Long Island Test Cheating Scandal: Motives?

This article begins with the description of a large standardized test cheating scandal that occurred in Long Island in 2011 as well as the addition of a few earlier theories that psychologists developed to analyze the motives behind the decision to cheat. These psychologists had different views including one that states moral development progresses through six different stages (Kohlberg), while others believed that cheating occurs in the subconscious and varies with the situation that one is in (Bazerman). Overall, this article attempts to unveil the reasons behind behaviors such as cheating and environments that promote one to make the decision to cheat; it allows the reader to have an insight on these varying circumstances of human actions.

These situations can be either due to environmental factors as well as internal aspects of one’s thoughts and mental or sleep state.

The article highlights determinism as an explanation to various actions and refers to the concept that behaviors are due to the genetic makeup of humans as well as environmental factors.

There is no free will involved in the behavior that one exhibits. This belief often facilitates certain acts such as cheating, as people believe that they do not influence the way that they behave in a certain situation.

The environment that one takes a test or completes a task in can have a large effect on whether or not someone will succumb to cheating. The studies described in the article stated that when inside a messy room filled with either items or graffiti, lead to more cheating.

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Additionally, the researchers discovered that the lighting of a room can influence the decision of one to cheat or to refrain from cheating. Often times, a darker room can lead to someone believing that they are more anonymous and will not be detected, even though this idea is usually false; this was referred to as “illusory anonymity” in the article. The darkness can act as a mask for people and can cause people to participate in actions usually foreign to them.

An internal factor that leads to the repetition of cheating is the fact that many tend to justify cheating after it occurs by convincing himself or herself of the rationale behind the action. This causes the person to fall into this repetitive, cheating pattern; once his or her moral compass deteriorates even slightly, it becomes easier to accept and perform this behavior. Increased cheating can also be attributed to fatigue and exhaustion, as this state of being can cause one to be more inclined to cheat if the circumstance arises. College students are increasingly more sleep deprived, so cheating on both exams and written assignments becomes an “easy” way to succeed more quickly to move on to the next assignment.

As a worldwide issue, universities around the world should implement various approaches to reduce the likelihood of cheating in the college environment. Creating multiple versions (at least three) of an exam could deter wandering eyes that can result from fatigue. Checking ID’s before students are allowed to enter the classroom for an exam aids with the problem of having students pose as other students. Though both of these options can be time consuming, they present a relatively foolproof method to prevent cheating. Well-lit rooms with auditorium style seating and many proctors allow for the professor to have a clear view of all of the students to avoid any cheating scandals that could develop mid-exam. Controlling online homework and assignments presents a more difficult issue as the internet is extremely intricate and it can be difficult to monitor each student. However, plagiarism scanners and online proctors are possible solutions that may not completely solve the issue, but can improve the issue.

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Long Island Test Cheating Scandal: Motives?. (2022, Jul 16). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/large-standardized-test-cheating-scandal-that-occurred-in-long-island-in-2011-motives-behind-the-decision-to-cheat/

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