CCE Theses and Dissertations

A Comparison of Ethical Attitudes of University Students With Those of Experts Using Computer-Related Scenarios

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Center for Computer-Based Learning


John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Barbara Boucher Owens

Committee Member

George K. Fornshell


Many studies exist that examine ethical beliefs and attitudes of university students attending medium or large institutions. There are also many studies which examine ethical attitudes and beliefs of computer science and information systems majors. None, however, examines ethical attitudes of university students (regardless of undergraduate major) at a small, Christian, liberal arts institution (Oklahoma Baptist University) regarding computer related situations. This study evaluates and compares students at a small, Christian, liberal arts school with those from neighboring state schools as well as compares those students' ethical attitudes with those of experts (thoughtful, responsible people in computer science, technology, and business). All of the situations presented involved some aspect of computing technology.

Findings tend to indicate that school size (small versus large) may be more of an influence on ethical beliefs rather than type of school (state versus private, Christian) Likewise, students attending OBU were more likely to exhibit significant differences in attitudes when age, expertise were used as predictor work experience, variables rather or computer than using gender, major, or completion of a prior course in ethics. Finally, OBU students' attitudes differed significantly from those of experts in almost half of the questions presented.

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