America, nation of schizophrenic shoplifters

The great Internet sage John C. Dvorak found a survey of 30,000 high school students conducted by the Josephson Institute whose results include:

[ul][li]30% admit to shoplifting within the past year
[/li][li]42% admit to sometimes lying to save money
[/li][li]64% cheated on a test at school within the past year
[/li][li]Nevertheless, on the individual questions, over 90% claim that “trust and honesty are essential” in both personal and business relationships, and 77% say they are better than most people they know!
[/li][li]But wait, it gets better: when asked what is actually essential for success in life, 59% say that successful people usually cheat, and 40% say that you must cheat in order to be successful![/ul]
[/li]Dvorak continues to rant about multimedia essays that would eliminate cheating at school, and thus make America a better place. Discuss.

Dvorak’s still an idiot.

The study was conducted by the Josephson Institutes for Youth Ethics… Somehow I´m not surprised that the findings show a lack of ethics and therefore a reason for the existence of said institute.

Let´s look at data from Germany about shoplifting:
Over 90 percent of young german males admit to have conducted shoplifting in their youth, often more than once… ( page 69. Sorry, only in german)

Sociologists consider shoplifting on very rare occassions as a normal part of transition to adulthood…

And lying to safe money and cheating at school… well who haven´t, really?

Plagiarism is a real problem at universities, but it´s more a problem for dumb students who think that they are the only ones who can use google…

…and 77% say they are better than most people they know!
I would say the real number is in proximity of 100% … The human being tends to rationalize its actions. So even when we know that our behaviour ist bad we can find a good reason for it. Nobody sees himself/herself as “bad”. We don´t make the same effort for actions of others…

If the survey went anything like I remember in high school, a high percentage of those “surveyed” were fucking with the survey. Pressuring students to take such surveys in an attempt to get a random sample and thereby avoid selection bias doesn’t really work, as there are other ways to opt-out.

I doubt you’ll get any data out of it beyond “teenagers like to mess with adults’ heads, when given the chance”.

Very likely but much less funny!

Can we get a link to the study that backs this one?

What a surprise.

Abortion funds terrorism.

What does any of this have to do with schizophrenia?

The amusingly contradictory replies to various questions…

Yeah, the general rules is that it’s OK for you to cheat, but not for others. This is a common human psychological fallacy. It’s similar to the idea that it’s OK for you to speed (or break whatever law) because you know what you are doing and can handle it. However, other people can’t be trusted to break laws because they are incompetent.

Unfortunately I have only german ones…

And before we have a misunderstanding with my sentence above: What I meant, was that teenagers who got caught shoplifting aren´t necessarily criminals (well, of course technically they are…). I didn´t mean that it´s a necessary part to become an adult or that every teenager does it.

Yeah, not really a symptom of schizophrenia. Maybe “Nation of flip-floppers,” “Nation of flakes,” or “Nation of multiple personalities,” though even the latter is a stretch.

Dear Chris Nahr, fellow Qt3er - If I offended you in some way, I apologize. Now, stop being part of the problem (see Offender 2)

Dear Machfive - I’m pleased to see such good Michigan midwestern sensibility & clear thought

Dear cheating, hypocritical high school students about to enter college - If you plagiarize, make sure you cover your tracks well, because I’m not kidding when I say you’ll fail the entire course, not just the assignment

Interesting read, thanks for the link. Although … I could have been lying just then. Because lying will get me ahead.

One time I stole Tic Tacs. Nobody was at the register and after five minutes I was like, fuck it, I’m not wasting my time waiting around for some douche to show up so I can buy fifty cents worth of Tic Tacs. I need minty breath now!

So I guess even I’ve shoplifted. It sucks to know that I supported terrorism unwittingly. I wonder how many other people have done exactly the same thing.

I shoplifted once as a young teen and my father caught me and forced me to take said item back into the store and tell the owner what I had done. Due to the embarrassment of that situation, as well as the nature of said item, I have not shoplifted again, nor will I ever.

Not exactly like your situation Aeon, but similar.

Having worked retail, I’m surprised the numbers are so low. People will lie through their teeth for the smallest amount.

Hey, if the President can do it…

Oh no, wait. That’s only sex stuff.

I wouldn’t call it flip flopping, I’d say the responses are consistent with the idea that the teenagers taking the survey are not truthful all the time.