Keeping Abnormal Psychology At Arm’s Length

, , , , , , , | Learning | March 14, 2018

(My teacher shares this story that took place several years ago, when she was beginning to teach. Although she gives out study guides, she’s always been very strict with tests, and this was one of the reasons of why.)

Teacher: *as she’s passing out tests* “Take everything off of your desks besides your writing utensil. If you haven’t already, turn your phones off. Before I give you a test, you have to show me your hands. I already went over this last class, but I will reiterate: If I see you on your phone, you will get an automatic fail. If I see your book open or out, you will get an automatic fail. If I see anything written on your hands, you will fail. If I suspect you of cheating at all, I will rip up your test and fail you. Is that clear? Are there any questions before you begin?”

(A student sitting in the front row, practically beside her, raises his hand.)

Teacher: “Yes?”

Student: *somewhat smugly* “You mentioned if they wrote on their hands. You forgot about if they wrote the answer on their arms.”

(She thinks the statement is a bit odd, as she will be watching her students to make sure they aren’t cheating, anyway, but thinks that’s fair to include.)

Teacher: “Hmm, good point. I guess I hadn’t thought about that. Would you care to roll up your sleeves for me to check?”

Student: *goes white and withdraws hand* “Uh… No?”

Teacher: “…”

(Turns out, the same student had written answers all over his arms. How he thought he would get away with that during the test, let alone pointing it out to the teacher at all, was baffling. As a Psychology professor, however, she found it oddly fitting or at least incredibly interesting that this flawed logic was present in her class of Abnormal Psychology. The student still failed, obviously.)

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