Ethical Attitude and Behaviors Regarding Computer Use

Ethics and Behavior 21 (6):481 - 497 (2011)
This study explores the ethical attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of a sampling of political science students in Taiwan. It investigates their intentions toward observing ethics in the area of digital rights, on topics such as the freedom of expression, freedom of association, equal access to information, confidentiality, security, and protection of intellectual property while using computers. Based on preliminary studies, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to 660 political science and public administration students throughout colleges in Taiwan. Data collected from 440 valid samples have been analyzed using structural equation modeling to test the three sets of hypotheses made by the researchers in the framework of the theory of planned behavior. Findings show attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavior control of the respondents all have positive impacts on the personal observation of information ethics. In this regard, altruism, the secondary group, and the sense of security have greater influence than egoism, the primary group, and the consideration of self-efficacy. Implications of these findings and recommendations for cultivating computer ethics in Taiwan and elsewhere are discussed
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