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Students Who Cheat More Likely to Want Government Jobs, Study Finds

Ever wonder why government is so full of corruption and waste? We may have found part of the answer. A new study found that students who cheat are more likely to want government jobs.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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…

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…”

Like flies to a pile of dung, the cheaters among us are drawn to government service. With its broad powers, typical administrative ineptness, and general lack of accountability, no doubt government service is a great place to practice dishonesty throughout one’s career.

Remember that kid who sat behind you in class and used to try to copy your answers on every test? Now he’s making the laws that govern you and your family. Even as we speak, he’s finding new ways to misappropriate your hard-earned tax dollars.

Read the full story here.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Like The College Fix on Facebook. / Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image: AndyMedina.Flickr)

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