Debating over the gray area of deception
Debating over the gray area of deception
  • 서연지 기자
  • 승인 2007.09.03 00:00
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It may be possible to say that many of us live a life of deception. This not only includes severe fraud or lies, but small white lies in our daily lives. The Ewha Voice has interviewed five students to discuss the degree of deception in our lives and share their own experiences.


E.V.: Do you think imitation is the mother of creation? Is plagiarism deceiving?


Lee Hee-jung (Law, 3), an alias: It is a widely known fact that many university students commit themselves into some action of fast research and copy and paste, when the time for deadlines of term reports come. Professors are also aware of the fact that students often copy and paste the work of the others and submit it as their own work. Lee said that many paste expressions they found on the Internet when they are under time constraints and have a strong zeal to get a high grade. “Everyone does it, it is a secret that everyone knows,” said Lee.

Choi Yoon-jung (International Studies, 2): “It is true that many copy verses from the Internet and put it in their thesis or papers. However, in the process of this, from selecting the verses and altering them into the context the author wants to use, should be more considered as another way of expression rather than just generalizing them as plagiarism,” said Choi. However, Choi noted that those who just copy and paste cannot remove the guilt in themselves and they never feel happy or proud of their doings. “In my case, when I refer to many similar papers of mine and write my own with some of the verses from it, I re-examine myself by saying ‘Next time, let’s do it in advance’ so that I don’t rely much on the research. And I guess this thought is gained throughout the university years,” said Choi.


E.V.: Is hiding the information one obtained deceiving?


Jung Mi-eun (Pharmacy, 3), an alias: “Where employment is competitive as now, getting an internship or useful information on employment became crucial to many students. Many look for internships, and once they have found them, they are not willing to share it with others because by sharing the information they might lose their potential position. But I understand this, it is not a deception but a protection.”

Kim Ji-hee (Korean Education, 2): “This not only goes with the information on employment but also in study materials for the exam. Jokbo (which literally means a paper written with the names of the descendents and forefathers, but is often used among Ewha students as referring to a student-made paper that contains past exam questions) is widely shared among students in universities. Despite its immoral production, as it is reproducing class examinations, it is a widely accepted tradition. Those who don’t have access to it are pitied since those who have seen it, get good results. I received C+ although I studied until dawn, whereas my friend got an A by just memorizing the jokbo. But I don’t blame or accuse her, it was my laziness not to see it when it was available for whomever was determined to find it.”

Lee Hee-jung: “I think it is not an obligation of the person who has obtained them to share it with the others. For difficult to obtain jokbos that were gained through thorough research or privileged connection of alumni, they might say ‘Oh, I’m sorry I don’t have them’ because they put hard work on it to gain them.”

Kang Eun-ha (Politics & Deplomacy, 2): “There will be a limit where those relying on jokbos will fall. If you work hard, you can predict how the exam will turn out. Relying on jokbos might be deceiving the true ability of oneself.”


E.V.: Are there any other lies in your life that is considered to be “mild” to you but to some, critical?


Choi Yoon-jung: “When students submit resumes, they tend to decorate themselves by writing down numerous activities that they have done and by writing a rhetoric essay which sometimes lead to an over-exaggeration of oneself that can be misleading. However, in my opinion, self-introductory statement is an essay to promote yourself and depending on what adjectives and adverbs used, determines your impression. Choosing beautiful words to make you more marketable is justifiable and the right thing to do. However, altering the facts may be considered as deceiving.”

Lee Hee-jung: “Resumes submitted to examiners determine people’s fate and to stay in the competition, the person on the paper should look more favorable than the other competitors. That is why many people exaggerate a bit and try to put as many experiences they have in the resume although it lasted only for couple of hours. Writing down what you have not done is unacceptable but putting down some experiences that lasted a couple of hours should still be considered as one’s career.”     

Kim Ji-hee: “Many engage in blind dates in universities but they also get disappointed much because of the deceptive picture they received from their partners. I do get angry when I meet someone as my blind date who is completely different from the picture I’ve seen in advance. However, who would want to give their ugly pictures to people? Everyone wants to make a good impression and how can this be deceiving? I can understand my date’s mind. The environment we are in is somewhat forcing us to meet certain standards. And to reach that, we may engage in some actions that may be seen as deceptive to make oneself look more favorable as well as telling some lies to keep oneself more competitive. As long as it does not affect others, I guess white lies to elaborate oneself should be acceptable, but it will be difficult to define the boundaries of white and black lies.”

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