Psychology Research on Cheating Allows Students to Learn Entire Research Process


KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 21, 2021) — When Jennifer Willard, Associate Chair of the Department of Psychological Science and Professor of Psychology, noticed some odd communications behavior in the classroom, she realized that students were communicating about the class outside of formal class communication structures. Through discussion with her undergraduate research students, she found that students were using the messaging app GroupMe to communicate about the class.

Willard and her students decided to study students’ perceptions of academic misconduct when it comes to using these alternative methods of communication in class. They wanted to determine whether a professor’s idea of academic misconduct is different than a student’s idea of misconduct when it came to using this type of technology.

Two undergraduate students are helping her with the research, including psychology major Naomi Katz. This project allowed Katz to conduct research related to her major and learn research methods. Katz appreciated the opportunity to participate in the entire process from envisioning the project to conducting the research and writing the manuscript.

Check out the video below to learn more about the research conducted by Willard and Katz.