How do I write a hypothesis for the topic "why people cheat"? I am lost, I don't understand how to write one. An example would be good, thank you.This is for sociology.

7 Answers

marbar57's profile pic

marbar57 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

"I think people cheat because they're lazy and don't want to take the effort to get information on their own.  Many times, they haven't prepared themselves sufficiently for something, and in desperation, resort to getting the information by other than honorable means."  Such is an example of a hypothesis of why people cheat.  Now, all you have to do is prove it. 

Since a hypothesis is a theory about why something happens, you must prove or disprove your theory with case studies.  Find examples of cheating and see if the cause of it was that the student was lazy.  If you find there are other reasons for cheating, then you've got to change your hypothesis. 


mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Perhaps one hypothesis for why students cheat is the fact that they feel the pressure to make good grades.  In a situation in which the student is unprepared for an exam, he/she may cheat in an effort to keep from receiving a grade for which his/her parent will scold or punish the child.  (There are documented cases of this type of thing.)

Another reason for students' cheating is their fear of appearing inadequate either to their peers or to their parents.  It is an observable fact that more students in advanced classes cheat than those in other classes.  Research shows that children from lower socio-economic environments feel less pressure to make good grades because education is not valued in the same way that it is in other socio-economic areas. 

Still another factor that enters the rational for cheating is the lack of ethical values that some students have; they have few qualms about buying essays from internet sites, etc.  These options are available, so why not use them?  Doing so saves time and assures one of having a good response to the questions assigned. order to form a hypothesis, why not locate some of the research and find reliable proof.  Then write the hypothesis that will accommodate this information.

For a start in your research, see the site below for an article by Gary Niels.  Good luck!

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Well... I can't really tell you what to write because I don't actually know anything about why people cheat.  So all I can really help you with is how to write a hypothesis in general.

Really, all you should be trying to do is write a thesis statement.  And the gist of it is going to have to be: "people cheat because..."   (See the link for more about writing an intro.)

If I had to write your paper (again, not knowing any facts about the question) I would write an introduction something like this:

Although cheating is frowned upon in our society, many people still do it.  Studies have found that x% of students admit to having cheated.  Why do so many people cheat if society says it's wrong?  I believe that people cheat because of our society promotes a "win at any cost" mentality.


Does that help?

kc4u's profile pic

kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Cheating is a primordial inclination in man. Cheating is an act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, impersonation and the like. Men (and women too) do cheat just to attain an unfair advantage for selfish gains at the expense of others. You can consider the following examples / varieties of cheating:

a) a sportsperson found cheating--using banned drugs for capacity-enhancing;

b) a husband having a secret affair with another woman, or a wife enjoying a clandestine extra-marital love with another man; such an act of infidelity / adultery in marital relationship, or a similar act of violation of mutual trust in love in pre-marital man-woman relationship is not uncommon;

c) various sorts of academic cheating--plagiarizing papers in the tests, copying from other sources to claim originality in researches, forging documents to claim bonafide status and so on.

People cheat, to use Lady Macbeth's phrase, 'to catch the nearest way' to success. Since nothing succeeds like success, nothing fails like faiure, and nobody wants to fail in any pursuit in life. The more the rat-race for success accelerates, the more the desperation picks up, and hence the alarming frequency of cheating.


parama9000's profile pic

parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The presence of social pressure or pressure in any form causes people to have an inclination to cheat.

quantez's profile pic

quantez | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

My project is on a poster board i have to come up with a strong hypothesis for why men cheat. Can you give me an idea how am i suposed to how strong a hypothesis is?

quantez's profile pic

quantez | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I am trying to come up with a srong hypothesis for my project 50% why men cheat? it is for a socilogy class.