Plagiarism Intention Among Private University Students In Pahang

Abstract

Phenomenon of plagiarism has become a common issue especially among students in higher institutions. Thus, this research was conducted in order to determine the plagiarism intention among higher education students using Theory of Planned Behaviour. This study involved 357 undergraduate’s students from private universities in Pahang. Findings from this research highlight that intention to plagiarism among students not correlated to positive attitude, negative attitude and subjective norms. It was concluded that these variables are not given influence to the students at private universities in Pahang. That means, these variables are not relevant to ask to the respondents in this area. Furthermore, the student in this private university believes that plagiarized is not the only way for them to finish their work or assignment. Most of them work hard and can generate an idea using knowledge what they have learned to finish their work by study the topic that related to the task given. They are not depending on the plagiarism to get good grade.

Keywords: Plagiarismpositive attitudenegative attitudesubjective normstheory of planned behaviour

Introduction

In most education institution especially a university where the majority of the students are adult learners will understand that, in a general way that their academic performance and achievement are based on academic integrity such as honesty, responsibility, accountability, respect, trust and fairness. However, previous research shows that academic misconduct case has shown some increase in the higher institution (Velliaris, 2016). Patrzek et al. (2015) mentioned of the seven types of academic misconduct is plagiarism. Meanwhile Singh and Remenyi (2016) highlighted plagiarism is one of major university greatest challenge and it is important for a university to respond to the rise in these forms of academic misconduct because of impact to the university academic integrity. This is supported by Eret and Ok (2014) mentioning that plagiarism has been a growing problem in a university for a long time and the explosion of the internet in the 20th century has made it become more worst and unmanageable.

Intention to Plagiarism

The term plagiarism is defined as “deliberately misrepresenting the work and ideas from others without appropriately citing the sources” (Kassim et al., 2015, p. 703). This action has become common in universities due to the students’ intention in attaining high grade (Kassim et al., 2015).

Positive Attitude towards Plagiarism

According to other previous study (Quartuccio, 2015) Positive can be defined as a consideration of the good qualities of a subject, person, or idea. Favorable or positive attitudes toward a behavior provide a motivating influence to the considered behavior. An example of a positive attitude toward plagiarism would include justification for plagiarized work or the necessity of plagiarism to achieve academic goals.

Qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys further revealed common themes among students including an inability to internalize definitions of various academic integrity fundamentals and the possible benefits of improving grades even when unethical and dishonest behaviours were employed for the completion of course assignments (Klein, 2011). Reasons for academic integrity violations cited by students include nominal penalties for academic dishonesty, poorly designed assignments, student desire to help fellow classmates, peer pressure, lack of knowledge regarding correct formatting, ease of plagiarism of internet sources, and vague guidelines related to academic honesty. Justifications in undergraduate education for cheating include the rationalization for graduate school placement and improved job opportunities (McCabe, 2009).

Cultures labelled as cheating are environments that demonstrate unethical behaviours by exhibiting a cheating, accepting cheating as the means to meet goals, and presupposing that everyone is cheating as the means to success. Cheating cultures deem “everyone else is doing it” as a reason to cheat and commit academic dishonesty (Smith & Hume, 2005).

Negative Attitude towards Plagiarism

Negative is defined as an expression of refusal, rejection, or unfavorable disposition. A negative attitude toward plagiarism would demonstrate a condemnation of the action or a disapproval of the behavior (Mavrinac et al., 2010). Unfavourable attitudes would restrain individuals from engaging in specific behaviors. An example of a negative attitude toward plagiarism includes the expulsion of students who commit acts of plagiarism or classification of plagiarism as theft (Quartuccio, 2015).

While research demonstrates a degenerating attitude toward plagiarism that no longer considers plagiarism bad in both graduate and undergraduate university students, alarming statistics related to academic dishonesty among nursing students demonstrates possible implications for professional practice. While research demonstrates a degenerating attitude toward plagiarism that no longer considers plagiarism bad in both graduate and undergraduate university students, alarming statistics related to academic dishonesty among nursing students demonstrates possible implications for professional practice (McCabe, 2009).

Subjective Norms

Subjective norms, expresses common thinking about the prevalence of plagiarism and the acceptance of such behaviour in the academic and scientific communities. Behaviour is influenced not only by attitudes but also by subjective norms that are confirmed in this study as the third factor. Subjective norms reflect the perceived social pressure to be involved or not in a certain behaviour (Mavrinac et al., 2010). A norm is a standard or model that guides thoughts or behaviours. Subjective is defined as personal or belonging to an individual. Subjective norms consider the social pressure that influences an individual to perform or reject behaviour (Hagger et al., 2007). Examples of subjective norms related to plagiarism would include the perception of cultural beliefs toward plagiarism or the perceptions of a university’s climate of academic honesty (Quartuccio, 2015).

Perceived social pressure to commit an act influences a person’s choice of behaviour leading to engagement or rejection of the behavior (Ajzen & Fishbein, 2005). “Subjective norms toward plagiarism” which constitute social acceptance of plagiarism that correlates with a lack of punishment for the behavior (Mavrinac et al., 2010).

The psychological pressure perceived by a person to act or refrain from a behavior influences a person’s choice. The social pressure by significant people creates the “common thinking” about a behavior and leads to the perception of a person to acquiesce to the expectation (Mavrinac et al., 2010).

Problem Statement

Plagiarism is a fast growing epidemic issue that impairs student/instructor relationships, creates barriers between fellow students, damages the integrity of institutions, and obstructs learning. The problem of plagiarism, primarily an act of student dishonesty, is a multifaceted issue that includes subjective definitions of plagiarism by students, varied perceptions of consequences of academic dishonesty related to plagiarism, increasing ease of plagiarism, and faculty perceptions and actions related to plagiarism (Quartuccio, 2015).

Students are not even known about the plagiarism. Moreover, most of students are not aware about the effect of plagiarism if they have been caught for plagiarizes (Sarlauskiene & Stabingis, 2014). However, if the student has caught for plagiarize, they will be penalized. According to Mavrinac et al. (2010), positive attitudes, negative attitudes and subjective norms can measure the intention to plagiarism. According to Latib (2019), the education system can be destroyed due to the issue of plagiarism and the quality of graduates will be affected.

Research Questions

RQ1: Is there any significant relationship between positive attitude and intention to plagiarism?

RQ2: Is there any relationship between negative attitude and intention to plagiarism?

RQ3: Is there any significant relationship between subjective norms and intention to plagiarism?

Purpose of the Study

  • To determine whether there is a significant relationship between positive attitude and intention to plagiarism.

  • To determine whether there is a relationship between negative attitude and intention to plagiarism.

  • To determine whether there is a significant relationship between subjective norms and intention to plagiarism.

Research Methods

The research subject is 357 undergraduate’s students from private universities in Pahang. This study is quantitative in nature by using questionnaires, which consist of Likert “1-5 scale” from “strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5)”. The instrument for independent variables was adopted from Mavrinac et al. (2010). Moreover, Instrument for dependent variable was adopted from Stone et al. (2010). The Cronbach’s Alpha for each question is more than 0.7 and considered reliable to ask to the respondand. This study is to evaluate the plagiarism intention among private university students with application of theory of planned behaviour. The data was analyzed using IBM SPSS Software.

Findings

Linear regression was used to analyze between each independent variable (positive attitude, negative attitude and subjective norms) with dependent variable (intention to plagiarism). This study was tested with significant value α = 0.05.

Refer to the Table 01 , significant p value = 0.016. Since p value = 0.016 ˂ 0.05, it was found there are have significant in between positive attitude, negative attitude and subjective norms toward intention to plagiarism. However, correlation r = 0.169 indicating still have relationship but not really strong. Based on r square = 0.029, the value 2.9 percent of the amount of variation of intention to plagiarism can be attributed to positive attitude, negative attitude and subjective norms.

Table 1 -
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Table 2 -
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Table 02 shows the significant p-value for each of the independent variable. The result shows positive attitude (p value=0.126 > 0.05, B=0.217), negative attitude (p value=0.301 > 0.05, B=0.121) and subjective norms (p value=0.526 > 0.05, B=0.073) (see Table 03 ). It was found that there are no relationship in between positive attitude, negative attitude and subjective norms on intention to plagiarism. Unstandardized coefficients for unsignificant independent variables are positive which would indicate that even they have positive attitude, no negative attitude and subjective norms but there are not an important factors in predicting intention to plagiarism.

Table 3 -
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Conclusion

Findings from this research highlight that intention to plagiarism among students not correlated to positive attitude, negative attitude and subjective norms. It was concluded that these variables are not given influence on the students at private universities in Pahang. That means, these variables are not relevant to ask to the respondents in this area. Furthermore, the student in this private university believes that plagiarized is not the only way for them to finish their work or assignment. Most of them work hard and can generate an idea using knowledge what they have learned to finish their work by study the topic that related to the task given. They are not depending on the plagiarism to get good grade.

It is suggested for future research that the data analysis on this study to be done by using the Structure Equation Model (SEM-AMOS) to ensure more data reliability and accuracy. Moreover, adding a gender as a mediator variable would be recommended to compare and look at the relationship between male and female students to behavioural intention. Besides that, in future research, we need to expend the respondents not only in private universities in Pahang but should consider in Malaysia.

References

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

30.12.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.12.05.40

Online ISSN

2357-1330