August 3, 2021

Rettinger Discusses Contract Cheating on CBS News

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger, who oversees Academic Integrity Programs at UMW, was interviewed by CBS News about the rise of contract cheating at colleges and universities, which has resulted in a billion dollar cheating industry based in Kenya, where American students are paying African students to do homework, write essays and in some cases, even complete degrees for them. Watch here.

Cheating American College Students Are Paying Kenyans to Complete Schoolwork That Is So Good Some Contractors Are Asked to ‘Dumb Down’ Their Work (Atlanta Black Star)

As online education grows, the business of cheating is booming (Wink News; Texas News Today)

Rettinger Discusses College Student Cheating on Brookings Podcast

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger, who is director of Academic Integrity Programs at UMW, participated in the Brookings Institute TechTank Podcast, discussing “How Universities Deal with Student Cheating?”

The COVID pandemic forced many schools and universities to remote education where students logged onto video calls for their classes. At one level, technology was helpful in giving students opportunities to continue learning despite being limited to their homes. Yet during the pandemic, there was a startling increase in the use of online monitoring software designed to prevent student cheating on exams. To discuss these issues, host Darrell West is joined by David Rettinger and Lindsey Barrett. David is a professor of psychological science and director of academic integrity programs at the University of Mary Washington. He also is the president emeritus of the International Center for Academic Integrity. Lindsey is the Fritz Family Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center and the author of a paper entitled “Rejecting Test Surveillance in Higher Education.” Listen here.

Wilson Comments on Colorado Shooting in The Washington Post

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson was interviewed by The Washington Post on her thoughts about the recent Colorado shooting for an article entitled, “Police officer killed in ‘ambush’ by man who ‘expressed hatred’ of law enforcement, officials say.” The article also ran in The Sentinel Source.

Laura C. Wilson, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, said that years ago she might have thought about each mass shooting or shooting in a public place as having unique characteristics that affect survivors. But she now considers the trauma of multiple events. Read more.

 

Liss Discusses How Being ‘Quirky’ Makes People Seem More Attractive With BBC.com

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss was quoted in a BBC.com article entitled, “Why ‘quirky’ people are attractive.”

Subtle differences in our appearance can make a big difference. Slight changes in dress make women seem more trustworthy, competent or attractive. As psychologist Miriam Liss of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and her co-authors found, to look honest and competent in a career setting, or even electable as a politician, a woman must dress conservatively and not sexily. Read more.

Rettinger Comments on Cheating in the News

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger, who is also director of Academic Integrity Programs at UMW, has recently appeared in several interviews on academic integrity and the uptick in cheating during remote learning, including a segment on NBC4 in Washington. Watch here.

He was also recently interviewed in the GW Hatchet, the student newspaper at George Washington University.

“You’re hearing a lot of students say things like ‘I really can’t learn in this environment,’ and some of that has to be because of the quick turnaround to online,” Rettinger said. “And then you add in the social psychology of it, so it’s a lot easier to be dishonest with someone who’s not right in front of you.” Read more.

Liss, Erchull Discuss Selfie Behaviors on ‘With Good Reason’

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professor of Psychological Science Miriam Liss

Professors of Psychological Science Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull will discuss their research on selfie behaviors and self-esteem on “With Good Reason” show on Saturday, May 1 through Friday, May 7. With Good Reason airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Professor of Psychological Science Mindy Erchull

Entertain Us

More and more often, celebrities are home-grown in front of a ring light and iPhone. As viewers keep scrolling past these insta-celebs, they’re starting to see themselves differently. Miriam Liss and Mindy Erchull (University of Mary Washington) say we compare ourselves to what we see despite knowing all that glitters isn’t gold. And: Have you been running to Twitter to cope with the crazy news cycle over the past year? John Brummette (Radford University) says it’s a common coping mechanism.

Later in the show: Long before social media, there was cancel culture. Carolyn Eastman (University of Virginia) reminds us of Mr. O, the first “cancelled” celebrity you’ve probably never heard of. Plus: Matthew Turner (Radford University) says that all comedy is an inside joke, but some jokes span generations.

Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be posted the week of the show to our website: https://www.withgoodreasonradio.org.

Kolar Discusses the Pandemic’s Impact on Personality

Professor of Psychological Science David Kolar

Professor of Psychological Science David Kolar

Professor of Psychological Science David Kolar weighed in on an article in The Alpena News in Michigan how the pandemic and isolation can impact personality.

David Kolar, a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington, said personalities remain relatively consistent throughout our lifetime.

“While personality certainly can change with age, we tend to keep our rank order on a trait,” he said. “For example, while research shows that we tend to get more conscientious as we get older, people who had higher levels of conscientiousness compared to others at younger ages tend to still have higher levels of conscientiousness compared to their peers as they get older.” Read more. 

David Rettinger: On His Honor

As a student, David Rettinger witnessed his peers cheating. Sometimes he even felt tempted to do it himself.

Instead, he dedicated his career to understanding the psychology behind academic misconduct.

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science and Director of Academic Integrity Programs David Rettinger

A professor of psychological science at University of Mary Washington since 2006, Rettinger also serves as director of Academic Integrity Programs and faculty advisor to UMW’s Honor Council.

“My mother was a market researcher, so I’ve always been interested in studying human behavior,” said Rettinger, who hails from New York City and earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a master’s and Ph.D. from University of Colorado.

When he first began teaching, Rettinger had a colleague who was researching academic integrity. Fascinated, he decided to apply his own methods to the field. “That led to some collaborative projects on cheating, and my interest has never faded.”

Rettinger’s passion for studying plagiarism led to a two-year stint as president of the International Center for Academic Integrity. He currently chairs ICAI’s Research and Assessment Committee, where his work on an international student survey comes at a critical juncture, given the rise in contract cheating websites and complex challenges caused by remote learning. The combination of stress, lack of support and looser academic structures have made cheating more tempting for students, he said.

Rather than placing all the blame on technology, Rettinger said it’s important to address the disconnect that often happens between faculty and students regarding assessments and expectations. At UMW, for example, the Honor Council has added more faculty advisors in the last decade to guide students in making good decisions moving forward, he said, resulting in fewer repeat offenders.

“We often meet students on their worst day of their college careers. It’s rewarding to know we can help them learn from their mistakes and grow.”

Q: What might people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I used to lead canoe trips for pre-teens and still keep in touch with many of them decades later.

Q: You’ve tweeted a lot of famous chefs. Have you ever gotten a response?
A: Tom Colicchio (from Top Chef) shared some advice with my daughter, who is learning to cook. I see cooking as a window into the cultures and lives of people around the world. I’ve also reached out to Michael Twitty, a food scholar and chef with local ties, whom I look to on social media to help expand my world, rather than stay in my own echo chamber.

Q: What’s the best thing you’ve cooked during quarantine?
A: I experimented with a Thai curry that was very memorable. I think it was the full-fat coconut milk.

Q: What do you like best about the UMW campus?
A: On a warm Friday afternoon, the buzz on Campus Walk is just magical.

Q: What’s your favorite thing in your office?
A: I have a hand-woven carpet I bought in Kathmandu on a study abroad trip to Nepal. It reminds me of fun times of the past and those to come.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: The summer camp where I went as a kid and worked during college has one I’ve adopted: “Help the other fellow.”

Wilson Comments on Boulder Grocery Store Shooting

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Laura Wilson, associate professor of psychology

Associate Professor of Psychological Science Laura Wilson was interviewed on the March 22 grocery store shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in the North Arkansas Democrat Gazette article entitled, “A closed door, and a prayer: Woman hid as man fired shots in Colorado.”

[Wilson] has focused on post-trauma functioning from mass trauma. She says most people’s exposure and understanding of mass shootings consists of the immediate aftermath.

“They see the news coverage of the crime scene and watch the investigators’ news briefing,” Wilson said. “Within a few days the news trucks leave and people’s attention turns to the next major news event. This is when the grief and recovery work starts for the survivors.”

Wilson said every person will process the events differently. Some will have intense, acute reactions that subside in a few days or weeks. Effects could be chronic for others, and some experience delayed reactions.

“Each person is different, and their recovery will look different,” she said. Read more.

Rettinger Quoted in Forbes Article

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger

Professor of Psychological Science David Rettinger, who is also director of UMW’s Academic Integrity Programs, was quoted in a Forbes.com article entitled “If You Can’t Stand the Cheat, Get Out of the Kitchen.”

As David Rettinger of University of Mary Washington noted on The Key, “If you’re going to give a 50 question multiple choice test, that’s pretty much the most cheatable possible assignment online. Even if you just change that to 10 five-question multiple choice quizzes, you’ve made it less likely that students will cheat, because you’ve reduced the stakes and the pressure.” Read more.