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Just How Dishonest Are Most Students?

Christian B. Miller: Empirical research has repeatedly found that schools that are committed to honor codes have significantly reduced cheating rates compared with schools that are not. Donald McCabe at Rutgers Business School and Linda Treviño at the Smeal College of Business at Penn State found a 23 percent rate of helping someone with answers on a test at colleges without an honor code, versus only 11 percent at schools with an honor code. They reported impressive differences as well for plagiarism (20 percent versus 10 percent), unauthorized crib notes (17 percent versus 11 percent) and unpermitted collaboration (49 percent versus 27 percent), among other forms of cheating. A serious commitment to the honor code is crucial to its efficacy.

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