June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.544.1 - 26.544.8
Differences in Ethical Decision making between experts and novices: A Comparative StudyEthics is a pivotal feature in developing professionalism in engineers. The production of moral behavioris intricate and demands at least four different psychological processes: moral sensitivity, moraljudgment, moral motivation and moral character and implementation. Moral motivation plays a criticalrole in predicting an individual’s ethical behavior but it is not easy to assess. According to literaturemany variables such as gender, age, work experience, personality, nationality and cultural backgroundplay a role in ethical decisions.Work experience plays a critical role in professional engineers and graduate students by exposing themto more life challenging situations than the undergraduate students (novices). The goal of this study is tocompare the differences in ethical decisions by measuring the individual differences and responses toethical case studies of three different groups: professional engineers, graduate students, andundergraduate students. Individual differences in moral motivation are important for understandinghow people deal with ethical dilemmas. This study was conducted at a large university in the UnitedStates in the Fall 2013 and Fall 2014 semesters. Our sample consists of 60 people of three differentgroups: 20 professional engineers, 20 graduate students, and 20 undergraduate students.To compare the differences in decision making, a structured questionnaire was administered to eachparticipant. The questionnaire consisted of some demographic questions followed by three personalitymeasure tests (Person and Thing Orientations, Pauhlus Spheres of control, and Big Five Personality Test)and five ethical cases adopted from Lockhead Martin Ethics Challenge Games. Guided by the literature,we hypothesized that undergraduate students who are novices are ethically challenged in decisionmaking when compared to professional engineers and graduate students. Our study is at the stage ofanalyzing the data. The findings and applications for engineering instruction will be shared in the draftpaper.
Ramachandran, M., & Bairaktarova, D., & Woodcock, A., & Bawareth, O. M. (2015, June), Differences in Ethical Decision-making Between Experts and Novices: A Comparative Study Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23882
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