We started reading Jennifer Taub’s book on white collar crime–Big Dirty Money: The Shocking Injustice and Unseen Cost of White Collar Crime–on the December 2020 day that President Trump announced pardons for Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Charles Kushner and 26 other mostly white collar criminals. Coincidentally, Taub begins her book noting that: Just after Valentine’s […]
Ethics Unwrapped Blog
It’s that time of year when here at UT (and at colleges all across the country), we are concerned about academic dishonesty in a time of online (or mostly online) education. All teachers fear that despite their own best efforts and the utilization of some technological surveillance devices, it is virtually impossible to prevent cheating […]
Media representations of individuals or groups can hurt by reflecting stereotypes and mistaken beliefs or can help by being truthful and inclusive.
Systematic moral analysis is a tool that helps us to think through ethically complex situations.
The University of Texas at Austin announced the creation of a Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation this year. Part of the Center’s mission, as currently envisioned, is to teach high school athletics coaches how to deal with various behavioral and other off-field matters involving their student athletes. Helping coaches “develop their students as people,” […]
Recently three things came across my desk nearly simultaneously. One was a report that Lance Armstrong had told a BBC interviewer: “If you take me back to 1995, when [doping] was completely and totally pervasive, I’d probably do it again. People don’t like to hear that.” (Rapp, 2015) Second, was a report that two MMA […]
Many of our Ethics Unwrapped videos present ideas produced by the new research field of behavioral ethics, which studies why people make the ethical (and unethical) decisions that they do. Much of the research comes from behavioral psychology and the “heuristics and biases” research stream created by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman and his late […]
The moral example set by leaders has a major impact on the behavior of their subordinates, both good and bad. Despite career success, leaders are particularly vulnerable to ethical lapses.
Rachel Aviv’s article “Wrong Answer” in a recent New Yorker issue presents a textbook case of why good people do bad things. The article tells the story of the recent cheating scandal in the Atlanta School District, which was one of the worst of a string of school cheating scandals across the U.S. Forty-four of […]
Guest blogger Tigran Eldred is an Associate Professor of Law at the New England School of Law in Boston. He has a distinguished background as a public defender and civil rights lawyer before he joined academia. However, our particular interest in his contribution relates to his interest in behavioral ethics as it applies to the […]
There is no single correct way to teach business ethics. A common approach combines philosophy and character development. Teachers impart philosophical concepts for resolving difficult ethical issues and encourage students to develop and hone strength of character to give them the means to actually implement the solutions that develop. Any regular reader of this blog […]
Moral myopia is a distortion of moral vision that keeps ethical issues from coming clearly into focus.
Moral muteness is when we communicate in ways that obscure our moral beliefs and commitments, or don’t voice moral sentiments at all.
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.
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.
By anticipating the typical reasons & rationalizations given for ethically questionable behavior, you are able to identify and prepare well-reasoned responses.
You are more likely to say words that you’ve pre-scripted for yourself, and more likely to “voice” your values, with scripting and practice.
Believe that you have a choice about voicing your values and know what has helped – and hindered you – in the past so you can work around these factors.
Abramoff’s version of role morality, which is our tendency to use different moral standards as we play different “roles” in society.
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.
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.
Role morality is the tendency we have to use different moral standards for the different roles we play in society.
It seems obvious that people should judge the ethicality of others’ actions in an objective and fair way. What is not so obvious is how difficult it often is to do that. One reason why it is difficult to make such objective judgments is our tendency to sort ourselves and others into groups and to […]