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Why People Cheat Essay

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Updated: Dec 6th, 2018

Although cheating is considered a “bad thing”, there are no clear pointers as to who are prone to cheating. The general agreement is that everybody is capable of cheating. According to Dachis (Par.2), a consideration of why people make a fearful choice is crucial in understanding why people cheat. In this essay, I assess some of the causes of cheating among different people and the effects of their actions.

Dachis asserts that cheating occurs because people are afraid that the alternative to cheating would possibly result in worse experiences. Adams further asserts students cheat in examinations in order to get good grades and avoid failing. He argues that students also cheat in order to secure admission to prestigious colleges of their choice and to please their parents by posting good grades. Pressure from the society to perform well in examination also results in cheating among students (Par.3).

Cheating happens when the risk of being caught does not seem frightening like the risk of failing. Combinations of pressure to perform well and forced activities are the major causes of cheating. Forced or compulsory schooling promotes cheating. Students are continuously being told on the value of good grades.

Basically, grades are the only motivator for students who view schooling as forced work, boring, and purposeless. Consequently, they advance their way out of the system and into freedom by ensuring they post good grades through cheating (Dachis Par.4).

People cheat because they perceive the outcome to be more attractive than failure. A subjective external environment can cause pressure for a person to perform thus resulting to cheating. However, it is baffling to understand why some people would continue cheating even after succeeding and the need to continue cheating is no longer there.

Dachis (Par.8) argues that there are some self-destructive people who like pushing things to the edge. He further argues that other people are risk-seekers who enjoy the pleasure that comes with the risk of cheating. Other people cheat because they enjoy the feeling of power that comes with getting away with things they should not have.

Many people have been left wondering why a smart student capable of passing an examination would resort to cheating. In the world of sports, a lot of people have been perplexed by the tendencies of great teams to cheat despite prior warning regarding the consequences of cheating.

It has baffled many people as to why people would choose to cheat in circumstances where the disadvantages of cheating far much outweigh the benefits. A student may have the entire examination cancelled, or in some cases he or she may be discontinued from school.

Cheating in sports may also give a slight edge in a game but may result in huge fines, suspensions, stripping off the medals or awards worn, or even a lifetime ban from the sport (Bennet Par. 3). According to Fiedler (Par.1), Lance Armstrong who was a seven times Tour de France champion was stripped off his medals and many other wins after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found him guilty of doping. He was also banned from farther competition.

Bennet argues that although irrationality is a rule in many cases of cheating, it is not the only reason why people cheat. Conventionally, cheating has been thought to involve cold calculations.

However, recent research findings indicate that people succumb to the temptation of cheating even when it is not in their best interest (Par.6). Rather than think about disadvantages and benefits of cheating with care, people are influenced by their frame of mind, peer pressure, and personal perceptions about their image. A sense of fairness is sometimes a motivating factor for some people who cheat.

Although cheating has been widely publicized through the media, new research is producing evidence that cheating is also widespread in sports. These researchers whose findings are based on economics as a forensic tool assert that cheating either by referees or players is a common occurrence in a wide range of sports.

Betting has been also attributed to cheating in sports. A study by Justin Wolfers between 1989 and 2005 involving over 4000 Division 1 college basketball games found out that there was significant point shaving in college basketball.

He discovered that probability alone could not explain the number of times that the winning team just fell short of beating the “spread” (margin of victory as determined by bookmakers). The researcher argued that the players were in most cases holding back just a little bit to enable the gamblers who had bet against the spread to also win .Wolfer concluded that the gamblers had prior arrangements with the players (Bennet par.8)..

Some sports people cheat because their competitors are doing the same. This mentality of cheating because others are cheating has resulted in widespread cheating in the sport fraternity including professional cycling. The pressure to perform well and be at par or even better than a cheating competitor has contributed to cheating among many sports.

Works Cited

Bennett, Drake, Why do people cheat? (4 Oct. 2007). Web.

Dachis, Adam, Why People Cheat. (23 May 2011). Web.

Fiedler, David. n.d. Lance Armstrong: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Lance Armstrong. n.d. Web.12 Nov. 2012.

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