Privilege and the role of entitlement in unethical behavior

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stephanie Dawn Mason (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Thomas Ford

Abstract: I conducted an experiment to test the hypothesis that privilege fosters a sense of entitlement, leading one to behave in unethical ways, ways that benefit the self at the expense of the welfare of others. To test this hypothesis, participants engaged in a role play exercise in which they are awarded a scholarship (conferred privilege), denied a scholarship (denied privilege), or receive no feedback (control) on a test of perceptive ability. After, participants completed measures to assess feelings of entitlement. Participants completed a difficult test of knowledge and self-report their scores. Unethical behavior was measured by the disparity between the participants actual score and reported score on the test. On the basis of my hypothesis, I predicted that participants in the conferred privilege condition would report a greater sense of entitlement and thus would cheat in reporting their test scores more than participants in the denied privilege and control conditions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Behavior, Entitlement, Ethics, Privilege
Privilege (Social psychology)
Entitlement attitudes

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