Withstanding moral disengagement: Attachment security as an ethical intervention

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We propose an ethical intervention leading to improved ethical decision-making. Moral disengagement has long been related to unethical decision-making. We test an ethical intervention in which this relationship is broken. Our ethical intervention consisted of priming individuals to be securely-attached, in which they recalled a past instance of relational support and acceptance. We predicted and found an interaction between attachment state and moral disengagement, in which individuals primed with attachment security were able to withstand moral disengagement In Study 1, we demonstrate that the securely attached behave more ethically than the anxiously attached in an achievement context. In Study 2, we show that secure attachment overrides one's natural propensity to morally disengage. In Study 3, we find that secure attachment minimizes the impact of the propensity to morally disengage through the mechanism of threat construal. Within both student and working adult samples and using both judgment and behavioral dependent variables, we show that the priming of secure attachment is a relatively simple and effective intervention that managers, educators, and organizations can use to reduce unethical behavior. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Publisher
ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE
Issue Date
2014-03
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

BEHAVIOR; ACTIVATION; ADULTHOOD; REPRESENTATIONS; MEDIATION; STYLES; SYSTEM

Citation

JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, v.51, pp.88 - 93

ISSN
0022-1031
DOI
10.1016/j.jesp.2013.11.005
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/187186
Appears in Collection
MG-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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