Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

The Bathsheba Syndrome: When a Leader Fails

February 14, 2012 Comments off


Another leader—no, an entire cadre of leaders—has been found to be a moral failure. Legal authorities have charged Jerry Sandusky, who retired as the defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team in 1999, with the sexual abuse of children who he targeted through his involvement in the charitable organization The Second Mile. Additionally, a number of other administrators and leaders at Penn State University—the university’s president Graham Spanier, vice-president Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley and long-time football coach Joe Paterno—face charges or have been fired from the university because of their failure to take action when Sandusky’s crimes were brought to their attention. Time, research, and investigation will inform fully our judgment of who is guilty and who is innocent, but the indictment states many at the university were aware of Sandusky’s crimes but did not intervene as required by law and by moral standards.

Sandusky and the…

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Recent Studies of Ethics and Morality

December 18, 2011 Comments off

My interest in morality dates all the way back to my dissertation, which examined individual differences in moral philosophy. I have also conducted a number of studies personality and ethics, looking at values, traits, and situational factors as causes of both moral judgment and moral behavior.

You can access descriptions of that work by using the menu tab Ethics at the top of this page. Some of the work that is linked to that page includes

The Ethics Position Theory. I developed a personality measure that assumes people differ in the personal moral philosophies. This measure of these differences is called the Ethics Position Questionnaire (or EPQ). If you are interested in using the Ethics Position Questionnaire in your research, please visit THIS PAGE for background information and a copy of the items.

Personality and Productivity. In work conducted with Ernest O’Boyle, we have explored the literature on the relationship between the so-called Dark Triad–Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy–and other variables, such as productivity and personality.

The Greater Good. I continue to be intrigued by individuals decision to contribute their personal resources, whether time, energy, or money, to a common, shared cause. For background on this topic, please visit the website For the Greater Good of All, a book I edited with Crystal Hoyt dealing with this topic.