If male college students are pressured to do well on a test and then given the opportunity to cheat, 46 percent will do so, according to a study at the University of Nebraska.
In an experiment, a psychology graduate student there told 218 male students in an introductory psychology course that they were to be given a very important test. They were told the test was designed to predict success in college courses and that the students who did poorly would be called before a board of psychologist. The tests were given out in packet form with the test on the front and the answers inside. The students were told they could check their answers after they finished. But the packet also contained pressure sensitive paper that had to be removed to get all the answers, to the experimenter could later determine whether the students had changed their responses after looking at the answers. The trap caught 46 percent of the students. The experimenter, Lynn R. Kahle, said similar experiments indicate that fewer women than men cheat, but they cheat under less pressure. He estimated that 35 to 40 percent of women would have cheated on his experiment. Kahle, who plans to become a teacher, says, "I'll be a real policeman during tests."