Dr Jason Michael Stephens

PhD (Stanford), MEd (Vanderbilt), BA (UVM)


Jason M. Stephens is an Associate Professor in the School of Learning, Development and Professional Practice, where he teaches courses on human learning, development and motivation. His primary line of research focuses on academic motivation and moral development during adolescence. He is particularly interested in the problem of academic dishonesty and the incongruity between moral beliefs and behaviours related to cheating, which many adolescents report experiencing. He is a co-author of two books on schooling and moral development (Educating Citizens and Creating a Culture of Academic Integrity) as well as numerous journal articles and other publications related to academic motivation, moral judgment, self-regulation, and cheating behaviour among secondary and post-secondary students. Prior to joining the Faculty of Education and Social Work in May 2012, Dr Stephens was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut (2004-2012).

Research | Current

  • Academic motivation
  • Moral judgment
  • Self-regulation
  • Cheating behaviour among secondary and post-secondary students

Teaching | Current

EDUC 119 Development, Learning and Teaching (Stage One B.Ed. teacher candidates)

EDUC 223 Educational Psychology (Stage Two B.A. education students)

EDPROFST 313 The Professional Teacher (Stage Three B.Ed. teacher candidates)

Postgraduate supervision

Airy, Sam (2012 to present). Delivering courses in entrepreneurship as a vehicle for changing New Zealanders’ beliefs about their economic potential.  Ph.D. to be completed in 2018. *Co-supervisor (Prof Gavin Brown, primary supervisor)

Daniell, Glenys (2014 to present). Dead ends and doorways: Attainment and equity in upper secondary school qualifications’ pathways​.  Ph.D. to be completed in 2018. *Co-supervisor (Prof Helen Timperley, primary supervisor) until 2017, primary thereafter.

Park, Joon (2014 to present). An exploration of attitudes towards success and their relation to subjective well-being among high school and university students in New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.  Ph.D. to be completed in 2018. *Co-supervisor (Prof Gavin Brown, primary supervisor)

Shu, Shi (2015 to present). Enhancing MOOCs: Using instructional design to increase learner      motivation and engagement. Ph.D. to be completed in 2019. *Primary Supervisor (AP Kumar Laxman, co-supervisor)

Past Students

Jing, Yu (2013 to 2018). L2 motivations and self-identities of Chinese learners of English.  Ph.D. completed in May 2018. *Co-Supervisor (Prof Gavin Brown, primary supervisor)

Alansari, Mohamed (2013 to 2017). Predicting students’ success: What works with tertiary students? Ph.D. completed in November 2017. Nominated for the Vice-Chancellor's Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis in 2017. *Co-Supervisor (Christine Rubie-Davies, Primary Supervisor).

Erasmus, Michael (2014-15). A 4 x 2 model of achievement goals: Predicting academic engagement and achievement among high school students​. M.A. thesis (120-pt) was completed in November 2015 and earned first class honours. *Primary Supervisor (Penelope Watson, Co-Supervisor)

Chua, Nicholas (2014). The mediating role of teacher efficacy in the relationship between motivations for teaching and the integration of moral values in instruction: A study of secondary school teachers in Singapore​.  M.A. thesis (60-pt) was completed in November 2015 and earned first class honours. *Primary Supervisor (Annaline Flint, Co-Supervisor)

Kaur, Ripi (2013-2014). Exploring ethnic differences in academic motivation and achievement among university students​.  B.Ed.Hons. completed in November 2014. *Primary Supervisor (Peter Keegan, Co-Supervisor).

Laxon, Tracey (2013-2014). Teacher gender self-confidence and attitudes towards gender-diverse students in New Zealand schools.​  B.Ed.Hons. completed in January 2014. *Co-Supervisor (Penelope Watson, Primary Supervisor)

Hui, Fiona (2012-2014). Are we teaching with special expectations? Discovering the expectations of teachers towards children with special needs in New Zealand​.  M.A. completed in 2014. *Co-Supervisor (Christine Rubie-Davies, Primary Supervisor)


Research, teaching and service

Areas of expertise

  • Academic Motivation
  • Moral Development
  • Cheating Behaviour
  • Blended Learning 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Committees at the University of Auckland

  • International Center for Academic Integrity, University Representative (2016-2019)
  • Process Improvement and Assessment Innovation Working Group, Member (2016-present)
  • Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning Quality Committee, HoD Nominee (2015-2016)
  • School of LDPP Senior Leadership Team, Member (2015-2016)
  • School of LDPP Teaching and Learning Committee, Chair (2015-2016)
  • School of LDPP Research Committee, Member (2014-present)
  • School of LDPP Teaching and Learning Committee, Member (2013-2014)

Professional Groups/Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association (since 1996)
  • American Psychological Association (since 1998)
  • Association of Moral Education (since 2000)
  • Association for Psychological Science (since 2006)

Professional Service

  • Frontiers in Psychology, Associate Editor, 2016-present
  • International Journal for Educational Integrity, Editorial Board, 2015-present
  • Association for Moral Education (AME), Communications Coordinator, 2015-Present 
  • Social Psychology of the Classroom, 2013 International Conference -  Co-Organiser, 2012-2013
  • Journal of Moral Education (JME) - Editorial Board Member, 2012-2017
  • Association for Moral Education (AME) - Executive Board Member, 2011-2014
  • Association for Moral Education (AME) - Presidential Appointment to the Executive Board, 2010-2011
  • Moral Development and Education (AERA SIG) - Promise Award Committee, 2009-2010
  • Moral Development and Education (AERA SIG) - Program Chair, 2007-2008
  • Moral Development and Education (AERA SIG) - Newsletter Editor, 2005-2007
  • Moral Development and Education (AERA SIG) - Reviewer, Chair, Discussant, 2005-Present
  • Motivation in Education (AERA SIG) - Reviewer and Session Chair, 2005-2007
  • TOTOS International (Children’s Advocacy NGO) Advisory Board Member, 2005-2007
  • SAGE Open - Article Editor, 2011-Present
  • Frontiers in Educational Psychology - Associate Editorial Board, 2010-Present
  • Journal of Advanced Academics -  Editorial Review Board, 2007-2010

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Stephens, J. M. (2018). Bridging the Divide: The Role of Motivation and Self-Regulation in Explaining the Judgment-Action Gap Related to Academic Dishonesty. Frontiers in Psychology, 9.10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00246
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42392
  • Stephens, J. M. (2017). How to Cheat and Not Feel Guilty: Cognitive Dissonance and its Amelioration in the Domain of Academic Dishonesty. Theory Into Practice, 56 (2), 111-120. 10.1080/00405841.2017.1283571
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34393
  • Stephens, J. M., & Wangaard, D. B. (2016). The achieving with integrity seminar: an integrative approach to promoting moral development in secondary school classrooms. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 1210.1007/s40979-016-0010-1
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35393
  • Murdock, T. B., Stephens, J. M., & Grotewiel, M. M. (2016). Student dishonesty in the face of assessment: Who, why, and what we can do about it. In G. T. L. Brown, L. R. Harris (Eds.) Handbook of human and social conditions in assessment (pp. 186-203). New York, USA: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/37871
  • Stephens, J. M. (2016). Creating cultures of integrity: A multilevel intervention model for promoting academic honesty. In T. Bretag (Ed.) Handbook of academic integrity (pp. 995-1007). Singapore: Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/37872
  • Rubie-Davies, C. M., Stephens, J. M., & Watson, P. (Eds.) (2015). The Routledge international handbook of social psychology of the classroom. London, UK: Routledge. Pages: 397.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Rubie-Davies, Penelope Watson
  • Stephens, J. M., & Wangaard, D. B. (2013). Using the epidemic of academic dishonesty as an opportunity for character education: A three-year mixed methods study (with mixed results). Peabody Journal of Education, 88 (2), 159-179. 10.1080/0161956X.2013.775868
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30238
  • Stephens, J. M., Romakin, V., & Yukhymenko, M. (2010). Academic motivation and misconduct in two cultures: A comparative analysis of U.S. and Ukrainian undergraduates. International Journal of Educational Integrity, 6 (1), 47-60.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/18494

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 508
New Zealand

Social links

Web links