An Investigation of Factors That Influence Fraudulent Academic Excuse Making

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Spring 2023


The purpose of this study was to better understand factors that influenced academic fraudulent excuse making. Previous research shows that deception in many forms is very common (e.g., Austin et al., 2006; Griffin et al., 2015; Kapoor & Kaufman, 2021; Murdock & Anderman, 2006). Fraudulent excuse making has been predominantly studied non-experimentally. However, this study uses the experimental methods presented by Carmichael and Krueger (2014) to assess factors that influence false claims. This research investigated the influence of the type of course (i.e., required versus elective) and of the type of due date policy (i.e., firm versus flexible) on the decision to give a fraudulent excuse to gain an extension on an assignment and found no significant influence of these factors. In addition, the relation between students who provide excuses and their attitudes about excuse making was studied. This research found those who gave excuses recognized the unfairness of higher grades given to late assignments and they were less likely to tell on a classmate who gave false excuse. Overall, students who gave fraudulent excuses had more positive views on fraudulent excuse making. The confidence levels of the believability of common excuses were investigated and the results showed “family emergency” to have the highest levels of believability over all other common claims presented. These results built on the experimental research of Carmichael and Krueger’s study and contributed to the existing literature on fraudulent excuse making.


Lacy E. Krueger

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology