Title

Don’t Blame Me, Blame Those Around Me: How Family and Friends Induce Unethical Acts

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2021

Abstract

While family and close friends often encourage prosocial behaviors, their influence can also be malevolent. The current research examines how people react to scenarios where a close other pressures a protagonist to commit an unethical act. The vignettes varied who was encouraging the unethical act (family vs. peer), level of pressure (low vs. high), who benefits from the action (self vs. close other) while also considering whether participants resided in an independent or collectivistic culture (U.S. vs. India). Results revealed that pressure from family, compared to friends, was more powerful for U.S. participants than Indian participants. More pressure increased the likelihood of committing the unethical act and decreased perceived responsibility. However, failing to comply resulted in substantial anticipated social rejection, especially if the unethical act benefits the close other. Although family and friends often teach us good morals, that influence can also open the door for potential unethical behaviors.

Identifier

85076743371 (Scopus)

DOI

10.1080/01639625.2019.1705092

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

ISSN

01639625

Publication Information

Deviant Behavior

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