Ep. 022: Moral Hypocrisy and Ethical Blind Spots
Institute for Liberal Values
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.
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.