New paper of Cinzia Zanetti and Prof. Fabrizio Butera (Intitut of psychology, UnilaPS) published in Current Psychology
Collective cheating can have serious consequences in professional and educational settings. Existing data show that collective cheating is common and that individuals cheat more when they are in groups, highlighting the existence of some collective organisation in the endeavour. However, little is known about the emergence of this behaviour and the group processing involved. Drawing on qualitative data from 20 semi-structured interviews and a thematic analysis, the present study explored collective cheating in academic contexts. Seven themes emerged that retrace the chronology of collective cheating from its beginning to its impact on the group: reasons, birth and organisation of collective cheating, risk management, concealment strategies, justifications and social impact. Participants emphasised the extrinsic benefits, the interdependence of members and the importance of existing social norms, as well as the positive valence of this kind of dishonesty. In participants' recalls, cheating together means cooperating, showing solidarity, helping and supporting each other.