Why does unethical behavior occur? How might unethical behavior be avoided?

Expert Answers
justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A lot of research done by psychologists has identified the primary reason why people indulge in unethical behavior is their getting caught in what are known as psychological traps.

Psychology has a large role in to play in our lives and controls what is considered right and wrong; this in turn influences the actions that are taken by people and how they judge what has been done by them as well as by others.

A few examples of psychological traps that people encounter stem from the fact that we are all brought up in an environment that demands obedience to authority. This makes it very difficult for most to refuse to follow the instructions of their superiors though they may be aware of the fact that what is being asked of them is not ethical. Another reason identified by researchers is that most people cannot live in a state of uncertainty; they require an immediate answer to everything and would accept it irrespective of it being right or wrong as long as it can provide a way out of a state of ambiguity. A third reason why people follow unethical behavior is to do with their belief that everyone does unethical things in life. The justification for any wrong action is then "someone would have done it anyway if it hadn't been me."

Unethical behavior can be avoided by using the services of a psychologist who can identify the psychological profile of people and help them avoid falling into any traps.

najm1947 | Student

Ethics are related to moral and an accepted code of conduct by a society related to dignity and honour. If we accept this definition than one can easily figure out why it occurs. The society is loosing its values and ephasis on norms. Parents do have time for grooming as in most of the cases both are working. While they are home, generally they are to tired to spend time with children. The mother has to prepare food, the father would like to relax and kids may have to spend time with friends, or at best they can watch TV. Time for parents-children interaction is almost non-existent.

Schools used to be a place where attention was paid on values but things have changed there too. Teachers are too much overloaded, and even if they are not. If parents do not perform their basic duty, the teachers don't feel obliged to impart moral training.

And students, they generally feel annoyed if the teachers say something. The general answer is, "Our parents don't mind so who are you?"

Basically it's a matter of being away from an accepted code of conduct which unfortunately do not exist in practice as we refrain from interfering due to personal liberties of others. And we accept any thing in the name of 'human rights'. Human rights have never been so exploited as we do it today in the name of 'human rights' giving no heed to morals.