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Exploring the Relationship Between Ethical Awareness and Personality Traits of Undergraduate Engineering Students

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30500

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

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Samuel Aaron Snyder Virginia Tech

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Sam Snyder is a first year Ph.D. student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He received his Bachelors of Science in Materials Science and Engineering in 2017 from Virginia Tech. His current research interests are in engineering ethics education and exploring the relationship between empathy and ethical decision-making.

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Indhira María Hasbún Virginia Tech

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Indhira Maria Hasbun is a Ph.D. student and Graduate Teaching Assistant in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.Eng. in Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.

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Jessica Deters Virginia Tech

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Jessica Deters is a PhD student at Virginia Tech in the Department of Engineering Education. She holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics & Statistics and a minor in the McBride Honors Program in Public Affairs from the Colorado School of Mines. Jessica is engaging in projects that emphasize the sociotechnical nature of engineering with a focus on social justice and diversity. She aims to educate the next generation of engineers to understand and value the social, political, economic, environmental, and human implications of their designs.

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Diana Bairaktarova Virginia Tech

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Diana Bairaktarova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech and the Director of the Abilities, Creativity and Ethics in Design [ACE(D)]Lab. Bairaktarova's ongoing research interest spans from engineering to psychology to learning sciences, as she uncovers how individual performance and professional decisions are influenced by aptitudes and abilities, interest, and manipulation of physical and virtual objects.

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Abstract

This study explores the relationship between ethical awareness and personality traits of undergraduate engineering students. Data analysis is presented of survey results collected at a large, public Midwestern R1 University investigating this relationship. Students’ ethical awareness was measured through the use of five of Lockheed Martin’s Challenge Game ethical vignettes. Personality traits were determined using Digman’s Big Five Personality (BFP) test. Other measures included Graziano’s Person and Thing Orientations (PTO) and Paulhus & Van Seals’s Spheres of Control (SOC). We hypothesized that students who were identified as having “agreeable”, “extroverted”, and “conscientious” personality (based on the BFP test) are more inclined to be ethically aware than those who were identified as “open to experience” or “neurotic”. Results showed that those who spoke English as a first language and those who had lived outside of their home country for more than 6 months were more likely to provide “ethically aware” answers to the vignettes. Contrary to our hypothesis, multiple regression analysis showed that personality traits did not explain the variance observed in differences on ethical awareness as measured by the survey scales. Future work will include continued survey validation analysis, as well as cluster analysis to see if there are particular personality profiles that are indicative of ethical awareness.

Snyder, S. A., & Hasbún, I. M., & Deters, J., & Bairaktarova, D. (2018, June), Exploring the Relationship Between Ethical Awareness and Personality Traits of Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30500

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