What do you see as the major cause of academic cheating?
Any ideas of the causes and effects of academic cheating?
In terms of cheating, I think there are a lot of different causes. From the student's perspective, I suspect that pressure is one of the primary reasons that students cheat. College and university students are under tremendous pressure to accomplish certain goals in their studies, but high grades are certainly at the top. Thus, they are pressured from their parents, their professors and of course themselves.
I think peer pressure is also in the mix but in a far different way. I remember from my own grad school experience that I would often look around the classroom and wonder if I was keeping up with everyone else. I wanted so much to do well that I found myself studying unusually long hours in order to do well. I never resorted to cheating but I could see why people do it.
There's another problem and that's self-evaluation. Young people in university/college, especially those in first and second year are absolutely overwhelmed. They are adjusting to a totally new life and many are very fragile or vulnerable emotionally. I think they resort to cheating as a last resort to doing well.
Then, there are those individuals who simply don't like to abide by the rules. They exist everywhere, in all societies and all cultures. They take shortcuts because they want to and believe they can get away with it. They don't see cheating as a problem. In fact, they see it as something they are entitled to do as long as they get away with it.
I also think there are levels of cheating. Some people may cheat once and their conscience never lets them forget it. Then, there are some who cheat regularly, or semi-regularly and don't even worry about it. In the end, I think it's a problem that has social and psychological roots and it very much depends on a long list of factors - who the person has been in the past; if they've ever cheated or broken the law before; their upbringing; their values and their emotional stability.