While prior research suggests a link between mindfulness and ethical decision-making, most of the evidence for this link is correlational and refers to self-focused ethical behaviors. The paucity of experimental evidence, coupled with a lack of clarity on what mechanisms underlie the effect, limits our understanding of whether and how mindfulness might foster other-focused ethical behaviors. In this research, we hypothesize that state mindfulness might promote other-focused ethical behaviors by increasing resourcefulness, which we define as a perceived state of resource abundance. Across four experimental studies, we report causal evidence for the effects of state mindfulness instantiated through brief mindful meditation exercises on other-focused ethical behaviors, including choice of fair-trade products (Study 1A), charitable giving (Study 1B), and volunteering (Study 1C and Study 2). Resourcefulness mediates the effects of mindfulness on other-focused ethical behaviors (Study 2). Our work answers the call for more experimental research on mindfulness and its important implications for ethical decision-making.
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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This project was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the authors’ institution of affiliation with Ethics ID: 10016.
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Orazi, D.C., Chen, J. & Chan, E.Y. To Erect Temples to Virtue: Effects of State Mindfulness on Other-Focused Ethical Behaviors. J Bus Ethics 169, 785–798 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04296-4
- Ethical decision-making
- Other-focused ethical behaviors
- Fair-trade consumption
- Charitable giving