Are your only options to stay and get on with it or quit? When there is an inconsistency between our attitudes and our behavior (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. But there's so much more behind being registered. Learning to recognise and not ignore these emotions helps build the self-belief to act and strengthen that inner compass. You may opt-out by. In his first experiments, volunteers were introduced to another participant (who was in on the experiment). When we are ethical and moral, we will more likely bring into our lives people who feel the same as we do; who put a value on their integrity. PNAS May 31, 2016. Think about a time when you did not live up to your own moral code. In certain cases people are willing to ignore reality in order to conform to the rest of the group. American psychologist, philosopher, and behaviorist, B.F. Skinner, once said, “The consequences of an act affect the probability of its occurring again.” For all of us seeking to do the right thing, let this be a lesson in learning to act – and think – differently. Festinger and James M. Carlsmith published their classic cognitive dissonance experiment in 1959. In his study McLaverty (Dr of Education) looked at the influence of culture on ethical decision making among leaders and executives of big companies. Weiten 2010. Companies become ethical one person at a time, one decision at a time. Oftentimes, larger offenses arise from patterned occurrences. Yet research has shown us we are often more prone to conform then we would like. Millennials value doing the right thing – it’s what we want from all companies, leaders, and employees. The idea is to judge the action moral if it delivers more good than harm to society. As psychologists now describe it: courage is persistence in the face of fear. You will be sent an email to validate the new email address. Cognitive dissonance theory, on the other hand, would predict that those who were paid $1 would feel the most dissonance since they had to carry out a boring task and lie to an experimenter, all for only 1$. Once it becomes easier to make unethical decisions, what can you do to change your behavior? In 300 BC it was Aristotle who said that fear was an innate part of courage. 1. Dissonance was created for the subjects performing the favor, as the task was in fact boring. The traditional approach to change is top-down: get the company’s leaders to make the change their priority, and role model the behaviour they want everyone else to follow. The subjects were told that they were taking part in a vision test. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? In the wake of 32-year-old millionaire Martin Shkreli’s arrest, headlines of fraud and deception have swept newsrooms. A quicker, more effective way is to start with the individual, whether a leader or an employee, and their powerful desire to see themselves and be seen by others as a good person.