Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Andre Kehn


The current study examined cheating behavior, the role of self-regulation, and if the distal causal framework of life history theory could illuminate the relationships between self-regulation and cheating behavior. Participants in the experimental condition had their state self-regulation taxed (compared to the control condition); participants had an opportunity to cheat, which was recorded unbeknownst to participants. Additionally, participants completed questionnaires and tasks assessing individuals' life history strategy, trait self-regulation, and mood. It was hypothesized taxed state self-regulation, lower trait self-regulation, and a faster life history strategy would increase cheating behavior and a faster life history strategy would predict lower trait self-regulation. Results illustrate while the taxed self-regulation condition produced no significant change in cheating behavior, a faster life history strategy and the interaction of life history strategy and trait self-regulation were significant predictors of cheating behavior. Implications are discussed.