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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Monday, January 16, 2017

The phenomenon of “unethical amnesia”

Francesca Gino and Maryam Kouchaki
Originally published December 29, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

In fact, psychological research on morality shows that we hold an overly optimistic view of our capacity to adhere to ethical standards. We believe that we are intrinsically more moral than others, that we will behave more ethically than others in the future, and that transgressions committed by others are morally worse than our own.

So, how do these beliefs of our moral selves play out in our day-to-day actions? As researchers who frequently study how people who care about morality often behave dishonestly, we decided to find out.

Unethical amnesia

One key result of our research is that people engage in unethical behavior repeatedly over time because their memory of their dishonest actions gets obfuscated over time. In fact, our research shows that people are more likely to forget the details of their own unethical acts compared with other incidents, including neutral, negative, or positive events, as well as the unethical actions of others.

The article is here.