Personality and Ethical Decision-Making in Research: The Role of Perceptions of Self and Others
Antes, Alison L.
Brown, Ryan P.
Murphy, Stephen T.
Waples, Ethan P.
Mumford, Michael D.
Devenport, Lynn D.
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics 2007 December; 2(4): 15-34
THIS STUDY EXAMINED BASIC PERSONALITY characteristics, narcissism, and cynicism as predictors of ethical decision-making among graduate students training for careers in the sciences. Participants completed individual difference measures along with a scenario-based ethical decision-making measure that captures the complex, multifaceted nature of ethical decision-making in scientific research. The results revealed that narcissism and cynicism (individual differences influencing self-perceptions and perceptions of others) showed consistently negative relationships with aspects of ethical decision-making, whereas more basic personality characteristics (e.g., conscientiousness, agreeableness) were less consistent and weaker. Further analyses examined the relationship of personality to metacognitive reasoning strategies and social behavioral response patterns thought to underlie ethical decision-making. The findings indicated that personality was associated with many of these social-cognitive mechanisms which might, in part, explain the association between personality and ethical decisions.
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