Negative Emotionality Predicts Attitudes Toward Plagiarism

Isabeau Tindall, Guy Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Higher education students experience high rates of negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Although emotions are known to influence attitudes per se, previous research has not examined how emotionality may relate to attitudes toward plagiarism. This study sought to examine how positive and negative emotionality relates to students’ positive attitudes, negative attitudes, and subjective norms concerning plagiarism. University students (N = 685) completed the Attitudes Toward Plagiarism questionnaire and measures of anxiety, stress, depression, and negative and positive affect. Extending on previous research, it was found that a lack of positive affect and negative emotionality, specifically stress, were significant predictors of attitudes toward plagiarism. Emotionality predicted 8.9% and 10% of the variance in positive plagiarism attitudes and subjective norms, respectively. Interestingly, gender was unable to predict subjective norms relating to plagiarism. Support for negative and positive emotionality predicting attitudes toward plagiarism challenges the assumption that emotions do not predict attitudes within the plagiarism context. These findings are practically relevant, as they highlight the necessity of implementing interventions directly targeting mental health within the higher education setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Academic Ethics
Issue number1
Early online date27 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


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