Publication Date

April 2012


On their first day of college, 363 incoming freshmen were surveyed at a small regional public university in the Southeastern United States to determine how their senses of entitlement and superiority influence their tolerance of cheating behavior. Descriptive statistics reveal these incoming freshmen are entering college with disturbingly high academic entitlement scores; plus, they also appear quite tolerant of cheating behavior. Initial bivariate analysis shows a positive association between the students’ sense of entitlement and their tolerance of cheating; while a negative association between a self-assessed superiority measure and the students’ cheating tolerance is found. In a series of multiple regression models, when accounting for a wide array of control variables, the students’ sense of entitlement remained positively associated with cheating tolerance, while the superiority measure lost its predictive power. Results from this study not only support the entitlement–cheating relationship, but indicate that many students are starting their college careers with some very troubling beliefs.