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Journal Article

Personality and Ethical Decision-Making in Research: The Role of Perceptions of Self and Others

Alison L. Antes, Ryan P. Brown, Stephen T. Murphy, Ethan P. Waples, Michael D. Mumford, Shane Connelly and Lynn D. Devenport
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics: An International Journal
Vol. 2, No. 4 (December 2007), pp. 15-34
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.1525/jer.2007.2.4.15
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Page Count: 20
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Personality and Ethical Decision-Making in Research: The Role of Perceptions of Self and Others
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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 socialbehavioral 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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