Development of Convenience Theory
Criminological theories have proposed several reasons as to why people commit crime. These theories can be divided into three groups according to the areas in which they have a major affect: social structural theories, institutional theories, and individual theories. Convenience theory draws each of these groups in an attempt to explain what makes cheating so convenient to some students (see Figure 1). These same theories can also be used to explain what makes some professors more suitable targets for cheating than are other professors.
The factors that lead students to make the decision to cheat or not to cheat begin at the time of their births. Students are born with a certain IQ level and an ability to learn, that may or may not change over their lifetimes (biological/physiological theories). These factors may be inherited from the parents or they may be attributed to problems that occurred during gestation. Students may also inherit a greater susceptibility to succumb to cheating (Mednick's theory of inherited criminal tendencies). All these factors affect students' abilities to do well in college and whether they may choose the convenient way to good grades—cheating.