Effects of Group Size

Topics: Conformity, Sociology, Cheating Pages: 9 (2443 words) Published: October 6, 2014


The Effect of Group Size towards Students’ Cheating Behaviour

Ednalino, Merici L.
Aribon, Margaret T.
Ledesma, Chelsea
Mabunga, Jewen
Manalo, Jan Pauline
Pahila, Deneb
Kang You Ma

Among students, one of the most prominent definitions for cheating is the act of taking an examination or a test in a dishonest manner through which one attempts to access answers in a fraudulent and inappropriate way. Students begin to develop the unethical behaviour as they set foot in middle school and peak through high school. 9 out of 10 middle school students admit to copying one’s homework, two thirds admit to cheat during exams, while 57-89% of college students admits that they have cheated at some point during their university/college days (Robinson, E., Amburgey, R., Swank., & Faulkner, C., 2004). Statistics show that the rate of cheating among students has dramatically increased over the last 60 years (Groves, 1936). Some identify cheating as a whimsical and harmless act, maintaining the belief that it is right to engage in cheating (Brezina, T., 2000). According to Michael Josephson, an ethicist, students nowadays are more prone to cheating .Most sources suggest that as the world grows into a colossal environment of competition, people, not only students, are more compelled to cheat in order to advance, remain competitive and to avoid being left out. The results of the study Robinson, Amburgey, Swank & Faulkner (2004) conducted suggest that occasional cheating has become the norm; and this fact should attract some attention. When individuals are aware that they are surrounded with people who cheat, there is a tendency to consider and conform to cheating (Piovesan, M., Hansen., L & Fosgaard., 2012) showed findings suggesting that cheating conformity (people conforming to cheat) and cheating awareness are two important factors in cheating. When one becomes aware of a situation where people engage in cheating, cheating potentially becomes the norm; paving the way for people to conform to it.

Even though the act of cheating is genuinely considered wrong, still, cheating has become rampant in universities and educational institutions worldwide—and the collective ways of people to conform to this becomes the culprit. It is important to understand that the power of conformity is capable of distorting our discernment of what is right and what is wrong. Having a proper understanding of conformity gives way to a more open mind: it gives people a stronger capacity to assess one’s actions based on his/her own proper judgment.

The researchers in this study are concerned with the effect of group size in conforming to cheating behaviour. The objectives of the researchers are the following: 1. To measure the effect of 5 confederates in a small group size on cheating behaviour among students by measuring the number of people who conformed to cheating.

2. To measure the effect of 5 confederates in a medium group size on cheating behaviour among students by measuring the number of people who conformed to cheating.

3. To measure the effect of 5 confederates in a large group size on cheating behaviour among students by measuring the number of people who conformed to cheating.

4. To determine whether being aware that the members of the group are cheating can increase the likelihood of cheating behaviour.

Cheating Behaviour
Cheating behaviour is a phenomenon that is predominantly seen nowadays in our society, from schools marital fealty to the subtle ways of our government. In this study, the researchers aim to see if conformity is a factor in increasing cheating behaviour. Different studies suggest that there are several factors that affect cheating behaviour.

In a study conducted by Erin Robinson et.al in the year 2004, they tested the cheating habits of students in a certain university where they used predictors of cheating for urban settings and observed these impacts on a rural campus. The...

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[2] Brezina, T. (2000). Are deviants different from the resut of us? using student accounts of academic cheating to explore a popular myth. Teaching Sociology, 28(1), 71. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/223543489?accountid=34302
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[9] Robinson, E., Amburgey, R., Swank, E., & Faulkner, C. (2004). TEST CHEATING IN A RURAL COLLEGE: STUDYING THE IMPORTANCE OF INDIVIDUAL AND SITUATIONAL FACTORS. College Student Journal, 38(3), 380-395. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/236603112?accountid=34302
[10] Yang, J. (2012). PREDICTING CHEATING BEHAVIOR: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY WITH CHINESE BUSINESS STUDENTS. Social Behaviour and Personality 40(6), 933-944. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1069240459?accountid=34302
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