ERIC Number: EJ925522
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar-30
Reference Count: 0
Studies Shed Light on How Cheating Impedes Learning
Sparks, Sarah D.
Education Week, v30 n26 p1, 16 Mar 2011
This article reports on new research which shows that, when students succeed at cheating on tests, they get duped into thinking they're smarter than they really are. In four experiments detailed in the March "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", researchers from the Harvard Business School and Duke University found that cheaters pay for the short-term benefits of higher scores with inflated expectations for future performance. The findings come as surveys and studies show a majority of students cheat--whether through cribbing homework, plagiarizing essays from the Internet, or texting test answers to a friend's cellphone--even though overwhelming majorities consider it wrong. The Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics, which has been tracking student character and academic honesty, has found that while the number of students engaging in specific behaviors has risen and fallen over the years, the number of students who admit to cheating on a test the previous year has not dipped below a majority since the first study in 1992. In the most recent survey, conducted in 2010, the study found that a majority of students cheat sometime during high school, and the likelihood of cheating increases the older students get. While most academic interest in cheating has focused on how students cheat and how to stop them, the Harvard-Duke study adds to emerging research suggesting that the mental hoops that students must leap through to justify or distance themselves from cheating can cause long-term damage to their professional and academic habits. The findings also point to aspects of school climate and instructional approach that can help break the cycle of cheating and self-deception.
Descriptors: Cheating, Ethics, Student Behavior, Plagiarism, Academic Achievement, Deception, Learner Engagement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A