Between me and we: The importance of self-profit versus social justifiability for ethical decision making

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Current theories of dishonest behavior suggest that both individual profits and the availability of justifications drive cheating. Although some evidence hints that cheating behavior is most prevalent when both self-profit and social justifications are present, the relative impact of each of these factors is insufficiently understood. This study provides a fine-grained analysis of the trade-off between self-profit versus social justifiability. In a non-student online sample, we assessed dishonest behavior in a coin-tossing task, involving six conditions which systematically varied both self-profit and social justifiability (in terms of social welfare), such that a decrease in the former was associated with the exact same increase in the latter. Results showed that self-profit outweighed social justifiability, but that there was also an effect of social justifications
Original languageEnglish
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)563-571
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

ID: 185029123