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.
Ethics Unwrapped Blog
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.
By anticipating the typical reasons & rationalizations given for ethically questionable behavior, you are able to identify and prepare well-reasoned responses.
Self-knowledge and alignment means to voice and act on your values in a way that is consistent with who you are and builds on your strengths.
Define your personal and professional purpose explicitly and broadly before conflicts arise, and appeal to this sense of purpose in others.
Normalization means expecting values conflicts so that you approach them calmly and competently. Over-reaction can limit your choices unnecessarily.
Abramoff’s version of moral equilibrium, which describes our tendency to keep a running scoreboard in our heads that compares our self-image as ethical people to our actual behavior.
Abramoff’s version of rationalizations, which are the excuses we make for not living up to our own, or society’s, ethical standards.
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.
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.