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The Economics of Cheating (And Catching Cheaters)

Over at Gangwon notes, there’s an interesting post about the economics of caring about cheating.. I should note that this is specific to cheating on tests.

I gotta say, I kind of agree. Most cheaters:

One last thought: in my pre-University education, I was terrified by the fact that the idiots and jocks would somehow always position themselves next to me when test time rolled around. They did this, of course, in order to cheat. The reason I was terrified was that if someone cheated off my test, most of my teachers would not hold the cheater alone responsible: the fact that someone copied off my exam meant I was culpable too. (I’m talking elementary and middle school here.) Also, those of us who studied very rapidly learned to resent and distrust those who used their time in other ways and then tried to capitalise on our studiousness.

So the smart kids in most of my classes all developed ways of shielding their papers, and preventing others from cheating off them. And what do you know, I cannot remember the last time someone cheated off a test paper I was answering. I do think that cultivating some of that mood helps. Not paranoia, but, a sense of, “Screw off, you’re not copying from MY test paper.”

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