Addict (drugaddict) wrote,
Addict
drugaddict

 

Mechanism of Moral Disengagement 

Note. From Mechanisms of Moral Disengagement in the Exercise of Moral Agency (p. 365) by A. Bandura,

C. Barbaranelli, G. Caprara, and C. Pastorelli, 1996, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71. 

      People do not usually engage in reprehensible conduct unless they have justified to themselves the rightness of their actions (Bandura et al., 1996). The process of moral justification allows for the detrimental conduct to be made personally and socially acceptable by portraying it in the service of valued social or moral purposes (Bandura et. al., 1996; Bandura, 1990).

      According to the theory, language plays an important role in shaping an individual’s perception of his or her actions (Bandura et. al., 1996; Bandura, 1990). Reprehensible conduct can be masked by euphemistic language and, in some cases, it can allow the conduct to be seen as respectable (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). The individual can be relieved of a sense of personal agency by convoluted verbiage (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). Reprehensible conduct can also be masked by comparison to other more injurious behavior (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). The advantageous or palliative comparison is more effective when more flagrant activities are used in the comparison (e.g., comparing embezzling money from a large corporation to the poisoning of the environment by multinational corporations) (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996).

      Another set of dissociative practices operates by distorting the relationship between the agent’s actions and the effects of the actions (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). With displacement of responsibility, individuals view their actions as arising from social pressures and are, therefore, not responsible for their actions (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). Self-censure is reduced because the individual is no longer an actual agent of their actions (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). The action can also be ascribed to compelling circumstances and therefore not a personal decision (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996).

      Personal agency can also be obscured by diffusion of responsibility (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). This can occur by segmentation of duties, where each segment by itself is fairly benign, although the totality is harmful. Group decisions can also be used to diffuse the responsibility (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996).

      Self-censure can be minimized by disregarding or distorting the consequences of an action (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). Ignoring the detrimental consequences of the actions, as in selective inattention or through cognitive distortion, reduces the feelings of guilt (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996).

      The last set of disengagement practices focuses on the recipients of the acts. Self-censure can be disengaged or weakened by stripping the victim of human attributes (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). Dehumanization results in the victim being viewed as sub-human, and not as a person with feelings (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996).

      Blaming the victim or circumstances is another effective method that decreases self-censure (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). In moral disengagement by attribution of blame, perpetrators view themselves as victims who were provoked. The perpetrator’s actions now become construed as defensive (Bandura, 1990; Bandura et al., 1996). The victim gets blamed and accused of bringing the actions upon themselves.

Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments