Forecasting and Ethical Decision Making: What Matters?

Ethics and Behavior 23 (6):445-462 (2013)
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Abstract

This study examined how the number and types of consequences considered are related to forecasting and ethical decision making. Undergraduate participants took on the role of the key actor in several ethical problems and were asked to forecast potential outcomes and make a decision about each problem. Performance pressure was manipulated by ostensibly making rewards contingent on good problem-solving performance. The results indicated that forecast quality was associated with decision ethicality, and the identification of the critical consequences of the problem and consequences for others were associated with both higher quality forecasts and more ethical decisions. In addition, the identification of a larger number of consequences was negatively associated with ethical decision making. Performance pressure did not impact forecast quality or ethicality of decisions. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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