Commentary to part XI

Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The usual prescription for conflict of interest, including financial gain, is disclosure, and certainly transparency is a necessary foundation for ethical processes. But psychology suggests disclosure will not suffice. Actors who have a personal conflict of interest, being human, will discount the extent to which they are influenced by personal gain. Observers, even knowing about the conflict of interest, will not necessarily be impartial judges of the effects on the actors. The best goal is no conflict of interest, but we do not live in a perfect world. So reflection and discussion will have to serve. A question one might ask upon reading the essays in this book is why, at least for some people, ethical behavior is so challenging. Drawing in part on Latané-Darley’s (1970) model of bystander intervention, I have constructed a model of ethical behavior that would seem to apply to a variety of ethical problems. The model specifies the specific skills students need to reason and then behave ethically.

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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