Concepts Unwrapped Video Series
Over 30 short animated videos explore behavioral ethics concepts and basic ethics principles. Professors explain these ideas. Students share some of life’s examples.
Intro to Behavioral Ethics
Behavioral ethics investigates why people make the ethical (and unethical) decisions that they do in order to gain insights into how people can improve their ethical decision-making and behavior.
All is Not Relative
Relativism is the belief that a harmful act is ‘right’ if the perpetrator claims it is ‘right,’ but what is right and what is wrong is not always relative.
Appropriation & Attribution
Attribution is giving credit where credit is due. Appropriation is the complex borrowing of ideas, images, symbols, sounds, and identity from others.
Being Your Best Self, Part 1: Moral Awareness
Moral awareness is the ability to detect and appreciate the ethical aspects of a decision that one must make.
Being Your Best Self, Part 2: Moral Decision Making
Moral decision making is the ability to produce a reasonable and defensible answer to an ethical question.
Being Your Best Self, Part 3: Moral Intent
Moral intent is the desire to act ethically when facing a decision and overcome the rationalization to not be ethical “this time.”
Being Your Best Self, Part 4: Moral Action
Moral action involves taking the necessary steps to transform the intent to do the right thing into reality. This includes moral ownership, moral efficacy, and moral courage.
Bounded ethicality explains how predictable organizational pressures and psychological processes cause us to engage in ethically questionable behavior that is inconsistent with our own values and preferences.
Causing harm explores the different types of harm that may be caused to people or groups and the potential reasons we may have for justifying these harms.
Conflict of Interest
Conflict of interest arises when we have incentives that conflict with our professional duties and responsibilities in ways that cause harm to others and to society.
Conformity bias refers to our tendency to take cues for proper behavior in most contexts from the actions of others rather than exercise our own independent judgment.
Ethical fading occurs when we are so focused on other aspects of a decision that its ethical dimensions fade from view.
Ethical Leadership, Part 1: Perilous at the Top
The moral example set by leaders has a major impact upon the behavior of their subordinates, both good and bad, ethical and unethical. Despite their career success, leaders may be particularly vulnerable to ethical lapses.
Ethical Leadership, Part 2: Best Practices
Psychological research provides guidance as to how leaders can create a workplace culture that encourages ethical behavior by employees.
Framing describes how our responses to situations, including our ethical judgments, are impacted just by how those situations are posed or viewed.
Fundamental Attribution Error
Fundamental attribution error describes how, when judging others’ actions, we tend to give too much causal weight to their character and not enough to the circumstances in which they acted.
Fundamental Moral Unit
When making ethical decisions, the one consideration that a theory favors over all other considerations is called the Fundamental Moral Unit.
Incentive gaming, or “gaming the system,” refers to when we figure out ways to increase our rewards for performance without actually improving our performance. Written by Lamar Pierce.
Referred to as the “slippery slope,” incrementalism describes how we unconsciously lower our ethical standards over time through small changes in behavior.
Legal Rights & Ethical Responsibilities
The relationship between laws and ethics is not always clear. Although we may have a legal right to do something, this does not necessarily mean it is ethically justified.
We hate losses about twice as much as we enjoy gains, meaning we are more likely to act unethically to avoid a “loss” than to secure a “gain.” This phenomenon is known as loss aversion.
Moral Agent & Subject of Moral Worth
A moral agent is capable of acting with reference to right and wrong, and has the power to intentionally cause harm to another. A moral subject is anything that can be harmed.
When we do something good we get to thinking of ourselves as pretty good people, and can then give ourselves license to fail to live up to our own ethical standards. This phenomenon is known as moral equilibrium.
Moral imagination is our ability to think outside the box and envision ways to be both ethical and successful.
Moral muteness is when we communicate in ways that obscure our moral beliefs and commitments, or don’t voice moral sentiments at all.
Moral myopia is a distortion of moral vision that keeps ethical issues from coming clearly into focus.
Obedience to Authority
Obedience to authority describes our tendency to please authority figures. We may place too much emphasis on that goal and, consciously or subconsciously, subordinate the goal of acting ethically.
The overconfidence bias is our tendency to be more confident in our ability to act ethically than is objectively justified by our abilities and moral character.
Media representations of individuals or groups can hurt by reflecting stereotypes and mistaken beliefs or can help by being truthful and inclusive.
Role morality is the tendency we have to use different moral standards for the different “roles” we play in society.
The self-serving bias causes us to see things in ways that support our best interests and our pre-existing points of view.
Systematic Moral Analysis
Systematic moral analysis is a tool that helps us to think through ethically complex situations.
Tangible & Abstract
Tangible and abstract describes how we react more to vivid, immediate inputs than to ones removed in time and space, meaning we can pay insufficient attention to the adverse consequences our actions have on others.