In the LaBeff et al. (Cite) survey of student cheaters, appeal to higher loyalty was the third most prevalent reason the students gave for their cheating. They claimed an obligation to their peer group overrode their resistance to cheating, such as helping a friend that needed a better grade. In the McCabe survey (Cite), seven percent of the students claimed appeal to higher loyalties as a justification for their cheating.
McCabe’s larger survey fully supported the findings of the earlier and smaller Labeff et al. survey on all aspects of the application of neutralization theory to college student cheating. Both studies found that neutralization permits some students to justify cheating in their own minds.
Minor (Cite) identified two more techniques of neutralization in addition to the five techniques that were identified by Sykes and Matza. These two techniques are:
Defense of Necessity. Defense of necessity reduces guilt by allowing offenders to view their deviance as the only choice available to them in a given set of circumstances (Cite). Offenders may claim their criminal behavior was necessary to survive or to achieve vital economic goals, such as graduation from college (Cite). Student cheaters also use this defense to justify their illegal behavior (Cite).
Metaphor of the Ledger. In metaphor of the ledger, offenders feel they have built up a sufficient supply of “good” behavior to their credit and thus can indulge in some “bad” behavior without any feelings of guilt. Students who feel they are “good people” who only need a little help in certain situations, may use metaphor of the ledger to justify their cheating.