Dr. David Rettinger's academic research interest focuses on academic integrity behavior, having published research on the psychology of cheating in such academic journals as "Theory into Practice," "Ethics and Behavior" and "Psychological Perspectives on Academic Cheating." As president of the International Center for Academic Integrity he oversees an organization founded to combat cheating, plagiarism and academic dishonesty in higher education.
Areas of Expertise (2)
University of Colorado: Ph.D., Psychology
University of Colorado: M.A., Psychology
University of Michigan: B.A., Psychology
Media Appearances (14)
If You Can't Stand the Cheat, Get Out of the Kitchen
As David Rettinger of University of Mary Washington noted on The Key, “If you’re going to give a 50-question multiple choice test, that’s pretty much the most cheatable possible assignment online. Even if you just change that to 10 five-question multiple choice quizzes, you’ve made it less likely that students will cheat, because you’ve reduced the stakes and the pressure.”
Remote Learning and Cheating: Professors and Students Weigh In
Teen Vogue online
“I call it a game of whack-a-mole,” says David Rettinger, president emeritus of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) and director of academic integrity at the University of Mary Washington. New sites are constantly rising in popularity, he explains, making it harder for professors to prevent students from seeking answers online, especially now.
Combating Cheating in the COVID Era: The Key Podcast
Inside Higher Education online
Are more students engaging in academic misconduct now than is normally the case?
Students Cheat. How Much Does It Matter?
The Chronicle of Higher Education online
While there aren’t any hard data showing that cheating has increased since the pivot online, says David Rettinger, a professor of psychology and director of academic integrity programs at the University of Mary Washington, it may well have. Either way, he says, higher ed was probably “naïve” about exam cheating before. Most in-person tests, Rettinger says, are not proctored especially well. It’s simply much easier to tell that students have copied from a website than from a classmate’s paper.
Best Way to Stop Cheating in Online Courses? ‘Teach Better’
Inside Higher Education online
"Ever since the first monks were saying, 'Oh, those new styluses are allowing them to illuminate those manuscripts much more easily, that’s clearly dishonest,' there's been somebody who thought the new technology makes [cheating] so much easier," David Rettinger, a professor of psychological science and director of academic programs at the University of Mary Washington, said during the Wiley webcast. "The reality is that there has always been people using technology for good and for ill. I don't think the internet is an epochal technological change -- it's just another in a series of the wheel turning."
Course Hero Woos Professors
Inside Higher Education online
David Rettinger appreciates that change is afoot in higher education, as professors like Gaye Johnson and Barbara Oakley suggest, and that faculty members may not be adjusting sufficiently to it. It's a "totally legitimate point that sharing documents can be beneficial in some particular cases and that tutoring can be legitimate in many cases," says Rettinger, professor of psychological sciences and director of academic programs at the University of Mary Washington, in Virginia.
The Ethics (and Crime) of Plagiarism
How Stuff Works online
The Ethics (and Crime) of Plagiarism (How Stuff Works) "It's a particular problem in academia because we care so much about the process," says David Rettinger, a professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the president of the International Center for Academic Integrity. "I say this to my students all the time: I don't care that you give me a [clean] paper. I care that you write a paper. The point is ... it's like sending someone to the gym for you. It completely defeats the purpose."
UA bans 'contract cheating'
UA bans 'contract cheating' (arkansasonline.com) Rettinger, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia who also directs the school's academic integrity program, said institutions "must teach our students why this is wrong." "If they value their education, and we can explain to them why a particular assignment furthers their education, they're more likely to attempt the assignment honestly," Rettinger said.
We tried buying a college admissions essay online, here's what happened
Good Morning America tv
“Contract cheating has grown a great deal over the past ten years, “ said Professor David Rettinger of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Rettinger is president of the International Center for Academic Integrity, an organization that promotes integrity in academia throughout the world. "Students are willing to use internet sites, family members, friends and other technology to get contractors to do their work.”
Cheaters Never Win? Many U.S. High School Students Disagree
how stuff works.com online
"The research I've seen and conducted doesn't demonstrate a huge uptick in cheating," explains University of Mary Washington associate professor of psychological science David Rettinger. He's also president of the International Center for Academic Integrity. "Research by Prof. Don McCabe over the past 20 years shows up and downs in reported cheating. My more recent follow-ups indicated that the trend is continuing." Rettinger is referring to the late Donald L. McCabe, who is often referred to as the founding father of research on academic integrity. McCabe also co-authored the book "Cheating in College: Why Students Do It and What Educators Can Do About It."
COLUMN: A cheatin' heart?
CTV News Channel online
Psychologist David Rettinger, from the University of Mary Washington, says that, “Cheating is contagious.” He believes that seeing other students cheat disinhibits and increases the tendency to cheat.
How to identify and prevent contract cheating
Journal of Accountancy online
“It’s an extremely thorny problem,” said David Rettinger, Ph.D., president of the International Center for Academic Integrity, which aims to combat cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty in higher education. “And it’s really tough to prevent if you’re not taking active measures.” However, Rettinger, who is also an associate professor of psychological science at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, notes that prevalence alone doesn’t capture the severity of the problem. That’s because even one student engaging in contract cheating can undermine the integrity of a university, he said.
Student’s death leads to investigation of possible cheating at George Mason
The Washington Post online
“It is very typical, at least in the lore, for social organizations to maintain these test banks,” said David Rettinger, president of the International Center for Academic Integrity and associate professor of psychological science at the University of Mary Washington. “Obviously it’s against the rules and undermines the learning that faculty hope will occur.”
How Many College Students Admit to Cheating?
Student Union online
David Rettinger, associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, says cheating is so difficult to prevent, in part, because of the examples students see in the world around them. “Cheating is deeply ingrained in our culture,” Rettinger says.“And when students look to politics, they look to business, and ... they see dishonesty being rewarded, it’s very difficult for those of us in higher education to make the argument that they should do things the right way...”
The role of emotions and attitudes in causing and preventing cheatingTheory Into Practice
David A. Rettinger
2017 Given that students at secondary and postsecondary levels believe that certain behaviors are morally wrong and consider them cheating, they still perform them, albeit infrequently. This article examines the psychology of cheating, emphasizing individual psychological factors that influence integrity behavior. From this research, strategies to prevent cheating for students at all levels emerge...
The influence of personality on the decision to cheatEthics & Behavior
Melissa McTernan, Patrick Love, David Rettinger
2013 Seventeen transgressive behaviors were studied in the context of six personality variables using survey methods. The personality variables were impulsivity, sensation seeking, empathetic perspective taking, guilt, and shame, with social desirability used as a control. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated a five-factor model as having the best fit...
Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Cheating: The Influence of Direct Knowledge and Attitudes on Academic DishonestyEthics & Behavior
Jillian O'Rourke, Jeffrey Barnes, Anna Deaton, Kristopher Fulks, Kristina Ryan, David A Rettinger
2010 What effect does witnessing other students cheat have on one's own cheating behavior? What roles do moral attitudes and neutralizing attitudes (justifications for behavior) play when deciding to cheat? The present research proposes a model of academic dishonesty which takes into account each of these variables. Findings from experimental (vignette) and survey methods determined that seeing others cheat increases cheating behavior by causing students to judge the behavior less morally reprehensible, not by making rationalization easier. Witnessing cheating also has unique effects, controlling for other variables...