The personality of plagiarism

Norman P. Lewis, Bu Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Contrary to the water-cooler hypothesis of educators, journalism and mass communication students who plagiarize do not differ from their non-copying peers in the “Big Five” personality traits (study 1, n = 908). However, the two groups differ in a scale that measures integrity on a continuum between principles and expediency (study 2, n = 483). They also differ when asked to evaluate types of copy-and-paste Internet plagiarism. JMC majors do not differ from those in other disciplines in their propensity to commit plagiarism. The two studies show students consider plagiarism a relative offense and offer suggestions for educators trying to reduce its prevalence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-339
Number of pages15
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Educator
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'The personality of plagiarism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this