Sunday, April 3, 2016

Immoral Behaviour

I ran across and interesting New York University Study which concluded that doubts about career potential can pave the way for immoral processional conduct.

In a nutshell - if you motivated to go into a profession but are told you don't have a lot of potential for the field then you are more likely to endorse and engage in immoral behaviors.
The results showed that those highly motivated to enter the business world and who were told they did poorly on the test were more likely to endorse the immoral act (i.e., breaking the contract) than were those who were informed they did well.
Students, who were determined to enter the legal field and told they performed poorly on the test, were comparatively more likely to say they performed these “immoral” behaviors.
Now the interesting thing is that in the study the subjects were randomly told that their potential wasn't very good. In real life, the people who lack potential are usually the ones who receive the most negative feedback. So the most incompetent become the most likely to act immorally. Which, I suspect, is pretty self-reinforcing. After all, if being bad is the best way for you as an individual to succeed (because you can't by competency), you are more likely to act immorally.

It is the classic dumb bully stereotype - if you lack brains but have muscle, then use your muscle to get your way.

To prevent the bad people/bullies from winning through bad behavior is exactly why we have laws. But the laws need to be enforced to do any good.

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