Under Reporting Of Cheating In Research Using Volunteer College Students
The legitimacy of survey research findings has its foundation on the extent to which the sample used in that research represents the entire population. While the samples chosen have a bearing on the outcome of the result, researchers have rarely considered the influence of incentives on creation of bias in the samples especially in cases where the sole motivation for participation in the research is internal motives. The researchers in the provided case aimed at considering how sampling methods influence survey results in student cheating. The authors opined that, in cases where questionnaires explore immoral actions, it is quite possible for underreporting to occur.
These authors and researchers have founded their research on a report that stated that there exists alarming rates of cheating in institutions of higher learning or colleges. However, there are variations in the percentages that take on this vice with some reports placing it at 89% and others on 23%. In addition, some studies show that the rates of cheating in these institutions are increasing by the day.
The researchers aimed at exploring whether students report varied cheating levels when reporting on their own actions, or the actions of other students of whom they know best. This was done in an effort to explore how valid the reports on cheating behavior may be. Their hypotheses in this case were the following.
Surveys carried out using volunteer participants and incorporating course incentives influence or have a bearing on the amount or level of cheating that is reported.
In case of underreporting of cheating rates, the reported rates of cheating for best-known friends would be comparatively high.
Materials & Method
A.Who/what did they study? (Be specific.)
The research included participants from university population. The participants’ incentive states were sampled using three questionnaires. One questionnaire had 126 items and was sent through the institution’s mail, while another questionnaire in corporate 33 items and was sent in the same manner. The other questionnaire offered course credit. In addition, the researchers considered whether age, gender and academic achievement have any bearing on the rates of cheating.
A.What did they find?
The researchers found out that the students who participated for course credits had higher levels of cheating than others who did not. Students who responded to the full form had a higher rate of cheating than students who responded to the short form. The researchers also found out that there was no difference in reporting oneself as far as gender was concerned. It is worth noting that sample differences in achievement and age could not explain the variations in the outcomes of the samples.
B.Did the results match their hypothesis (es)?
The results of the study marched the hypothesis perfectly. In the research, the subjects who were solicited using emails and were not offered any incentive reported considerably lower rates of cheating than the subjects who were recruited via course credit incentives. These results were consistent or supported the volunteer subjects’ personality attributed such as altruism, intelligence and an increased need for approval.
The significance of the study lay in the exploration of the previous reports pertaining to the cheating behavior of college students. They wanted to establish whether there was any variation in the students’ level of cheating when reporting their own actions, or the action s of other people for who they may know quite a lot.