It Kant be all bad: Contributions of Light and Dark Triad traits to academic misconduct

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Abstract

Numerous studies have found positive associations between the Dark Triad of personality (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) and academic misconduct (e.g., plagiarism and cheating). Although personality is relatively difficult to change, the impact of Dark Triad traits on academic misconduct has been found to be influenced by more controllable psychological factors like entitlement beliefs. Recently, Kaufman et al. (2019) proposed a Light Triad of personality, consisting of three traits (Faith in humanity, Humanism, and Kantianism). In this study, 390 students completed measures of the Light and Dark Triad, academic misconduct, and feelings of entitlement in an educational setting. Psychopathy and Machiavellianism predicted engagement in academic misconduct, partially mediated by entitlement. Of the Light Triad traits, Kantianism (treating people as an end in themselves), predicted lower engagement in academic misconduct, which was mediated entitlement. These results suggest new avenues for research and new ways to dissuade students from cheating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112262
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume212
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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