The author of a new memoir about Harvard says the school's high-pressure environment may explain the cheating scandal that's embroiled 125 undergraduates. 

Eric Kester graduated in 2008 and recently published "That Book About Harvard: Surviving the World's Most Famous University, One Embarrassment at a Time." He said Harvard's hothouse atmosphere gives students an extra incentive to break the rules. 

"A lot of these students spend a long time trying get into Harvard — preparing SATs and doing everything," he said. "And then once they're there, they know what's on other side, potentially, of Harvard. Mark Zuckerberg is not that much older than us. They feel like there's lot at stake. And when fear of maybe failing out or failing a test comes, it can bend your morals and cause people to be desperate."

Nearly half the students in Harvard's Introduction to Congress course last spring allegedly worked together and even plagiarized each other despite instructions that specifically prohibited collaboration.

Kester discusses the issues on Greater Boston:

Watch Sept. 13, 2012: What's Next in the Harvard Cheating Scandal on PBS. See more from Greater Boston.