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Everyday dilemmas: New directions on the judgment and resolution of benevolence-integrity dilemmas
Keywords: Ethics, Morality, Dilemmas, Trust
Abstract: Many everyday dilemmas reflect a conflict between two moral motivations: the desire to adhere to universal principles (integrity) and the desire to improve the welfare of individuals in need (benevolence). In this article, we bridge research on moral judgment, trust, and organizational justice to introduce a framework that establishes three defining distinctions between benevolence and integrity. We use this framework to explain existing findings and generate novel predictions about the resolution and judgment of these benevolence-integrity dilemmas. Though ethical dilemmas have long been a focus of moral psychology research, existing research has relied on dramatic dilemmas that involve conflicts of utilitarianism and deontology, and failed to represent the ordinary, yet psychologically taxing dilemmas that we face every day. The present article fills this gap; thereby deepening our understanding of moral judgment and decision-making and providing practical insights on how decision-makers resolve moral conflict.