ABSTRACT: This article reports the results from an experiment examining the effect of paper color on student performance on quiz scores in Principles of Accounting courses. The ten‐year study included classes taught by five instructors and involved almost 4,000 student scores. The paper colors utilized on the quizzes were four pastels (yellow, green, blue, and pink) and white. Contrary to some similar studies, the current study found that paper color did have a significant effect on student performance. Students with white and yellow colored paper performed significantly better than students with either blue or pink colored paper. Students with green colored paper performed somewhere in the middle of the other four colors. Prior research is compared with the current study findings, and it is suggested that, given the past somewhat inconsistent findings of color effects, further research is warranted to disentangle the mixed results and instructors should consider utilizing other means to deter cheating. If an instructor feels that the only method he or she can employ to monitor cheating is to color‐code exams, the instructor should consider using a combination of white, yellow, or green pastel colored exams, and avoid blue or pink colored exams.
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Research Article| May 01 2009
Worth Repeating: Paper Color May Have an Effect on Student Performance
David R. Fordham, Professor;
Issues in Accounting Education (2009) 24 (2): 187–194.
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David R. Fordham, David C. Hayes; Worth Repeating: Paper Color May Have an Effect on Student Performance. Issues in Accounting Education 1 May 2009; 24 (2): 187–194. doi: https://doi.org/10.2308/iace.2009.24.2.187
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