The fraud triangle is a theoretical concept explaining the prerequisites for participating in fraudulent activities. According to it, fraud requires opportunity, pressure, and rationalization to occur (Maulidi, 2020). This theory can also explain students engaging in academic dishonesty. The Internet makes borrowing information without referencing or finding another person to perform one’s assignments quite easy, meaning there is no shortage of opportunity. Pressure is present when a student risks failing the course or not receiving satisfactory grades unless the assignments are completed well. Finally, students can rationalize academic dishonesty by perceiving a given assignment or course as non-essential for their overall education or convince themselves that their time is too valuable to spend on such things. Professors cannot completely eliminate the students’ opportunity to use dishonest means and should not make allowances for those unable to cope with the course, which means pressure remains a factor as well. Hence, preventing academic dishonesty should best focus on explaining the importance of the courses and assignments for the future employment and career prospects to dismantle possible rationalizations students may have about engaging in academic dishonesty.
Maulidi, A. (2020). When and why (honest) people commit fraudulent behaviors? Extending the fraud triangle as a predictor of fraudulent behaviors. Journal of Financial Crime, 27(2), 541-559.