Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort caused by having conflicting beliefs, ideas, or values. Compartmentalization of these concepts allows a person to have conflicting moral behaviors by inhibiting any interaction between compartmentalized concepts. For example, a laboratory researcher might conduct laboratory testing of cosmetics on mice all day long, killing many of them, and then come home to a Labrador puppy that he would not dream of harming in any way. Or, an accountant takes aggressive tax positions when filing a tax return with the federal government, but routinely donates massive amounts to her favorite charities.

Related Courses

Behavioral Ethics
Ethical Frameworks in Accounting
Unethical Behavior