Tag Archives: College students

University of St. Thomas study: Sleep problems equal to marijuana use and drinking in predicting poor academic performance in college

4 Jun

Moi has posted quite a bit about the effect of sleep deprivation on children and teens. A study of older men published in the Journal Sleep details the effect of sleep deprivation on older men. The bottom line is that no matter one’s age, in order to fully function, people need adequate rest. See, Study: Poor sleep quality can lead to cognitive problems in older men https://drwilda.com/2014/04/02/study-poor-sleep-quality-can-lead-to-cognitive-problems-in-older-men/

Sarah Klein reported in the Huffington Post article, Sleep Problems Equal To Binge Drinking, Marijuana Use In Predicting Poor Academic Performance:

While the temptations to stay up late are many, a small new study suggests a very good reason for college students to hit the hay. Those who are poor sleepers are more likely to get worse grades and to withdraw from a course, according to a new study. In fact, the effects of poor sleep were about as strong as binge drinking and marijuana use on a student’s academic performance.
The researchers analyzed data from over 43,000 students included in the spring 2009 American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment (NCHA). After controlling for potentially confounding factors that might predict how a college student fares academically, like clinical depression, feelings of isolation or chronic health problems, the researchers found that getting poor sleep was a strong predictor of problems at school.
While few students are likely to have a clinical sleep disorder, Roxanne Prichard, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota tells The Huffington Post, about 60 percent say they have some kind of problem sleeping. But for all the effort colleges put into anti-drinking and de-stressing campaigns, little time or money is spent to promote better sleep — and doing so could help both students and the colleges themselves, she says…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/sleep-drinking-marijuana_n_5433148.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education


Poor sleep equal to binge drinking, marijuana use in predicting academic problems

Date: June 2, 2014
Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine
College students who are poor sleepers are much more likely to earn worse grades and withdraw from a course than healthy sleeping peers, new research shows. Results show that sleep timing and maintenance problems in college students are a strong predictor of academic problems. The study also found that sleep problems have about the same impact on grade point average (GPA) as binge drinking and marijuana use.
See, Poor sleep equal to binge drinking, marijuana use in predicting academic problems http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602102011.htm

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Sunday, June 1, 2014

CONTACT: Lynn Celmer, 630-737-9700, ext. 9364, lcelmer@aasmnet.org

Poor sleep equal to binge drinking, marijuana use in predicting academic problems
DARIEN, IL – A new study shows that college students who are poor sleepers are much more likely to earn worse grades and withdraw from a course than healthy sleeping peers.
Results show that sleep timing and maintenance problems in college students are a strong predictor of academic problems even after controlling for other factors that contribute to academic success, such as clinical depression, feeling isolated, and diagnosis with a learning disability or chronic health issue. The study also found that sleep problems have about the same impact on grade point average (GPA) as binge drinking and marijuana use. Its negative impact on academic success is more pronounced for freshmen. Among first-year students, poor sleep— but not binge drinking, marijuana use or learning disabilities diagnosis—independently predicted dropping or withdrawing from a course. Results were adjusted for potentially confounding factors such as race, gender, work hours, chronic illness, and psychiatric problems such as anxiety.
“Well-rested students perform better academically and are healthier physically and psychologically,” said investigators Roxanne Prichard, PhD, associate professor of psychology and Monica Hartmann, professor of economics at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Tuesday, June 3, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.
Data from the Spring 2009 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (NCHA) were analyzed to evaluate factors that predict undergraduate academic problems including dropping a course, earning a lower course grade and having a lower cumulative GPA. Responses from over 43,000 participants were included in the analysis.
According to Prichard, student health information about the importance of sleep is lacking on most university campuses.
“Sleep problems are not systematically addressed in the same way that substance abuse problems are,” she said. “For colleges and universities, addressing sleep problems early in a student’s academic career can have a major economic benefit through increased retention.”
For a copy of the abstract, “What Is The Cost Of Poor Sleep For College Students? Calculating The Contribution to Academic Failures Using A Large National Sample,” or to arrange an interview with Roxanne Prichard or an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM Communications Coordinator Lynn Celmer at 630-737-9700, ext. 9364, or lcelmer@aasmnet.org.
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards. With about 9,000 members, the AASM is the largest professional membership society for physicians, scientists and other health care providers dedicated to sleep medicine. For more information, visit http://www.aasmnet.org.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic.

In the article, Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic, the CDC reports:

How Much Sleep Do We Need? And How Much Sleep Are We Getting?
How much sleep we need varies between individuals but generally changes as we age. The National Institutes of Health suggests that school-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily, teens need 9-105 hours, and adults need 7-8 hours. According to data from the National Health Interview Survey, nearly 30% of adults reported an average of ≤6 hours of sleep per day in 2005-2007.3 In 2009, only 31% of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep on an average school night.4
Sleep Hygiene Tips
The promotion of good sleep habits and regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following sleep hygiene tips can be used to improve sleep.
• Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
• Avoid large meals before bedtime.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
• Avoid nicotine.
(Sleep Hygiene Tips adapted from the National Sleep Foundation ) http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/

More Americans of all ages need to begin getting a good night’s sleep.


National Sleep Foundation’s Teens and Sleep

Teen Health’s Common Sleep Problems

CBS Morning News’ Sleep Deprived Kids and Their Disturbing Thoughts http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500165_162-6052150.html

Psychology Today’s Sleepless in America http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleepless-in-america

National Association of State Board’s of Education Fit, Healthy and Ready to Learn http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED465734

U.S. Department of Education’s Tools for Success


Another study: Sleep problems can lead to behavior problems in children https://drwilda.com/2013/03/30/another-study-sleep-problems-can-lead-to-behavior-problems-in-children/

Stony Brook Medicine study: Teens need sleep to function properly and make healthy food choices https://drwilda.com/2013/06/21/stony-brook-medicine-study-teens-need-sleep-to-function-properly-and-make-healthy-food-choices/

University of Massachusetts Amherst study: Preschoolers need naps Does school start too early? https://drwilda.com/tag/too-little-sleep-raises-obesity-risk-in-children/

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Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment study: Community college students who transfer to for-profit higher education don’t earn as much

29 Jan

Moi wrote about for-profit higher education in Scary study about what happens to for-profit college graduates:
We are in a periodic of extreme economic dislocation and people are retraining and starting businesses in an attempt to put themselves in a better economic position. Because of the economic uncertainty, may are willing to try almost anything to survive. Beware, some choices can leave people in a worse position.

The Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE) has produced a truly scary study about what happens to the graduates of for-profit colleges. According to the press release for the study, For-Profit College Students Less Likely to Be Employed After Graduation and Have Lower Earnings, New Study Finds:

Students who attend for-profit colleges are less likely to be employed and have lower earnings six years after enrolling than similar students who attend public and not-for-profit colleges, according to a new study by authors affiliated with the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE). They also carry heavier debt burdens and are more likely to default on their student loans.
Over the past decades, for-profit colleges have experienced explosive growth in enrollment, with numbers increasing from 18,333 in 1970 to 1.85 million in 2009. Currently, for profit students make up 13 percent of all college attendees, up from 5 percent in 2001.
However, until now, student outcomes for these institutions have been poorly understood, not least because the students they serve are not always analogous to those who attend public and non-profit colleges. The analysis found that for-profit colleges serve a larger fraction of students who tend to struggle in college: minority, older, and independent students who are disproportionately single parents, have lower family incomes and are twice as likely to have a GED.
To ensure comparable results, the study—which used data from the 2004 to 2009 Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) longitudinal survey—controlled for observable student characteristics such as income, age and ethnicity. The analysis indicated that students who attend for-profit schools are more likely to persist through their first year and to earn certificates and associate degrees than their counterparts at community colleges. However, despite these higher completion rates, for-profit students are more likely to experience long term unemployment and report less satisfaction with their education in the six years after they enroll.
The poor employment and earning outcomes of for-profit students may explain their high rates of loan defaults. Currently, 26 percent of all federal student aid goes to for-profit tuition, making up three quarters of the sector’s revenue. The researchers found that almost 25 percent of for-profit students default on their loans within three years. This rate is 10.5 percent higher than that of similar students who attend public or non-profit institutions and accounts for almost half of all student loan defaults. http://capseecenter.org/for-profit-college-students-less-likely-to-be-employed-after-graduation-and-have-lower-earnings-new-study-finds/

See, Study: For-Profit Colleges Offer Weak Job Prospects, Pay http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education/study-for-profit-colleges-offer-weak-job-prospects-pay/

Here is the citation:

The For-Profit Postsecondary School Sector: Nimble Critters or Agile Predators? (A CAPSEE Working Paper)
By: David Deming, Claudia Goldin, and Lawrence F. Katz| February 2012 http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.26.1.139

The conclusions of this report have been echoed in prior reports. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/26/scary-study-about-what-happens-to-for-profit-college-graduates/
A study by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment finds that students who transfer to for-profit colleges from community college have lower earnings.

Paul Fain reported in the Inside Higher Ed article, For-Profit Wage Gap:

Community college students who transfer to for-profit institutions tend to earn less over the next decade than do their peers who transfer to public or private colleges.
Those are the findings from a study released Monday by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, a research center that was created with a federal grant and is housed at the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
In recent years several researchers have attempted to look at the relative labor market returns of attending for-profits, which is also a hot topic among policy makers.
There are many variables at play – such as the relatively low academic preparation of incoming for-profit students versus their peers at traditional colleges. And the results from those research efforts have ranged from largely unflattering to a mixed view of for-profits.
This new study, however, may be the first to analyze earnings gaps at various points before and after students attend college, as well as while they’re still enrolled.
It also controlled for the effects of student “swirl” in the complex higher education system by looking at transfer among a large sample of 80,000 full-time community college students who first enrolled in the early to mid-2000s.
Over all, the research found that students who transferred to for-profits earned roughly 7 percent less over the next decade than students who transferred to private or public nonprofit institutions, according to income data culled from unemployment insurance data dated from up to 2012.
“We identify a statistically significant wage penalty from enrolling in a for-profit institution,” wrote the study’s coauthors, Vivian Yuen Ting Liu, a senior research assistant at the CCRC, and Clive Belfield, an associate professor of economics at Queens College, which is part of the City University of New York System.
“This penalty appears consistent across subgroups of students, although it is greatest for for-profit students who did not complete an award,” they wrote. “For-profit students gain least over the longer term. Extended over a working life, the differences become much greater.”
Work and study
The research was based on cohorts of students who attended community colleges in two statewide systems.
Among students from the first group, which included data from a longer time range, there were stark differences in the earnings gains one decade after transfer. Students who attended for-profits had a net wage bump of $5,400 over that decade. But public college students saw a $12,300 gain and private college students earned $26,700 more (in 2010 dollars).
The results were more mixed for the second cohort of students, who attended community colleges in a different state.
In that group, students who transferred to a for-profit sometimes earned more than their peers who transferred to other institutions. For example, both men and women who transferred to for-profits earned an average of 18 percent more than students who transferred to public colleges.
One reason for the discrepancy was that the second group was tracked over a shorter period of time. Those students first enrolled in community college a few years earlier than the other, larger group, and therefore had less time in the labor market.
Additionally, students fared better while they were enrolled in for-profits, according to the study.


The Labor Market Returns to For-Profit Higher Education: Evidence for Transfer Students (A CAPSEE Working Paper)
January 2014

This study examines the labor market gains for students who enrolled at for-profit colleges after beginning their postsecondary education in community college. We use student-level administrative record data from college transcripts, Unemployment Insurance earnings data, and progression data from the National Student Clearinghouse across full entry cohorts of community college students in two statewide systems between 2001 and 2006. We calculate the wage gains to attainment across different student transfer patterns.

We find significant wage penalties to transfer to a for-profit college instead of a public or private nonprofit college. This earnings gap between higher education sectors is consistent but varies in size across subsamples of students. Importantly, it is only identifiable with a sufficient time window across which enrollment and earnings data are available. Students in for-profit colleges have lower opportunity costs in terms of foregone earnings while enrolled in college, but these do not sufficiently compensate for lower earnings growth post-college.
Download the paper: The Labor Market Returns to For-Profit Higher Education: Evidence for Transfer Students

Click to access labor-market-returns-to-for-profit-higher-education.pdf

CAPSEE project: Project 6: The Role of the For-Profit Sector in Higher Education

Here is the press release from Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment:

Community College Students Who Transfer to For-Profit Colleges Earn Less, New Study Finds
Community college students who transfer to for-profit colleges earn less than students who transfer to public or private nonprofit colleges, concludes a new study from the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE).
The study is the first to examine the income effects of transferring to a for-profit college from a community college. Earlier studies, including a recent study from CAPSEE, have compared earnings for students who attend community colleges and for-profit colleges and found that students who attend for-profit colleges are less likely to be employed after college and earn less on average than community college students.
For this study, CAPSEE researchers analyzed the earnings of 80,000 first-time, degree-seeking students who enrolled in community college during the 2000s and transferred to another college or university. Student incomes were tracked via state unemployment insurance data through the beginning of 2012.
The study found that there were significant differences in the community college students who chose to transfer to a for-profit institution: Black and Hispanic students, and students who performed poorly and accrued fewer credits at the community college were far more likely to transfer to a for-profit than a nonprofit or public college.
Even when controlling for these differences in student characteristics, however, the study found that students who transferred to for-profit colleges earned 6–7 percent less than students who transferred to nonprofit or public institutions.
The study also found that students who transferred to for-profit colleges had higher earnings whilst in college. Students who attended for-profit colleges saw a decline in income of $130–$270 per quarter; by comparison, the decline in income for students enrolled in public colleges was four times larger, and the decline for students at nonprofit colleges was ten times larger. This difference—the lower ‘opportunity cost’ of attending for-profit colleges—may explain why these colleges are attractive to low-income students.
However, the earning gains after leaving college were significantly higher for public and nonprofit college students. Over time these gains more than offset the ‘opportunity cost’ differences. Looking over ten years, for-profit students experienced net earnings gains of only $5,400, whereas public and nonprofit college students experienced gains of $12,300 and $26,700 respectively. These figures do not account for the higher tuition costs at for-profit colleges.
The wage penalty for transferring to a for-profit college was consistent across subgroups of students, although the penalty was greatest for for-profit students who did not complete a degree.
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Victor Hugo said it best when dealing with many for-profit colleges:

Caution is the eldest child of wisdom
Victor Hugo


College accreditation – U.S. Department of Education

College Accreditation: Frequently Asked Questions

Ask questions before deciding on a for-profit college [Video]

For Profit Colleges: Get the Facts


Buyer beware of some for-profit colleges

For-profit colleges: Money buys government, not quality for students https://drwilda.com/2011/12/12/for-profit-colleges-money-buys-government-not-quality-for-students/

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Kent State University study: College students who spend hours online get lower grades

25 Dec

Moi wrote in Social media addiction: Alexandra Rice is reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Bleary-Eyed Students Can’t Stop Texting, Even to Sleep, a Researcher Finds:

Students, the researchers found, were losing an average of 45 minutes of sleep each week because of their cellphones.
The phones were disrupting sleep and, in turn, were associated with higher rates of anxiety and depression because of insufficient rest. While depression is a well-documented side effect of a lack of sleep, Ms. Adams said, the anxiety element was something new.
Students already average a “sleep debt” of two hours each night, according to Ms. Adams’s study, which reflects similar findings from national sleep studies. Her study and others suggest that college students need nine and one-quarter hours of sleep each night, though they get an average of only seven hours. So losing those extra 45 minutes hurts even more. The students who had the highest rates of technology use also had higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with the rest of the students in the Rhode Island study.
The main message of her study, Ms. Adams said, is that college students struggle to set boundaries for themselves. Unlike high-school students, many of them don’t have anyone around telling them to put the phone away.
For Ms. Adams and other researchers studying the topic, finding out why students feel compelled to always answer their phones at night is an important piece of the puzzle. The most common reason, as reported by several researchers, is wanting to not miss out on something. An invitation to a party, a bit of gossip from a friend, or a text from a significant other all warrant staying awake just a little bit longer. Like the chicken and the egg, it’s hard to determine which comes first: the unwillingness to disconnect or the anxiety and loss of sleep. http://chronicle.com/article/Bleary-Eyed-Students-Cant/129838/

Jason Dick has Internet Addiction and Children Hidden-Dangers and 15 Warning Signs http://ezinearticles.com/?Internet-Addiction-and-Children-Hidden-Dangers-and-15-Warning-Signs&id=546552 See also Disabled World’s Internet Addiction in Children http://www.disabled-world.com/health/pediatric/internet-addiction.php and CNN’s Internet Addiction Linked to ADHD, Depression in Teens http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/10/05/depression.adhd.internet.addiction/index.html?_s=PM:HEALTH Help Guide. Org has a good article, Internet Addiction on treating internet addiction in teens. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction.htm According to a Kent State University study, teens who are internet addicts may have problems in college. https://drwilda.com/tag/internet-addiction-treatment/

AP reported in the article, Ohio study: heavy online use can mean anxiousness:

College students reading this story and others online for hours may become more anxious and less happy.
A new Kent State University study says college students who spend hours each day online, texting or talking on cellphones are more anxious, less happy and get lower grades.
The Ohio researchers say this appears to be the first study correlating cellphone use to anxiety and happiness.
The study was done by Andrew Lepp, Jacob Barkley and Aryn Karpinski.
The researchers interviewed 536 students representing 82 different majors.
The students recorded daily cellphone use. Each took validated social science tests that measure anxiety and satisfaction with their life, or happiness.
“The lower frequency users use their phone to keep in touch, check the web and update Facebook but they can put it away and get on with other tasks,” Lepp told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (bit.ly/1jO6PP7).
“The higher users are not able to control it and are glued to the cellphone. They need to unplug and find some personal time where they can disconnect from the network,” he said.
“You need time to be alone with your thoughts, recover from the daily stressors in a way that doesn’t involve electronic media.”
The researchers selected college students for their study because they are the first generation to grow up immersed in the technology.
The research grew out of a study last summer by Lepp and Barkley on the relationship between cellphone use and cardiorespiratory fitness. Those results showed that students who had higher cellphone use were less fit.


The relationship between cell phone use, academic performance, anxiety, and Satisfaction with Life in college students
• Andrew Lepp Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author,
• Jacob E. Barkley E-mail the corresponding author,
• Aryn C. Karpinski E-mail the corresponding author
• Kent State University, College of Education, Health and Human Services, Kent, OH 44242-000, USA
• Measured cell phone use (CPUse) to include the device’s complete range of functions.
• CPUse was negatively related to students’ actual Grade Point Average (GPA).
• CPUse was positively related to anxiety (as measured by Beck’s Anxiety Inventory).
• GPA was positively and anxiety was negatively related to Satisfaction with Life (SWL).
• Path analysis showed CPUse is related to SWL as mediated by GPA and anxiety.
While functional differences between today’s cell phones and traditional computers are becoming less clear, one difference remains plain – cell phones are almost always on-hand and allow users to connect with an array of services and networks at almost any time and any place. The Pew Center’s Internet and American Life Project suggests that college students are the most rapid adopters of cell phone technology and research is emerging which suggests high frequency cell phone use may be influencing their health and behavior. Thus, we investigated the relationships between total cell phone use (N = 496) and texting (N = 490) on Satisfaction with Life (SWL) in a large sample of college students. It was hypothesized that the relationship would be mediated by Academic Performance (GPA) and anxiety. Two separate path models indicated that the cell phone use and texting models had good overall fit. Cell phone use/texting was negatively related to GPA and positively related to anxiety; in turn, GPA was positively related to SWL while anxiety was negatively related to SWL. These findings add to the debate about student cell phone use, and how increased use may negatively impact academic performance, mental health, and subjective well-being or happiness. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563213003993

Here is the press release from Kent State:

Frequent Cell Phone Use Linked to Anxiety, Lower Grades and Reduced Happiness in Students, Kent State Research Shows
Posted Dec. 6, 2013
Today, smartphones are central to college students’ lives, keeping them constantly connected with friends, family and the Internet. Students’ cell phones are rarely out of reach whether the setting is a college classroom, library, recreational center, cafeteria or dorm room. As cell phone use continues to increase, it is worth considering whether use of the device is related to measurable outcomes important for student success, such as academic performance, anxiety and happiness.
Photo of Kent State student with cell phoneKent State University researchers Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., and Aryn Karpinski, Ph.D., all faculty members in the university’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, surveyed more than 500 university students. Daily cell phone use was recorded along with a clinical measure of anxiety and each student’s level of satisfaction with their own life, or in other words happiness. Finally, all participants allowed the researchers to access their official university records in order to retrieve their actual, cumulative college grade point average (GPA). All students surveyed were undergraduate students and were equally distributed by class (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior). In addition, 82 different, self-reported majors were represented.
Results of the analysis showed that cell phone use was negatively related to GPA and positively related to anxiety. Following this, GPA was positively related to happiness while anxiety was negatively related to happiness. Thus, for the population studied, high frequency cell phone users tended to have lower GPA, higher anxiety, and lower satisfaction with life (happiness) relative to their peers who used the cell phone less often. The statistical model illustrating these relationships was highly significant.
Earlier this year, a team led by Lepp and Barkley also identified a negative relationship between cell phone use and cardiorespiratory fitness. Taken as a whole, these results suggest that students should be encouraged to monitor their cell phone use and reflect upon it critically so that it is not detrimental to their academic performance, mental and physical health, and overall well-being or happiness.
The study reported upon here is published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior (2014), pages 343-350, DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2013.10.049 and can be accessed at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563213003993.
For more information about Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, visit http://www.kent.edu/ehhs.
# # #
Media Contacts:
Andrew Lepp, alepp1@kent.edu, 330-672-0218
Jacob Barkley, jbarkle1@kent.edu, 330-672-0209
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html See, also Family Dinner,The Value of Sharing Meals http://www.ivillage.com/family-dinner-value-sharing-meals/6-a-128491

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.


Two studies: Social media and social dysfunction https://drwilda.com/2013/04/13/two-studies-social-media-and-social-dysfunction/

Children’s sensory overload from technology https://drwilda.com/tag/sensory-overload/

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Harvard study: Cheating students are more likely to want to work for government

25 Nov

Cheating is increasingly a concern in education. Some colleges in an attempt to curb academic dishonesty on campus are beginning to employ methods one has usually associated with Las Vegas casinos. Minnesota State University Mankato has an excellent newsletter article about academic dishonesty. Richard C. Schimming writes in Academic Dishonesty:

A recent survey found that 1/3 of all students admitted to cheating on an examination, 1/2 admitted to cheating on a class assignment, 2/3 admitted to cheating at least once during their college career, and 2/3 have seen classmates cheat on exams or assignments. Paradoxically, 3/4 of those in that survey believe that cheating is not justified under any circumstances. Finally, 1/2 of the students surveyed believe that the faculty of their university do not try to catch cheaters…

For some students, cheating starts early. By the time some kids reach college they have already established a pattern of cheating. ABC News has a good report, A Cheating Crisis in America’s Schools http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132376&page=1 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/cheating-in-schools-goes-high-tech/

Emily Alpert Reyes reported in the L.A. Times article, Cheating students more likely to want government jobs, study finds:

College students who cheated on a simple task were more likely to want government jobs, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania found in a study of hundreds of students in Bangalore, India.
Their results, recently released as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, suggest that one of the contributing forces behind government corruption could be who gets into government work in the first place.
For instance, “if people have the view that jobs in government are corrupt, people who are honest might not want to get into that system,” said Rema Hanna, an associate professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. To combat that problem, governments may need to find new ways to screen people seeking jobs, she said.
Researchers ran a series of experiments with more than 600 students finishing up college in India. In one task, students had to privately roll a die and report what number they got. The higher the number, the more they would get paid. Each student rolled the die 42 times.
Although researchers do not know for sure if any one student lied, they could tell whether the numbers each person reported were wildly different than what would turn up randomly — in other words, whether there were a suspiciously high number of 5s and 6s in their results.
Cheating seemed to be rampant: More than a third of students had scores that fell in the top 1% of the predicted distribution, researchers found. Students who apparently cheated were 6.3% more likely to say they wanted to work in government, the researchers found.
“Overall, we find that dishonest individuals — as measured by the dice task — prefer to enter government service,” wrote Hanna and coauthor Shing-yi Wang, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
They added, “Importantly, we show that cheating on this task is also predictive of fraudulent behaviors by real government officials.”
The same test, given to a smaller set of government nurses, showed that those who appear to have cheated with the dice were also more likely to skip work. Previous studies suggest that the bulk of such absenteeism is fraudulent, Hanna said.
Researchers also ran other tests to gauge character: In another experiment, students played a game in which they could send a message anonymously to another player, either telling them honestly what move would earn them more money, or dishonestly nudging them toward a worse choice. Tricking the other student would help them gain more money.


Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service
Rema Hanna, Shing-Yi Wang
NBER Working Paper No. 19649
Issued in November 2013
NBER Program(s): DEV
In this paper, we demonstrate that university students who cheat on a simple task in a laboratory setting are more likely to state a preference for entering public service. Importantly, we also show that cheating on this task is predictive of corrupt behavior by real government workers, implying that this measure captures a meaningful propensity towards corruption. Students who demonstrate lower levels of prosocial preferences in the laboratory games are also more likely to prefer to enter the government, while outcomes on explicit, two-player games to measure cheating and attitudinal measures of corruption do not systematically predict job preferences. We find that a screening process that chooses the highest ability applicants would not alter the average propensity for corruption among the applicant pool. Our findings imply that differential selection into government may contribute, in part, to corruption. They also emphasize that screening characteristics other than ability may be useful in reducing corruption, but caution that more explicit measures may offer little predictive power.
You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Theories about why students cheat range from character issues to mental issues.

Sora Song of Time.Com discusses the inevitable study in the article, Profiling Student Cheaters: Are the Psychopaths?

Psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that students who cheated in high school and college were likely to meet the criteria for psychopathic personality – the type that tends toward a range of bad behaviors, like alcohol and drug abuse, bullying and reckless driving. It’s the same impulsive, callous and antisocial personality that characterizes criminal psychopaths, though, to be fair, student cheaters scored a lot lower on psychopathy questionnaires than actual criminal offenders. (More on Time.com: Video: Giving Dropouts a Second Chance)
The researchers found that academic cheaters also scored high in two other personality traits: narcissism (people who suffer from grandiosity, self-centeredness and an outsized sense of entitlement) and Machiavellianism (cynical, amoral types who make it a habit to manipulate others). But of the three disordered personalities – together known colorfully as the Dark Triad – psychopathy was the only trait significantly associated with student cheating.
The new paper, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, describes the results of a series of three studies involving nearly 600 college students. (Read a PDF of the paper here.) In each, the volunteers were asked to fill out anonymous personality questionnaires; some participants also took tests of intelligence. Personality questions included: “I like to be the center of attention” (i.e., I may be a narcissist), “It’s hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there” (Machiavellianism), and “I have attacked someone with the goal of hurting them” (psychopathy). http://healthland.time.com/2010/09/20/profiling-student-cheaters-are-they-psychopaths/

The conclusion of the study is that the only thing which can be done is to make it impossible for the psychopath to cheat since they obviously have no impulse control and an appeal to values doesn’t work. One of the frightening prospects highlighted by the article is that it is possible to screen for psychopathic traits in people, but it probably wouldn’t be ethical for schools to do so. So, like the chicken and the egg riddle, society is back at placing the emphasis on strong families, values, and a K-12 education which sets some perimeters. Certainly something to think about.

Shouldn’t those who work for the government be interested in public service instead of than self-service? Something else to think about.

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