By Erica Zaiser
If you haven’t read this yet, you should. It is the story of a man (using the alias Ed Dante) who writes essays and exams for students in higher education for pay. The article sheds light on this completely undetectable method of cheating, the inherent flaws in higher education, and the shocking number of people completing undergraduate and even graduate degrees with someone else’s work. The author claims to have written for on nearly every subject and completed 12 graduate theses in his time doing the work. He also has said that he plans to retire and wants to reveal to academia this underground ring of cheating.
Perhaps even more interesting than the article is the discussion which has followed, with many people berating the author for his involvement in cheating. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem that people are angry at the student cheaters, they are angry at the man making money and actually writing the essays. What is it that makes people so angry? People seem particularly mad that he makes money off the whole thing. Does that make it worse? On one hand you could argue that without him students would just find someone else to help them cheat. On the other hand, he knowingly allows and enables the cheating. Which is worse?
Interestingly, there is research on this topic. In a set of studies by Whitley and Kost (1999), people were asked to evaluate the people who help students cheat. In general, people in their studies viewed cheaters as being more morally culpable than those who helped them cheat. However, there was some evidence that when people are paid for cheating, they are viewed more harshly than when they do it to “help a friend”. Although this only rung true for women in their study, it seems to ring true for many responders to the story. There is surprisingly little research out there on attitudes towards cheating or those who help cheaters. But with the apparent rampant use of this method of cheating, as claimed by the author, it seems like an important area for more research to be done.
Read More: The Shadow Scholar: The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story.
Read More: College students’ perceptions of peers who cheat.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged academic dishonesty, cheaters, cheating, dissertation, essay writing, exam taking, higher education, linkedin, paid cheaters, test taking, thesis
By Erica Zaiser
Which is worse, your partner being sexually or emotionally unfaithful? For most people either an emotional or sexual affair can inspire feelings of anger or jealousy. However, “Sugarbabe” author Holly Hill argues that, for men, cheating is normal and thus women should accept that their partner will probably cheat on them. She says, however, that women can regain control by allowing their partners to cheat but controlling the circumstances. According to her, by creating rules about your partner cheating you can structure their infidelity and dissuade them from keeping their affairs secret. In particular, Hill seems to suggest that it is emotional affairs which hurt, and by allowing sexual infidelity she keeps her partner from having an emotional relationship with someone else. For example she says that in her relationship, her boyfriend is allowed to have sex with other women but not sleep over or go on “romantic weekends”.
Although her ideas may seem inconceivable for many couples, there is empirical evidence showing that women are more likely than men to say that emotional jealousy is more distressing than sexual jealousy. So, for some women (particularly if they accept the idea that men are “destined to cheat”, which is really an entirely separate topic for debate and not particularly well supported in the psychology literature), it might seem like the lesser of two evils for a partner to cheat sexually if that discourages a possible emotional affair. Hill also says that in her relationship she too is allowed to be unfaithful, but both sexually and emotionally because her boyfriend is “okay with it”. However, it isn’t very clear how this arrangement reduces potential sexual jealousy for either her or her partner. Sexual jealousy, according to research, is equally distressing for men and women. This is despite the assumptions by many evolutionary theorists that men should be more jealous of sexual infidelity than women. What do you think of Hill’s arrangement? Do evolutionary psychology theories about jealousy support her ideas or not?
Read More: ‘Sugarbabe’ favors negotiated infidelity
Posted in Emotion and Motivation, Gender
Tagged affairs, anxiety, boyfriend, cheating, distress, emotional, evolutionary psychology, infidelity, interpersonal relationships, jealous, jealousy, relationship, sexual affair, Sugarbabe, unfaithful
By Erica Zaiser
Jake and Vienna have called it quits. A recent, much talked about interview with the celebrity couple with the host of The Bachelor revealed numerous problems between the two. Each accused the other of being responsible for their irreconcilable problems and the dramatic interview included much yelling and many tears. It isn’t hard to see that such a stressful relationship could have lasting consequences on their emotional well-being.
Some research has demonstrated that marital relationships are linked to a number of both long and short-term physical health issues as well as emotional problems. According to Slatcher (2010), in a review of some of the research on marital relationships and physical health, there are two independent factors in marriage effecting health: marital strain (leading to negative health effects) and marital strength (which can have a positive impact on health). Marriage has been linked to numerous physical responses including cardiovascular functioning, neuroendocrine output, and immunity; and marriage can even impact mortality rates. Although there is a great deal of research linking marriage to both positive and negative changes in physical health, the author argues that there is too little research explaining exactly what psychological processes occur in order to explain those changes.
News from CNN highlighted recent research which found that couples inflicted with small blisters who used hostile or aggressive communication styles healed more slowly than those couples that had better communication skills. They linked this to oxytocin levels which were higher in couples who used positive communication skills. This type of research gives some insight into the psychological processes which can explain the physiological effects of a relationship. So it is not the relationship itself, but the response to conflict within the relationship which is influencing physical well-being.
Read more: Slatcher, R. B. (2010). Marital Functioning and Physical Health: Implications for Social and Personality Psychology. Social and Personality Psychology Compass. 4, 455-469.
Posted in Emotion and Motivation, Uncategorized
Tagged communication styles, interview, Jake Pavelka, marital stress, physical health, relationships, rose ceremony, stressful marriage, The Bachelor, unhealthy relationships, Vienna Girardi