Psychological blow

April 21, 1995

Students will be alarmed to hear that the man who discovered that they cheat frequently has been appointed president of the British Psychological Society. Stephen Newstead, professor of psychology at Plymouth University, discovered that nearly half of first-year undergraduates invent data; more than a third mis-shelve library books so that others cannot find them; and some plagiarise.

Now he is calling for universities to develop clear guidelines about what is acceptable behaviour. But before academics enthuse that shoddy practice is finally being exposed, Professor Newstead would be quick to point out that he has also turned his hawk-like gaze to their side of the fence. He has discovered "considerable discrepancies" between exam markers and is calling for clear guidelines about what is acceptable marking behaviour as well.

The THES wants to know just who counted the votes in the presidential election.

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