The role of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of unethical behavior: An investigation of attorneys' and students' perceptions of ethical behavior

Ethics and Behavior 14 (1):17 – 30 (2004)
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the role of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of unethical behavior. Buckley, Harvey, and Beu (2000) suggested that pluralistic ignorance plays a role such that individuals mistakenly believe that others are more unethical than they actually are. In two studies, we confirmed that pluralistic ignorance influences perceptions of ethics in a manner consistent with what Buckley et al. suggested. The implications of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of ethics are discussed with suggestions for how pluralistic ignorance might be reduced and how research in this area may be extended.
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