Read the statements below and consider to what extent you “agree” or “disagree”: Now, think about whether you agreed or disagreed and how your personal values influenced your answer. These statements were rather straightforward; consider that often you will be faced with more complex and potentially ambiguous situations. an evaluation of the impact of personal values on ethical decision making. Your evaluation should include the following: Lefkowitz, J. (2003). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
The evaluation of the impact of personal values on ethical decision making is a complex and multi-faceted topic that has been extensively explored in the literature. Personal values are individual beliefs and preferences that guide behavior and decision making. Ethical decision making, on the other hand, involves the difficult process of weighing and choosing between competing moral principles or values.
In order to evaluate the impact of personal values on ethical decision making, it is necessary to understand the underlying theories and frameworks that inform this area of study. One such framework is Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, which posits six stages that individuals progress through as they develop their ethical reasoning. These stages range from a focus on self-interest and obedience to a focus on universal ethical principles.
Another framework that is often used to evaluate the impact of personal values on ethical decision making is the dual-process theory of moral judgment. This theory suggests that there are two distinct cognitive processes that individuals employ when making moral judgments: an intuitive/emotional process and a deliberative/rational process. The intuitive process is driven by immediate emotional reactions and personal values, while the deliberative process involves rational reasoning and consideration of ethical principles.
Research in this area has shown that personal values can have a significant impact on ethical decision making. For example, studies have found that individuals with a strong emphasis on personal achievement and power are more likely to engage in unethical behavior in order to achieve their goals. Similarly, individuals with a strong adherence to traditional values may be more likely to make ethically conservative decisions that prioritize maintaining societal norms and traditions.
However, it is important to note that personal values are not the sole determinants of ethical decision making. There are other factors, such as situational factors and organizational culture, that can also influence the decision-making process. For example, research has shown that individuals are more likely to engage in unethical behavior when they perceive that they have little to lose or when they are in a position of power.
Additionally, personal values can sometimes conflict with each other, leading to moral dilemmas and difficult decision making. For instance, an individual may value both honesty and loyalty, but may face a situation where they have to choose one over the other. In such cases, personal values can create internal conflicts and moral distress.
Moreover, it is worth mentioning that personal values can evolve and change over time as individuals gain new experiences and perspectives. This means that individuals may make different ethical decisions at different points in their lives, even if they have the same set of personal values.
In conclusion, personal values play a significant role in ethical decision making. They can shape individuals’ moral reasoning and guide their choices. However, personal values are not the only factors that influence ethical decision making, and they can sometimes create conflicts and dilemmas. It is important for individuals to critically reflect on their values and to consider other factors, such as situational factors and organizational culture, when making ethical decisions. Additionally, individuals should be open to revisiting and reassessing their personal values in order to ensure that they align with ethical principles.