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Moral disengagement bij morele dilemma’s in de militaire context

Besten, F.D.A. den (2013) Moral disengagement bij morele dilemma’s in de militaire context.

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Abstract:The news about the abuse at the Abu-Ghraib prison has gone around the world. The question rose: “What drove the American soldiers to perform such acts?” This study uses the moral disengagement theory of Bandura (1999), which explains such unethical behaviour. The seven response strategies that Bandura formulated to justify behaviour are: moral justification, advantageous comparison, euphemistic labeling, displacement of responsibility, diffusion of responsibility, dehumanisation and blaming the victim. This study is based on 30 interviews with Dutch soldiers of various ranks. Within these interviews there is sought to find statements that can be labelled as one of the seven response strategies. Moreover, the relation between demographic factors (gender, age, rank and the total number of military operations), and the mentioned response strategies is studied. An Indepent-Sample T test was used to examine which demographic factors showed significant relations with the seven response strategies. The main results of this study show that women mention more moral dilemmas than men. The response strategy that woman mention the most is 'displacement of responsibility' and the response strategy that men the response strategy 'moral justification’. Another result of this study is that the older the soldier was, the more response strategies he / she mentions and in particular the response strategies 'moral justification' and 'euphemistic labeling'. Soldiers with a leading function turned out to mention more moral dilemmas and more response strategies than servicemen in subordinate functions (with exception of the ‘blaming the victim’ response strategy). The main result of the influence of the total number of military operations was that the total number of mentioned moral dilemmas increased when the amount of military operation increased, with the exception of work-related moral dilemmas. Soldiers with a lot of military operation also mentioned the response strategies ‘moral justification’ and ‘euphemistic labelling’ significantly more. The response strategies ‘advantageous comparison’, ‘diffusion of responsibility’ and 'dehumanisation' were not at all mentioned in the interviews.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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