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Preliminary investigation revealed that the cause of unethical academic behaviour among students could be as a result of the attitude they have towards plagiarism which could be triggered by a number of factors one of which is academic motivation. Academic motivation is seen to be a psychological dimension which triggers attitude towards an academic phenomenon. However, few studies if any have been seen to investigate academic motivation and attitude towards plagiarism among undergraduates. Also, no identified study has investigated academic motivation and attitude towards plagiarism among undergraduates in Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan. Hence, the study investigated academic motivation and attitude towards plagiarism among undergraduates in Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The population comprises of 2,366 undergraduates from the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan. Sample size of 342 undergraduates was selected using the stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected with the aid of questionnaires and analysed with SPSS using frequencies, percentage, mean and standard deviation. The simple correlation was used to determine relationships among variables.
The findings revealed that the undergraduates were both intrinsically ( = 3.15) and extrinsically ( = 3.23) motivated. However, they are seen to be more extrinsically motivated than intrinsic motivated. It was also revealed from the findings that that the negative ( = 3.19) attitude of students towards plagiarism surpasses their positive ( = 2.76) attitude to the acts of plagiarism. However, the students were seen to have strong positive attitude towards plagiarism. the acts that constitute plagiarism from the perspective of the students are; Copy and paste, Word switching, Paraphrasing without having to name the source anymore, etc. There is weak positive significant relationship between academic motivation of the students and their attitude towards plagiarism.
Plagiarism like any other deviant behavior in the society might be difficult to eradicate, but with increased in undergraduates academic motivation, a well suitable attitude towards the act can be possessed by the undergraduates, thereby reducing undergraduates’ involvements to the barest minimum. Hence, Management of the universities should come up with policies that would ensure the negative attitude of the students towards plagiarism is strengthened. This policy could include setting up a reward mechanism that would encourage original and novel work.