The Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Distancing Response to Ethical Dissonance

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The Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Distancing Response to Ethical Dissonance

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Title: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Distancing Response to Ethical Dissonance
Author: Barkan, R.; Ayal, S.; Gino, Francesca; Ariely, D.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Barkan, R., S. Ayal, F. Gino, and D. Ariely. "The Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Distancing Response to Ethical Dissonance." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 141, no. 4 (2012): 757–773.
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Abstract: Six studies demonstrate the "pot calling the kettle black" phenomenon whereby people are guilty of the very fault they identify in others. Recalling an undeniable ethical failure, people experience ethical dissonance between their moral values and their behavioral misconduct. Our findings indicate that to reduce ethical dissonance, individuals use a double-distancing mechanism. Using an overcompensating ethical code, they judge others more harshly and present themselves as more virtuous and ethical (Studies 1, 2, 3). We show this mechanism is exclusive for ethical dissonance and is not triggered by salience of ethicality (Study 4), general sense of personal failure, or ethically neutral cognitive dissonance (Study 5). Finally, it is characterized by some boundary conditions (Study 6). We discuss the theoretical contribution of this work to research on moral regulation and ethical behavior.
Other Sources: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/xge/141/4/757/
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11320607
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