Why students should cheat

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• Why should students cheat? Because it is rational. Game Theory explains this. Let s forget about cheating for a minute and do an experiment with our students.
Message 1 of 3 , Nov 4, 2011
Why should students cheat?

Because it is rational. Game Theory explains this.

Let's forget about cheating for a minute and do an experiment with our
students. Let's take 100 students and give each of them \$100 and a red
electronic button.

The students have to make one decision. Press the button or not press the
button.

What happens if they press the button?

\$2 is deducted from every student. If one student presses the button,
everyone is left with \$98. If 50 students press the button, everyone has
zero. If 100 students press the button, everyone is \$100 in debt.

However there is one more rule to the game. If the student does push the
button, his losses are cut in half.

That is, if he is the one pushing the button, everyone loses \$2 and he only
loses \$1. If 50 students push the button, he only loses \$50. If 100 students
push the button, he loses all \$100 but is not in debt.

What would you do?

What will the student do?

Maybe he wants to win, whatever the cost, and pushes the button and hopes
others don't.

Maybe he is a nice guy and doesn't want to bring harm to others but he may
wind up seriously in debt. Or, even though he is a nice guy, he realizes
that there is a good possibility that others are going to push the button
and although he doesn't want to do it, he feels he must push the button in
self-defense.

There are some negatives. There are costs to cheating, a cost to ethics,
morals, standards. Each cheater contributes to a loss of respect of ethical
standards or morals.

There are some positives. What are the payoffs? To calculate the payoffs, we
have to factor in the benefits of higher scores, better diplomas, better
schools, better jobs, better incomes. In China, factor in the fact that the
child is the parents' sole social security, the parents' sole retirement
fund is that child and his future earnings. A financially successful child
means a richer retirement. A financially failed child means a poverished
retirement.

Each cheater causes scores to rise. Because the cheaters are scoring top
marks, it makes the students who are not cheating, the "honest" students,
look like poorly performing students even though they may be better students
than the cheaters. The cheaters are getting the high scores and the "honest"
students are getting the lower scores. The "honest" student will be at the
bottom of the rankings.

Internet or give away answers or give high scores or even passing scores
arbitrarily, look like better teachers because their students score so well.
The cheaters are getting the high scores and "honest" teacher will be at the
bottom of the rankings if many other teachers are cheating. He has to cheat
in self-defense.

Schools where students graduate with top scores look like schools that are
teaching well. The cheaters are getting the high scores and "honest" school
will be at the bottom of the rankings if many other schools are cheating. It
has to cheat in self-defense.

According to Game Theory, this is the rationality, the dynamics, that are
work. This is why it is rational for students to cheat, teachers to cheat,
even schools to cheat.

These dynamics work against any individual student, individual teacher or
individual school who may want to stop their cheating.

This is why an appeal to ethical or moral behavior is too simplistic to deal
with a complex problem.

Dave Kees
GUANGZHOU, CHINA

Email - DAVEKEES@...
Chat - Skype:DAVEKEES
Blog - http://davekees.wordpress.com/ <--Banned in China & Iran!

TEFL TEACHERS
Insights, ideas, opinions, tips, debates from TEFL teachers around the
world!
Blog - http://teflteachers.wordpress.com/ <--Banned in China & Iran!

(Incredibly this Email was written on a laptop computer running Windows!)
Message 2 of 3 , Nov 5, 2011

--- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "dk" <davekees1@...> wrote:
>
> Why should students cheat?
>
> Because it is rational. Game Theory explains this.
...
> This is why an appeal to ethical or moral behavior is too simplistic to deal
> with a complex problem.
>
> Dave Kees
> GUANGZHOU, CHINA
• ... Being simplistic, I think it s one of those if you re not with us, then you are agaist us statements to which the only answer is no thank you
Message 3 of 3 , Nov 8, 2011
--- In evonline2002_webheads@yahoogroups.com, "dk" <davekees1@...> wrote:
>
> Why should students cheat?
>
> Because it is rational. Game Theory explains this.
>
Being simplistic, I think it's one of those "if you're not with us, then you are agaist us" statements to which the only answer is

"no thank you"

Complexity theories do not lead to just one swarm - IMHO there are other swarms which, while less materially rich have more love :-)
amitiés à tous

(...)
>
> These dynamics work against any individual student, individual teacher or
> individual school who may want to stop their cheating.
>
> This is why an appeal to ethical or moral behavior is too simplistic to deal
> with a complex problem.
>
> Dave Kees
> GUANGZHOU, CHINA
>
> Email - DAVEKEES@...
> Chat - Skype:DAVEKEES
> Blog - http://davekees.wordpress.com/ <--Banned in China & Iran!
>
> TEFL TEACHERS
> Insights, ideas, opinions, tips, debates from TEFL teachers around the
> world!
> Blog - http://teflteachers.wordpress.com/ <--Banned in China & Iran!
>
> NOT sent from an iPad
> (Incredibly this Email was written on a laptop computer running Windows!)
>
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