Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Psychology


Daniel D. Holt

Melanie Shoup-Knox

Sri Siddhi N. Upadhyay


The deterrence principle within the field of criminology is essential in preventing deviant behavior before its commission and defines the relationship individuals have with an institution’s system of punishment. Deterrence was originally studied solely among criminal populations, but modern deterrence theory broadens the definition of crime to actions relevant to the general population through any act societal values would proscribe. The addition of psychological principles to deviance research and the usage of university student populations has highlighted academic dishonesty as a prolific deviant behavior outcome variable. Criminological researchers have identified factors that complement or mirror psychological and educational theory, yet these fields are slow to unify principles into an integrated framework. The present study aims to identify compatible factors across fields that consistently predict student cheating behavior and integrate them into a behavioral model of students’ commission of cheating. Students from James Madison University will complete a survey including scales for each of the target factors and data will be analyzed to identify the proposed model’s fit alongside correlational relationships among the surveyed factors. Expected results will be informative on the issue of academic dishonesty in universities and provide support for the integration of theoretical approaches. Implications may be relevant beyond the academic context to inform other approaches to deviance research. Due to the extant circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic, data was not able to be collected. In lieu of data analysis, a variety of potential outcome scenarios are presented and discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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