EthicalSystems.org keeps adding valuable resources to its top-notch website, including to its collection of “Behavioral Science One Sheets” — short, well-written descriptions of some of the most important aspects of behavioral ethics. The most recent addition is “Motivated Reasoning,” which, as it states (and I agree), is “one of the most important topics” in explaining the behavioral science of ethical decision-making. Here’s a bit more from the One Sheet:
Motivated reasoning affects decision-making in all areas of our lives, but moral decisions are especially vulnerable. Moral decisions are often high-stakes decisions. They also tend to be especially complex, emotional, and intuitive. These characteristics provide the ideal conditions for motivated reasoning to take effect.
The One Sheets series — which now includes Bounded Ethicality, Ethical Fading, Nudging for Ethics, Speak Up Culture, Ethics Pays, Goals Gone Wild and Motivated Reasoning — can be found here. Produced in conjunction with the Notre Dame Center for Ethical Leadership, the One Sheets are great resources for anyone wanting to get up to speed quickly on these important topics — and as handouts for an ethics class!