Friday, December 13, 2013

Abstract, Bibliography and Link to paper

Economic Disparity and the Cheating Prevalence

This paper dives into the culture of cheating, specifically in school settings. Academic Dishonesty has become more prevalent today than it was years ago. I will argue that this is because of an economic gap between social classes, a lower moral standard today, and because of the competitiveness of schools and the job market today. This cheating culture does not only apply to those in school today, but those in their careers, such as teachers, who also have acted dishonestly. To combat the stressful demands of school or work, people often times take on a “neutralizing attitude”. This attitude is a way for these people to justify their actions so that they can live with the decisions they have made, especially when is comes to cheating. While there is a cheating prevalence today, there are still actions that can be taken and methods that can be used to at least curtail the prevalence of cheating behavior.

Bouville, Mathieu. “Cheating and Neutralization.” Diss. University of Cambridge, 2008. Cheating and Neutralization. University of Cambridge. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. <>
Callahan, David. The cheating culture: why more Americans are doing wrong to get ahead. Orlando: Harcourt, 2004. Print.
“College, Inc.” PBS, Frontline.  4 May 2010. Web.  
Haines, Valerie J, George M Diekhoff, Emily E LaBeff, and Robert E Clark. "College cheating: Immaturity, lack of commitment, and the neutralizing attitude." Research in Higher Education25.4 (1986): n. pag. SpringerLink. Web. 26 Oct. 2013.
Josien, Laurent, and Britton Broderick. "Cheating In Higher Education: The Case of Multi-Method Cheaters." Academy of Educational Leadership Journal;2013 17.3 (2013): 93. Ebsco host. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
Lang, James M.. Cheating lessons: learning from academic dishonesty. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013. Print.
McCabe, D. L., Trevino, L., & Butterfield, K. D. (2001). Cheating in Academic Institutions: A Decade of Research. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 219-232.
McCabe, Donald L., and Kenneth D. Butterfield.Cheating in college: why students do it and what educators can do about it. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012. Print.
NEA Higher Education Research Center.  “Higher Education and Privatization.”  NEA Update.  10.2 (March 2004). Web.
Ornstein, Allan C.. Class counts: education, inequality, and the shrinking middle class. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Group, 2007. Print.
Tomar, Dave. The shadow scholar: how I made a living helping college kids cheat. New York: Bloomsbury, 2012. Print.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Counter Argument and Argument

My argument that I would like to discuss in my paper is the culture of cheating around academic institutions. Their is an overall culture to not follow the rules or guidelines in society today. This is driven by the economic disparity and propensity of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Many people feel the need to cheat to get where they need to be and it is overall not seen as taboo anymore. People do not feel a sense of wrong doing when they cheat to do something that is necessary for them to thrive. Many people would like to argue that the cheating culture is not driven by anything more than a failure in the morals of society today. While there may be a shred of truth to that statement, the overwhelming factor that leads to cheating seems to be the want and or need to get ahead in society. Another argument that may arise is the question of where is the motivation coming from for students to cheat. Some people may argue that their is an intrinsic motivation for students, something that they feel in themselves that drives them to cheat. This also does not seem to be the factor that is really pushing people to act dishonestly. Extrinsic motivation from outside factors such as job security, competition for programs, and many other situations are the real motivations to act in a dishonest way. 

Literature Review #5

Cheating Lessons: Learning From Academic Dishonesty

James Lang

MLA Citation: 


The book does a good job at breaking down just about everything there is to know about cheating in education. The author investigates who is cheating and why they are cheating. He does a great job at also looking down other avenues to find answers as to why there is a culture of cheating in today's academic world. James Lang doesn't only talk about cheating in today's world, he also begins with the history of cheating and ends with the future of academic dishonesty. Lang talks about how this culture of cheating can be stopped, and if not stopped, at least slowed down. He discusses methods for how to approach students in a way to prevent cheating form happening.


James Lang has been discussing topics in Education for what seems to be his whole career. He has wrote three books on topics in education and has a monthly column on teaching and learning in The Chronicle for Higher Education. He also lectures and gives public talks about education and cheating around the country. 

Key Terms:

Self Efficacy: How much a student believes he understands the material. This also relates to the confidence a student has in his/her ability to get a good grade in a class.

Meta Cognition: A persons awareness of his or her own level of knowledge and thought processes


"But it can create a significant problem for college students, in that  poorly gauged overconfidence in their knowledge of course material can lead them to understudy- and hence might be as likely to induce cheating as a lack of confidence in their abilities" (129)

"teachers admitted to placing lower performing students next to high achievers so they could cheat more easily, pointing to correct answers while students were taking tests, and reading aloud answers during testing" (29)

"By marked contrast, in the case of both the Chinese civil service exams and the Atlanta teachers, the motivation was purely an extrinsic one; a strong performance on the exam brings either an extrinsic reward, or the removal of an extrinsic threat." (31)


This book is of great value to my paper. Lang details parts of my argument in length and also brought a great point that can add to my argument. The case of the Atlanta teachers who cheated on the state tests for their students for their own job security is a great example and link to the cheating culture described in another book that Im using for this paper. This book should be a pivotal part of my paper.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


 I chose to just interview some of my friends to see what their opinions were about cheating and how they have approached cheating throughout their schooling career. I feel that these first hand accounts and opinions are quite valuable to what my final topic is on. 

Have you ever cheated?
Mike: Yes
How many times? When did you do  it most? How did you cheat most often?
Mike: Middle schooled=too scared, raised not to cheat.
High School: Cheating was more prevalent. Mainly cheated off of other students if he was struggling on a test.
College: Never plagiarized, still cheated off other peoples tests if he was struggling.
What was your reasoning as to why you cheated? Did you feel the need to rationalize your decisions?
Mike: I needed good grades, “If I didn’t know the answer, I’m going to look somewhere else”
He doesn’t feel the need to rationalize his decision. Is completely okay with it.
“Everybody cheats, if you don’t cheat you are a liar, and nobody likes liars”
Have you ever cheated on online exams or assignments?
Mike: Yes, even if the course said specifically not to use a textbook or collaborate with anyone, it was too easy not to use my textbook or ask someone if they knew the answer. It would not have been that easy to cheat if the assignment or test wasn’t online.
Do you look at cheating as a hindrance to education, or do you see your classes as just an obstacle to your end goal?
Mike: tough question… Ideally, I would learn everything that the course has to offer. After a while though, I just want the class to be over. Realistically, I’m going to resort to cheating because the workload often becomes tedious and heavy and it’s just not worth dealing with.

Have you ever cheated?
Joey: Yes
How many times?
Joey:  First time he cheated in Elementary school.  Cheated the same amount in middle school and High school. Has only cheated on online tests in college.
What was your reasoning as to why you cheated? Did you feel the need to rationalize your decisions?
Joey: I just wanted good grades. I just did it. I never thought of to even rationalize it. It was never even really a thought. I did it and never looked back. The only reason I would have felt bad is if I got caught, because then my parents would make me feel bad about it.
Have you ever cheated on online exams or assignments?
Do you look at cheating as a hindrance to education?
It depends on the extent of the cheating. If you are just getting a couple questions from someone else then its not really a hindrance. If you are cheating more than you are not, then it is a hindrance.
Do you see your classes as just an obstacle to your end goal?
Core requirement classes and classes that are forced upon me are just looked at as obstacles to an end goal. Classes for my major, or that are an interest to me I see as a way for me to educate myself on the stuff that matters.

Have you ever cheated?
How many times?
First time cheated was in early high school. Cheating off other peoples homework assignments.  As I got lazier, during a test I would just look off others peoples test. Sometimes I’ll look at someone elses test if I’m struggling during the test, but its much harder to cheat in college. Im definitely becoming more independent as to studying and test taking.
What was your reasoning as to why you cheated? Did you feel the need to rationalize your decisions?
I just wanted good grades. There was so much emphasis on the end result and grade rather than actual education.  Feels no real need to rationalize the need to cheat.
Have you ever cheated on online exams or assignments?
Never had an online test or quiz, but will use internet sources for  assignments
Do you look at cheating as a hindrance to education?
“Yes the education systems put too much emphasis on the grades rather than the actual content that you learned”
Do you see your classes as just an obstacle to your end goal?
No. Ultimately everything that you learn in college will help you in the future. I try to make a meaning out of classes even if I cant see one to begin with.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Research Blog #7

My Case

One of the main cases that I'm going to use for my argument is the case of Ken Ilgunas. This is obviously a book that we are all familiar with. His story really shoes the economic struggle that college students go through and the lengths at which people are willing to go to beat the system. Ken Ilgunas was determined to achieve his goal of graduate school and he really didnt care the methods he used to accomplish it. This seems to be the overall culture today in regards to schooling and I think that his case will fit in perfectly into the argument that I am trying to make. 

Research Blog Post #6

Neutralizing Attitudes
This table is from one of my journals that shows the the types of situations that students may find themselves in. The study is to determine what students will agree is a good enough reason to cheat which is called in this article the Neutralizing effect. One of the neutralizing effects that is the most influential is if the Professor seems to not care whether the students learn the material, or whether or not the instructor acts as if he is the only class that students have to worry about. This neutralizing statements offer a window into why students either feel the need to cheat or how they rationalize it at the end of the day. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Literature Review #4

College Cheating: Immaturity, Lack of Commitment, and the Neutralizing Attitude

MLA Citation:

Haines, Valerie J, George M Diekhoff, Emily E LaBeff, and Robert E Clark. "College cheating: Immaturity, lack of commitment, and the neutralizing attitude." Research in Higher Education25.4 (1986): n. pag. SpringerLink. Web. 26 Oct. 2013.


This article breaks down cheating into many the many different forms and shows how and why it happens. One of the stand out points of this article is the fact that it talks about a 'Neutralizing attitude'. The neutralizing attitude is basically just the rationalization that a student uses to feel better about cheating. The types of neutralization that are talked about are the denial of responsibility, denial of a victim, denial of an injury, condemnation of the condemner, and appeal to higher loyalties. The article also discusses the types of people who cheat and the reasons as to why they cheat.


Valerie J. Haines, George M. Diekhoff, Emily E. LaBeff, and Robert E. Clark

Key Terms:

Neutralizing Attitude: The way that students rationalize their decision to cheat so that they can live with a clear conscience

Fundamental Factors: Some of the most important factors that determine why a student would cheat and the demographic that they fit in.


"In each case, the individual professes to support a particular societal norm or law but also recognizes the special circumstances which allow or even require the individual to violate the norm or law. This neutralization process is presumed to free the individual to deviate without considering himself or herself a deviant, thus eliminating or reducing the sense of guilt or wrongdoing" pg 346

"The use of such techniques conveys the message that students recognize and accept cheating as an undesirable behavior; however, its occurence can be excused in certain instances" pg 353

"A second factor related to cheating is the cheater's lack of investment in his or her education. The students in this study who admitted cheating were less likely to have paid for their own tuition and books than were non cheaters" pg 352


This article has a good amount of value for my paper especially since it talks about the idea of neutralization which has yet to have been discussed in my other articles. It also approaches the demographic side, causes of cheating, and how to prevent it in a different way from my other articles. It tries to make a link between the neutralizing effects and the cheating deterrents. I plan on using this article in my paper to particularly discuss the neutralizing effect.