How can good people do bad things? How can people act contrary to their moral beliefs without having a bad conscience? White lies, rule bending, finding excuses for our own behaviour, which we would judge others for … To be honest, we have all done stuff like that. Nobody is always 100 % moral - misconduct spans from little untruths to refined fraud, from omission of some facts to crimes. All these things have one thing in common: When performing these actions, the same mechanisms are at work that allow us to ignore our moral compass. At least that is what theories assume. In this project, we examine when, how often, in which contexts and by whom these different mechanisms are applied.
Our goal is to check to what extend theory corresponds with reality. How is unmoral behaviour in everyday life justified? What influence do situational differences and relationships between actors have? Which actions are seen as immoral?
Your task is to observe your surroundings after a short online information. Who acts immoral? When? What justifications are provided for this behaviour? Not just encounters in everyday life matter, but also media, newspaper reports, narratives, movies, social media etc. can be analysed. For this, short questionnaires will be sent to you during the course of one week.
At a later point in time, Citizen Scientists are invited to analyse the submitted scenarios, to build categories and thereby check to what extent theory and reality correspond. Another aim is to discover new categories and strategies.