Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Maria Leach

Advisor Department



Fraud is defined as the intentional misrepresentation of facts for the purpose of personal gain, whether financial or otherwise. Transparency International’s annual global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has revealed that different countries have different perceived levels of corruption. Japan, Panama, and the United States were chosen as the countries in which to distribute a three-part questionnaire, measuring fraud awareness (FA), personal consumer ethics (EQ), and cultural values (CV), respectively. This survey was distributed to college students in each country who had not yet taken a business ethics course, in order to get a picture of inherent differences between the countries without the added influence of extra education on the subjects. These three countries were chosen because of ease of data collection compared to other countries, as well as the fact that they represent a fairly wide range of CPI scores. Theoretically, this study should act as a starting point to further understand why differences in corruption and occurrence of fraud occur in different nations, so that further research could allow professionals to share information across international borders, thus reducing fraud and its negative effects on both the individual and the global economy. It was found through the analysis of data collected in this study that the EQ measure, which is calculated based on questions about situational consumer ethical dilemmas, more positively affects FA than cultural values, which were scored based on the six dimensions of culture defined in Hofstede’s Model. It was also found that the U.S. was the most fraud aware in this study, followed by Japan and then Panama. This result is consistent with the 2017 CPI study.