Early research and teaching on ethics focused either on a moral development perspective or on philosophical approaches and used a normative approach by focusing on the question of how people should act when resolving ethical dilemmas. In this article, we briefly describe the traditional approach to ethics and then present a (biased) review of the behavioral approach to ethics. We define behavioral ethics as the study of systematic and predictable ways in which individuals make ethical decisions and judge the ethical decisions of others when these decisions are at odds with intuition and the benefits of the broader society. By focusing on a descriptive rather than a normative approach to ethics, behavioral ethics is better suited than traditional approaches to addressing the increasing demand from society for a deeper understanding of what causes even good people to cross ethical boundaries.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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