ERIC Number: ED246328
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Impact of Ethical Ideology on Moral Behavior.
Nye, Judith; Forsyth, Donelson R.
To examine the impact of ethical ideology, i.e., situationism (high relativism and idealism), subjectivism (high relativism/low idealism), absolutism (low relativism/high idealism), and exceptionism (low relativism and idealism), as well as the saliency of moral norms, and the situational consequences on moral behavior, 112 male and female college students were asked to mislead a confederate in a testing situation. Subjects were selected on the basis of their responses to the Ethics Position Questionnaire. After rating the confederate, subjects were asked to give him negative feedback suggesting that he had a low IQ (clearly a lie). Subjects were told that the information was simply feedback (nonsalient moral norm) or was a lie (salient moral norm). In addition, one half of the subjects were offered money for giving the information, while the other half were told the feedback would improve the test-taker's later performance. Subjects' compliance with the request was measured and self-evaluations were taken. An analysis of the results showed that, although positive consequences for self and salient moral norms led to decreased lying, highly idealistic subjects unexpectedly behaved the most immorally. Situationists and absolutists usually lied no matter what the consequences or the salience of moral norms. Exceptionists were less likely to lie if they would benefit personally. Subjectivists were less likely to lie if they stood to gain from the lie and the action was labelled a lie. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ideology; Situational Variables
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Baltimore, MD, April 12-15, 1984).