Commentary to Part II

Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


“Fairness to all” is an agreed-on concept in the abstract but much more fraught with ambiguity to apply in concrete instances. This section reaches some consensus on using the fairness doctrine to resist students who plead for special treatment, even in the uncomfortable decision to require that they document their medical misfortune, and certainly in the seemingly callous refusal to allow making up for past underperformance due to lack of effort. Ad hoc bargains with individual students simply are unfair to the rest of the class. In the same way, secondhand information as evidence in ethical decision making requires documentation and confirmation, again in fairness to all. Just as some people are manipulators, others are saboteurs. The collective needs to be protected from those who try to game the system, and verification is key here. What seems right in the abstract, however, is complicated in practice. In regard to grading, this section raises dilemmas of how to credit extraordinary improvement or effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEthical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781139626491
ISBN (Print)9781107039735
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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