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Why students should cheat

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  • dk
    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
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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. 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.

      Teachers who allow cheating by letting students download papers from the
      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!

      NOT sent from an iPad
      (Incredibly this Email was written on a laptop computer running Windows!)
    • Nina Liakos
      What a sad commentary on the state of academic integrity.
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 5, 2011
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        What a sad commentary on the state of academic integrity.

        --- 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
      • ElizabethA
        ... 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
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          --- 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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