Do honor codes promote cheating?

Author:Klosterman, Chuck
Position:THE ETHICIST - Brief article
 
FREE EXCERPT

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I attend a university with an honor code. Professors assign take-home exams (books, notes, and the Web aren't allowed) and leave answer keys in unlocked offices, I've never violated this trust, but I think the honor code may tempt struggling students to cheat. Should people avoid creating situations that make it easy for others to behave unethically?

ILANA WALDER-BIESANZ, BOSTON

WHAT MAKES THE HONOR CODE MEANINGFUL is the fact that you can so easily cheat: Instead of policing you, the university is placing students in a position where they must consciously choose to be honest. What you perceive as a problem is actually your university's way of creating a real-life lesson in ethics and morality.

But as it relates to people outside of a school setting, your question is more complicated. It suggests that...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP