Lost in cyberspace: Ethical decision making in the online environment [Book Review]

In this study, a 20-item questionnaire was used to elicit undergraduates’ (N = 93) ethical judgment and behavioral intention regarding a number of behaviors involving computers and internet usage. Machiavellianism was found to be uncorrelated with both ethical judgment and behavioral intention. Gender was found to be negatively correlated with both ethical judgment and behavioral intention, such that females judged the behaviors as being less ethical than males, and were less likely to engage in the behaviors than males. A disconnect was found between ethical judgment and behavioral intention, for both males and females, such that the ethical judgment mean for a number of issues was significantly lower (towards the “unethical” end of the continuum) than the behavioral intention mean (towards the “more likely to engage in” end of the continuum). The study raises questions regarding ethical awareness of technology-related issues, and the authors make suggestions for future research.
Keywords Machiavellianism   behavioral intention   ethical decision making   ethical judgment   ethics   gender differences   internet   technology
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-008-9165-7
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