ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (8): 1502-1511.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01502

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Good People Do Bad Things: Unethical Behavior from the Perspective of Bounded Ethicality

WANG Peng;WANG Zhongjun;LI Songkai   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education; School of Psychology, Central China Normal University; Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2013-01-08 Online:2013-08-15 Published:2013-08-15
  • Contact: WANG Zhongjun

Abstract: Bounded ethicality refers to a kind of inherent limitation when individuals make ethical decision. It manifests the departure between the external behavior and internal moral value, and leads to unconscious moral bias. Combined with rational ethicality model, bounded ethicality is an alternative explanation of unethical behavior. From the perspective of bounded ethicality, unethical behavior includes implicit bias, in-group favoritism, over-claiming credit, conflicts of interest and discounting the future. And the theoretical explanation arises from self-service motive, two-selves, ethical fading and frame effect. Studies about ethical decision making and unethical behavior in the future need to be extended to bounded rationality.

Key words: unethical behavior, rational ethicality model, bounded ethicality, in-group favoritism, two-selves