Study: MBA Students the Biggest Cheaters

Thomas Kostigen reports on a study by the Academy of Management Learning and Education, which surveyed 5,300 graduate students in the US and Canada and found that "graduate students in general are cheating at an alarming rate and business-school students are cheating even more than others." Cheating was defined as "plagiarizing, copying other students' work and brining prohibited materials into exams." (I assume they mean "or" rather than "and" -- any one of those would strike me as cheating.)

The findings: "More than half (56%) of MBA candidates say they cheated in the past year." The percentage of cheaters among other graduate disciplines:

54% - Engineering
50% - Physical Sciences
49% - Medical and Health Care
45% - Law
43% - Arts
39% - Social Sciences and Humanities

Interesting that Journalism was left off that list. I'd be curious about that statistic, given the slew of made-up stories at famous newspapers in the last few years (although the mother of all hoaxes may still be Janet Cooke's "Little Jimmy," the fictitious eight-year old heroin addict she invented for the Washington Post back in 1981).

Also noteworthy in this article: "what's holding many professors back from taking action on cheaters is the fear of litigation." I'd venture that fear of litigation (and plain old laziness) is also what's behind rampant grade inflation.

And finally: does this mean that people will finally stop portraying lawyers as the quintessence of ethical sleazemongering? Looks as if doctors, scientists, and engineers may be faring worse in that department.