Study: Cheating Is Way of Life for Some Students Use Society to Measure Dishonesty

By Gross, Doug | The Florida Times Union, January 27, 2002 | Go to article overview

Study: Cheating Is Way of Life for Some Students Use Society to Measure Dishonesty


Gross, Doug, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Doug Gross, Times-Union staff writer

ATLANTA -- When 187 students were accused of cheating at Georgia Tech this month, plenty of heads turned.

The suspiciously similar work of students in two computer-programming classes was called a major academic scandal at one of the nation's most respected engineering schools.

If the students are guilty, they're not alone.

Surveys from the past few years show that most college students have cheated in some way and that the percentage of students who admit to cheating is on the rise.

The reasons for the increase are many, experts say, including tougher academic standards, easy access to information on the Internet and a perceived decline in ethics.

"Students just watch what's happening in the larger society," said Don McCabe, a Rutgers University professor who has studied cheating. "They see the deterioration of ethics . . . and say, 'With everything that's going on on Wall Street or in politics, what's wrong with a little bit of cheating?' "

In 1993, McCabe surveyed thousands of students at nine mid-size universities where similar surveys had been conducted in 1963.

In his study, 52 percent of students said they had cheated in some way on an exam, compared with 26 percent in 1963.

Keesha Warmsby, a University of Georgia sophomore, said she doesn't cheat and that most of her friends don't either.

But she knows that it goes on. Just last semester, she watched as two classmates appeared to pass notes during a multiple-choice test.

"It looked real suspicious," said the international business major from Dunwoody.

She considered e-mailing her professor, but since she couldn't prove anything, she decided against it.

At Georgia Tech, the 187 students were accused of cheating when school officials discovered that they may have collaborated on a class project.

The students -- mostly freshmen and sophomores -- are accused of sharing computer code information in two computer programming classes. A review panel of faculty members and students is investigating the case.

The apparent cheating was discovered with a Georgia Tech computer program that compares students' work.

Georgia Tech has long been known for its high level of competition and tough standards. But at all Georgia colleges and universities, getting good grades is more important than ever.

With the HOPE scholarship, many students get free tuition, books and housing as long as they keep a B average.

Warmsby said that could lead some of her classmates to cut corners if they are on the verge of losing their free ride.

"I totally understand that . . . [but] I don't sympathize with anybody that's in that boat," she said. "If it's that important to you, you probably would have started out doing the right thing."

McCabe said such high-stakes situations can push a potential cheater over the edge.

INTERNET'S ALLURE

There are plenty of other factors.

McCabe notes that a larger percentage of the population goes to college now than in the 1960s. As a result, more students may be unprepared and tempted to cut corners just to keep up.

And according to McCabe, some students say they cheat because they know others are doing it and professors aren't doing much to stop it. Not joining in, they say, would put them at a disadvantage.

"A lot of them suggest to me . . . that if the teacher stopped the other students, they would stop too," he said. "They say, 'I'm only cheating out of self-defense.' "

And advancements in technology have brought new ways to cheat.

The Internet offers no shortage of Web sites where students can purchase pre-written term papers on anything from Shakespeare to the history of the soft drink industry. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Study: Cheating Is Way of Life for Some Students Use Society to Measure Dishonesty
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.