Thursday, March 24, 2011

Breaking News: Students Who Cheat Overestimate Their Abilities

This new study by researchers at Harvard and Duke fits so well with the "preventing plagiarism" series that I felt the need to post it here.

The study found that:

1. Almost 60% of high school students admitted to cheating or plagiarizing at least once during the most recent academic year, even though most considered it unethical. Honors students cheat, too, and about the same rate (55%).

2. About 30% of students admitted to cheating more than once in the academic year.

3. Cheaters tend to lie to themselves about the way they earned the grade. The study (read the article for a description--it's an interesting scenario) found that those who cheated on a first test predicted that they would do much better on a second test than they actually did, and the inflation increased if the cheater received some kind of additional recognition for his/her performance on the first test.

4. The study also found, just as the comments on the previous post discussed, that cheating was reduced when students were encouraged to think about learning outcomes other than grades (in this case, the value of academic integrity).

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