Melania Trump made headlines in a not-so-awesome way when she plagiarized parts of the speech she gave at the 2016 RNC. Although only Melania can say for sure why she stole from a speech written for and delivered by Michelle Obama, science shows us that plagiarizers usually grab others' words because of these common motivators:
1. Fear of Failure/Social Isolation--You anticipate that others will judge and ostracize you for not reaching specific expectations, so you plagiarize to obtain and maintain insider status.
2. Outcome Prioritization--You rationalize that the potentially positive, "greater good" outcome of the plagiarism is so significant that you can disregard any "rules" for how to get to the finish.
3. Stress--You feel anxious, unhappy and perhaps sick because of the pressure you're under to excel or finish fast, so you plagiarize so you can relax and feel better.
4. Untouchable Syndrome--Your ego is so high you think you'll never get caught and that you're above any consequences.
5. (Perceived) Lack of Skill--Plagiarism appears to be a valid way to ensure that poor writing doesn't get in the way of your legitimately good ideas. You might want those ideas to succeed because of your ego, money access, etc.
6. Desire for Familiarity--You feel uncomfortable because the topic you're writing or speaking about is new. You steal from other writers as a way to avoid facing what's different and challenging yourself.
7. Disinterest--You don't care about the topic. Plagiarism lets you get the job over fast and get back to what you really like.
8. Belief in Rigging--The system in which you're working seems "fixed". You plagiarize because you believe cheating is necessary to succeed based on the unfair practices in place.
Psychological motivators behind plagiarism can be strong, but that still doesn't make plagiarism acceptable. When you're tempted to go the easy route, use this list to identify what's really driving you and address the real issue.