What`s God Have to Do with It
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
WILLIAMS, L. W. (2004). What`s God Have to Do with It. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 7. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved April 25, 2017 .

What`s God Have to Do with It

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
Recently there has been a great deal of concern dealing with students cheating in schools. There has been an equal concern over prayer in the public school system. Researchers are trying to provide a solution to the problem of academic dishonesty. The purpose of my research is to find if there is a relationship between religiosity and academic honesty. In doing this research I hope to show that honesty is directly influence by ones religiosity.

Recently there has been a lot of media attention focused on whether or not to allow prayer in public schools. There also has been a lot of media attention focused on the problem of honesty among students. Often one can find numerous religious materials posted in areas where students gather. Most universities and campuses have bulletin boards on campus building posing religious activities near or around campus. Cheating is prevalent on college campuses. Some universities report fifty-two percent of the students admitted to cheating. While larger state universities, the percentage of academic dishonesty is as high as eighty-six percent (Pino, Smith, 2003).Religiosity tends to decline in a college or university environment. Students who are a part of religious groups while at college are more religious than students with secular affiliations (Roberts, Koch, Johnson, 2001). According to research, suggest those spiritually centered individuals are more likely to be emotionally well adjusted and have a more positive self-concept. People who are strong in religious beliefs tend to emphasize those aspects in daily life (Pedersen, 2000). The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a relationship between religiosity and academic honesty.


Data for this research were collected from 80 undergraduate Psychology 101 freshman students at Missouri Western State College. The participants were given extra credit for their participation.

The participants were given a pencil and paper survey. They were presented with a 12-question survey on religiosity (Stayhorn, 1990). They were also presented a nine-question survey on honesty (Smith, 1998). Both surveys were given to both male and female participants.

Participants were given written and verbal instruction to mark what they feel is an appropriate response to the survey.

A Pearson correlation was conducted comparing the scores of religiosity and honesty. A significant, but low positive correlation was found r (77) = .242, p = .03.

There are many influences upon honesty; religiosity is just one of many such influences. Religiosity and honesty are difficult to define. This may have lead to some confusion on the part of the participants. In my study I was able to find a slight relationship between religiosity, and honesty. I believe that this study has merit, and should be replicated perhaps with a more diverse group of students. There may be better scales adapted for clearer understanding.

Pedersen, Darhl M., (2000). The relation of spiritual self-identity to religious orientations and attitudes. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 28, 2.Pino, Nathan W., Smith, William L., (2003). College students and academic dishonesty. College Student Journal, 37, 4. Roberts, Alden E., Koch, Jerome R., Johnson, Paul D., (2001). Religious reference groups and the persistence of normative behavior: an empirical test. Sociological Spectrum, 21, 1.Smith, Jimmie N., Nolan, Rebecca F., Dai, Yong (1998). Faculty perception of student academic honesty. College Student Journal, 32, 2. Stayhorn, J.M., Weidman, C. S., & Larson, D., (1990). A measure of religiousness, and its relation to parent and child mental health variables. Journal of Community Psychology, 18, 34-43

Submitted 12/10/2004 10:54:52 AM
Last Edited 12/10/2004 11:15:27 AM
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