervous-at ease, high strung-relaxed, 
temperamental-even tempered, emotional-unemotional, envious-not envious and 
subjective-objective; and for openness, uncultured-cultured, ignorant-knowledgeable, 
stupid-intelligent, imperceptive-perceptive, uncreative-creative, simple-complex, 
uncurious-curious, and unanalytical-analytical. The neuroticism rankings were reverse-
scored so that the strength of the scores would parallel the other four measures and reflect 
the concept of emotional stability. The adjective pairs were listed alphabetically in the 
survey to inject a measure of randomness. 
The primary dependent variable was measured by a question asking respondents 
how often they had plagiarized in the previous two years, without defining the offense. 
The absence of a definition undoubtedly understated the frequency of plagiarism by 


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