Is this research?

I heard about the Dishonesty research that was recently conducted by Brunel University and was as amazed as many people I spoke to about the findings of the researchers, so was all set to write a scathing article about Moral turpitude and the country having the politicians it deserves.

However, I wanted to find the research material the paper had been based on and found the website on which this survey had been conducted, the study is still open, so I decided to take the test and it really didn't seem to be based on very much at all.

The website itself highlights the 'wall of shame' and 'confessions' so automatically the site is goading the respondent that 'dishonesty' will give you a reward by showcasing your sins.

~Saw-whet Owl - Facing Backwards~Image by ~Sage~ via Flickr

The survey itself is also hardly robust. A selection of 5 video clips are offered, with drop down responses on offer. Some scenarios are clear cut, but too many require context, as in 'does your employer permit this to happen'.

There are questions on taking things from the stationary cupboard. When I ran an office based business, I explicitly gave staff permission to use company stationary, in a limited way, for personal use. So the 'is this right or wrong' had no context.

Having completed 5 videos the respondent has the opportunity to take another set of 5 videos ad infinitum as far as I could tell. The videos changing based on what appeared to be a random selection as occasionally videos previously seen were re-presented.

While the study received much publicity, I am unconvinced about the robust nature of the study.

Is there a possibility that 'scientific study' and 'Research material' is taken too much at face value.


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