Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Education Studies

Title

Does honesty result from moral will or moral grace? why moral identity matters

Language

English

Abstract

Does honesty result from the absence of temptation or the active resistance of temptation? The "will'' hypothesis suggests that honesty results from the active resistance of temptation, while the "grace" hypothesis argues that honesty results from the absence of temptation. We examined reaction time and measured the cheating behavior of individuals who had a chance to lie for money. In study 1, we tested the "grace" hypothesis that honesty results from the absence of temptation and found a priming effect of moral constructs on increasing honest behavior. In study 2, we investigated the individual's moral identity in the same context, articulating different mechanisms that lead people to behave ethically. The result confirms that the "grace" hypothesis was valid for people who had a high moral identity, while the "will" hypothesis was accurate for individuals who had a low moral identity. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Keywords

Cheating behavior, Moral grace, Moral identity, Moral will, Neural activity, Reaction time

Publication Date

2014

Source Publication Title

Journal of Business Ethics

Publisher

Springer Verlag

DOI

10.1007/s10551-014-2050-x

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2050-x

ISSN (print)

01674544

ISSN (electronic)

15730697

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