Behavioral Ethics and Euphemisms
Behavioral ethics is the social scientific study of ethical and unethical behavior. The field occupies a space distinct from normative or legal approaches to ethics, which explore how individuals should behave, and instead aims to understand through empirical study how individuals actually do behave in ethical contexts and why.
Euphemisms are the substitution of words or phrases that evoke negative psychological effects. Euphemisms operate by making harmful conduct less so, thereby reducing personal responsibility for it. Euphemisms are often described as a process of moral disengagement, but a more accurate description from a behavioral ethics standpoint is that they are an aid to rationalization. Rationalizations, the psychological mechanism by which individuals internally verbalize justifications for future unethical or illegal acts so as to keep their...
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