Relationship between Moral Disengagement, Trait Cynicism, Trait Empathy, and Emotional Intelligence

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The purpose of this study is to discover the relationship between moral disengagement, trait cynicism, trait empathy and emotional intelligence. This research will also examine the dimensions of emotional intelligence with moral disengagement. This study is beneficial in the sense that by understanding moral disengagement it could lead to an explanation of why otherwise normal people are able to engage in unethical behaviour without apparent guilt or self-censure. Furthermore, if organisations knew more about whether some individuals were predisposition to moral disengagement than others, perhaps they could target resources towards improving these individuals’ decision making processes (Detert, J.R 2008). It has previously been investigated that the relationship between moral disengagement and unethical decision making, defined as decisions to behave in ways that breach accepted moral norms or standards of behaviour. Additional theorists such as Albert Bandura have added to the developing notion of moral disengagement as an extension of social cognitive theory. According to Bandura the theory explores that most people have developed personal standards of moral behaviour that serve a self-regulatory role. Individuals usually behave in ways that are consistent with their internal moral standards because they anticipate their own positive and negative evaluations of possible conduct choices. Additional information that underpins this research is the idea that high moral disengagement is accompanied by low guilt, thus weakening anticipatory self restraints against engagement in detrimental behaviour (Bandura, A 2000). It is hypothesised in this report that trait cynicism is positively related to moral disengagement; therefore it is proposed that trait cynicism will facilitate moral disengagement because individuals who are high on trait cynicism have an underlying distrust of other people. Through a number of questionaries and primary research using students as the...
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