Abstract

As educators, we would like to believe that we can influence the ethical growth of our students. If we are to do this, it seems worthwhile to first understand what ethical decision-making is and how it happens. For millennia, ethical decision-making has fallen within the domain of philosophy. However, recent evidence suggests that the average person does not consider ethical dilemmas in the abstract. Instead, ethical decision-making appears to be a complex dance between an individual’s rational calculus of the ethical dilemma and their emotional response to the context of the dilemma. I will present an argument that in the trenches of daily life, psychology has a better grasp on the workings of ethical decision-making, while philosophy helps to provide direction. I will also present a number of historical and current psychological theories about ethical decision-making, from behaviorist to postmodern feminist. Throughout this discussion I will build on a psychological framework for ethical decision-making and moral development, and present implications for engineering education.

Disciplines

Materials Science and Engineering

Publisher statement

Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

Share

COinS
 

URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/mate_fac/47