# I Will if You Will… Individual Thresholds and Group Behavior To Cheat or Not to Cheat? That is the Question.

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I Will if You Will… Individual Thresholds and Group Behavior To Cheat or Not to Cheat? That is the Question

Introduction Every educational institution is concerned about cheating. However, how they deal with it can vary greatly between them. Some of the ways are…

Way to Handle Cheating Individual instructors discretion Published list of offenses and punishments As little recognition as possible

The Purpose of This Study Analyzing the relationship between individual attitudes and group behavior. The subject of this model is a college professor interested in ways to combat cheating in his classroom.

The Setting Professor Ogive is concerned about an alarming rate of cheating in his class. To gain insight into what to do, he has decided to gather information about his students’ attitudes towards this problem

Collecting Data Prof. Ogive surveyed his class of 100 and asked each to respond to the following… 1.Which of the following situations would you prefer (check one)? ____ (a) No student will cheat. ____ (b) Every student feels free to cheat.

Question #2 2. Regardless of how you answered question 1, please respond to one of the following statements: ____ I will never cheat in this Introductory Statistics course. ____ I will cheat in this Introductory Statistics course when at least ___ of the class members choose to cheat.

…when at least ___ of the class members choose to cheat. Use a number that designates the smallest group of cheaters (within the class size of 100) which you would be willing to be part of. For example, if you are determined not to cheat unless everyone else does, you would fill in 100; if you would be willing to cheat as part of a group of 20 cheaters (but no smaller size group), fill in 20. The value you supply is called your cheating threshold for this class situation. Round your cheating threshold to a multiple of 10; this will make the results easier to tabulate. For example, if you would be willing to cheat if only a small group of people are doing so, then fill in 10 as a value (rather than 4).

The Results are In… 1.(a) 98 students preferred no cheating (b) 2 students preferred universal cheating. 2. 10 students indicated they would never cheat under any circumstances. The responses from the rest of the class were varied.

Student Response Table

Cheating Thresholds vs. # of Students Who Will Cheat

Assumptions Students have no reason to lie on their survey responses. Students are aware of the likely number of other students who will cheat. Prof. Ogive doesn’t increase cheating surveillance.

The Problem Grows To Prof. Ogive’s dismay, the cheating problem continued to grow in his class. He could tell from the data results that it was only going to get worse in the future. In a desperate act to reduce the cheating, he decided to confront the class about their responses.

A Change in the Pattern After the discussion Prof. Ogive had with the class, many were embarrassed with themselves and agreed to show more restraint. When Prof. Ogive conducted the survey a second time, the students changed their responses to reflect their new attitude.

Student Response Table

Cheating Thresholds vs. # of Students Who Will Cheat

Before & After

The “Right” Way to Deal With Cheating Thanks to the aid of math modeling, Prof. Ogive was able to successfully combat cheating in his classroom. He brought the subject public, bringing into account the students’ honor and shame.

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