Emotional or Reasoned Ethics - Can Reasoning Lead to Moral Disengagement?
MetadataShow full item record
- Master of Science 
The present thesis sought to explore the role of emotions and reason in ethical decision-making. To explain why and how individuals engage in unethical behavior I also investigated the mediating effects of moral disengagement. In addition, I measured the decision-making style of participants to better understand the impact it might have on ethical decision-making. Primarily the hypothesized model described the relationship such that deliberate decision-making mode would lead to more unethical decision-making, mediated by moral disengagement. To put my hypotheses to the test, using a between-subjects experimental design with two treatment groups, participants were presented with scenarios with an ethical dilemma and were instructed to use either their heart (affect) or brain (reason) when making decisions in the scenarios. The results show significant differences between the affect and reason treatment, in support of affect yielding more ethical decision-making than the reason treatment. However, the mediation model did not yield significant results, although a significant relationship between moral disengagement and ethical decision-making was found. Lastly, decision-making style conditionally interacted with the manipulation such that the deliberate decision-makers were more ethical than the intuitive ones, but only in the affect treatment. The findings in this thesis contribute to the field of judgment and decision-making, painting a potentially more nuanced picture of ethical decision-making. Furthermore, I hope the results here can be a catalyst for future research integrating the role of moral disengagement into the debate of emotional or reasoned ethics.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2022