Sep 9 • 1HR 19M

Ep. 022: Moral Hypocrisy and Ethical Blind Spots

Institute for Liberal Values

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Welcome to The Dissidents Podcast, formerly the Counterweight Podcast, where we talk about how we can strive for a world in which freedom and reason are at the forefront of all human society.
Episode details

In this week's episode Mike and Elizabeth discuss the motivation to appear moral without incurring the losses that may accompany actually behaving morally (like being thought of as a cheater or liar).  In one paper, researchers showed that in order to appear fair in the eyes of others, participants engaged in social deception to disguise their selfish behavior.  In another paper, participants were more unethical and self-serving in ambiguous situations, and in a third paper ambiguity led participants to behave unethically in order to benefit a person for whom they were induced to feel compassion.  Results are discussed in the context of contemporary virtue signaling.

Institute for Liberal Values

Podcast notes:

Lönnqvist, J.-E., Irlenbusch, B., & Walkowitz, G. (2014). Moral hypocrisy: Impression management or self-deception? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55, 53–62.

Pittarello, A., Leib, M., Gordon-Hecker, T., & Shalvi, S. (2015). Justifications shape ethical blind spots. Psychological Science, 26, 794–804. 

Fang, X., Chen, L., Wang, J., Zhang, Q., & Mo, L. (2020). Do all types of compassion increase prosocial lying? Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 13. 

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