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Ethics and The Psychology Behind It

On the role of ethics in personal advancement and the need to develop detailed psychology of ethics.

Ethics is a very relevant location in the research study of psychology as ethical worths on what is wrong and what is right relate straight to an individual’s ethical standing in society. Our ethical standards might closely relate to our ethical requirements although morality is more individualistic and moral requirements might vary between cultures, societies and religions. Ethical requirements are nevertheless more basic as they depend on our standard human nature and human worths and ethical worths are more human and thus more about mental characteristics than the ethical worths. Yet ethics is thought about as a branch of moral philosophy

In a research study of the Psychology of Ethics it is important to compare ethics and morality and a Psychology of Ethics would be more about values of being human whereas Moral Psychology specifically deals with questions of morality. Moral psychology or psychology of morality is thus thought about a part of the more comprehensive psychology of ethics. Ethics deals with morality along with questions of right and incorrect, moral and unethical, virtue and vice, excellent and evil and duties of being human.

Ethical philosophy also demonstrates how ethical judgments and ethical declarations or attitudes are formed. Ethics was studied in philosophy from the days of Socrates and Aristotle and was associated with self awareness about the needs of the human condition. Doing the best thing at the right time and in the ideal manner for the best factor is considered virtuous and ethical. Yet a psychology of ethics would include more than just understanding ethical values and appreciation of the human condition. The psychology of ethics has to do with our basic beliefs and mindsets and the development of these beliefs as also how our worth systems are shaped in youth through ethical advancement. Psychoanalysis and social and developmental psychology might use a series of theories to describe ethical development in children and adults.

Freud has utilized the concepts of Id, Ego and Superego to recommend that the superego functions as a moral filter and assists people to decide what is right and what is wrong. The id, ego and superego are described as the 3 parts of the psychic device with the id being the instincts and base desires, the ego is the practical part that balances the desires and the superego is that which monitors and controls and the part that has a rigorous ethical measurement. The superego is thus the part of the psyche that deals moral worths and triggers us towards moral justification. This suggests we seek an ethical description of habits or tend to purposely or unconsciously act in a specific method because of the underlying ethical requirements.

Apart from psychoanalysis that would describe ethics generally as a mechanism controlled and directed by the Superego so that all dark dishonest desires are somehow filtered, ethical development is also described with social and moral psychology.

In social psychology belonging to a group would imply following fundamental requirements of conformity and conformity determines the extent to which social behavior would remain in accordance with what the society accepts or thinks about as standard. Standard habits would in fact be closely related to ethical behavior hence within the context of social psychology, ethics has to do with conformity and doing what is right according to social standards or values. If we think about developmental psychology, specific needs are satisfied through social conformity as following ethical requirements and engaging in ethical behavior would be continually rewarding to an individual and would motivate or enhance ethical standards. Ethics satisfies our social and acknowledgment requirements and our ethical requirements of managing our desires. So psychoanalysis would think about ethics as the moral aspect of our psychic structure and according to social psychology theories ethics is essential to group habits and conformity as ethics according to social theories is a crucial social developmental procedure in our interaction. A few of the concerns that would be main to the psychology of ethics are the stages connected to the development of ethics. This would be similar to ethical development although ethical worths and beliefs would be distinct and unlike basic morality can be shaped even at old age.

The minor difference between ethics and morality apart from the fact that ethics belongs of broader moral psychology is that ethics could be changeable or related to mindsets that might alter with time. For example euthanasia is an ethical decision and doctors or nurses who face such a situation in their profession depends on their ethical position and this could be impacted by what they have actually found out in their occupation, their years of experience and their personal training or worth systems.

In some cases, scenarios could determine ethical choices as likewise social systems and people and their thoughts are influenced by others in ethical development providing the social theory of ethics. Nevertheless specific theories such as cognitive dissonance theory might describe ethics as a change of habits or attitudes through pain with a particular view of things. If certain actions are essentially incongruent with attitudes held then the people will either need to change their actions or their mindsets and therefore personal ethics would likewise change. Evolutionary psychology also explains our moral and ethical advancement as when we are continuously rewarded by society for certain behavior, we would naturally consider these as positive and this would then be socially acceptable and ethical. Habits rewarded over time are lastly viewed as ethical and ideal.

The psychology of ethics will need to incorporate theories from psychoanalysis, evolutionary psychology and social and developmental psychology to provide an extensive understanding of ethical advancement and changes in the advancement of ethics. Ethics would be impacted by the unchangeable component of fundamental worths that we hold and the changeable element of experience as ethics are worths shaped and even changed by experience.

The stages of ethical advancement will have the general structure of social and ethical development as individuals go through guilt in youth (of mischief etc.) through group conformity and discovers what is right and what is wrong. This is developed even more in teenage years which is marked by identity crisis (as recommended by psychologists consisting of Erikson) and ethics is formed in young adulthood as part of this identity debt consolidation. When a 20 year old man states to himself ‘I believe cheating is wrong’ he is suggesting that his sense of ethics is connected to his sense of identity. Lastly in middle and late their adult years experiential modifications might cause change of ethics and the final stage of reflection and evaluation in which there is evaluation and the requirement to defend one’s own ethical beliefs and attitudes. The stages of ethical development could be hence offered as guilt-group conformity-identity crisis- identity consolidation-experiential change-evaluation or defense.

Psychoanalysis and the role of superego might recommend why ethics are formed in human beings and the basic interplay in between the psychic structure and the development of ethics. Evolutionary psychology reveals the interplay of the biological structure or body systems and ethics formation and recommend how ethics are formed over many years of evolution and social psychology reveals the basic interplay of social structures and development of ethics or worth systems and highlights the basis of ethics in society informing us what ethics are formed according to the needs of society. Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality with a focus on social systems could also supply insights on the research study of the formation of attitudes, worths and ethics.

Along with the social, developmental, psychoanalytic and evolutionary measurements of ethics, it is very important to delineate the types of ethical decisions for instance ethics from a legal perspective, ethics from a moral viewpoint, ethics from an instructional viewpoint, ethics from medical point of view and so on. Service ethics, legal ethics, medical ethics and all branches of ethics will have to consider the mental stages of ethical advancement with social, psychoanalytic, evolutionary theories.