The 4PA of plagiarism: psycho-academic profile of plagiarists - Presentation

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  • Date: 2012 Conference
  • Author: Siaputra, I. B.

Plagiarism is a taboo and often regarded as the deadliest sin in the academic world. The Indonesian government has declared many policies to prevent and eradicate plagiarism in the academic world, due to the rampant plagiarism among students and professors, as well.

Varieties of sanctions, ranging from score reduction to revocation of granted academic titles, have been sentenced to the offender who were caught doing this high-level academic offense. Surprisingly, whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is still being done and found. The severity of sanctions seems unable to stop the plagiarism in the academic world.

Considering severe sanctions are still unable to eradicate or just alleviate plagiarism, there is an assumption that plagiarism is a trait settled in a person. Apart from the presence or absence of opportunities and the severity of the threatening sanctions, there are certain individuals who are allegedly prone to plagiarism. There are five variables used as predictors of plagiarism: procrastination, performance, personality, perfectionism, and achievement motivation. The author christened these five variables as the 4PA.

The study involved 363 undergraduate psychology students. The study used a whole population sample. The data were taken during their final exam, using seven scales. Plagiarism was measured using the Academic Practices Survey/APS (Roig and DeTommaso, 1995) and Personal Experiences with Plagiarism Scale/PEPS (Bouman, 2009). Procrastination was measured using the Aitken Procrastination Inventory/API (Aitken,1982) and Procrastination Assessment Scale – Student/PASS (Solomon and Rothblum, 1984). Performance in academic scores were taken from the faculty academic archieves (GPA and introduction to pscyhology subject’s score). Personality was measured using the International Personality Item Pool/IPIP ( Perfectionism was measured using the Almost Perfect Scale/APS (Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, and Ashby, 2001). Achievement motivation was measured using the Achievement Motivation Inventory/AMI (Schuler, Thornton, Frintrup, and Mueller-Hanson, 2004).

Both plagiarism scales (APS and PEPS) produce similar results (r= .419). Four of the five predictors have significant correlations with plagiarism. The highest correlations were found between plagiarism and frequency of procrastination (PASS; rAPS and rPEPS = . 270 = . 202) and the habitual procrastination (API; rAPS =.217 and rPEPS =. 173). Plagiarists tend to have low conscientiousness (IPIP; rAPS = -0.212 and rPEPS = -0.178). Small but significant correlation was also found between plagiarism and perfectionism (APS; rAPS = -0.143; rPEPS =-0.124). Plagiarist tend to have low achievement motivation (AMI; rAPS = -0.219 and rPEPS =-0.183). Plagiarism is not significantly correlated with academic achievement. Contribution of the four predictor variables against plagiarism was rooted in the academic procrastination. The dinamics of these variables in predicting plagiarism behavior are discussed.

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