The Influence of Temporal Orientation and Affective Frame on Use of Ethical Decision-Making Strategies

Ethics and Behavior 21 (2):127-146 (2011)
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Abstract

This study examined the role of temporal orientation and affective frame in the execution of ethical decision-making strategies. In reflecting on a past experience or imagining a future experience, participants thought about experiences that they considered either positive or negative. The participants recorded their thinking about that experience by responding to several questions, and their responses were content-analyzed for the use of ethical decision-making strategies. The findings indicated that a future temporal orientation was associated with greater strategy use. Likewise, a positive affective frame was associated with greater strategy use. Future orientation may permit better strategy execution than a past orientation because it facilitates more objective, balanced contemplation of the reflected-upon situation and minimizes potential self-threat associated with past behavior. A positive affective frame likely improves strategy execution because it facilitates active analysis of the experience. Future directions and implications of these findings are discussed

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