The goal of this quantitative non-experimental, correlational research study was to examine what individual characteristics correlated with the decision-making processes of students pursuing an undergraduate degree in criminal justice. The sample was drawn from students at several traditional (brick and mortar) degree programs, and once institutional review boards approval were gained, data collection commenced. The Congruent and Incongruent Moral Dilemma’s test of dual-process, developed by Conway and Gawronski (2013), was used to collect data concerning ethical decision-making. The survey was collected through Survey Monkey and the data were analyzed using IBM SPSS 24 software. Of the 313 responses collected, 138 were usable. The participants were asked to choose between what was an acceptable (congruent dilemmas showing utilitarianism) or unacceptable harm (incongruent dilemmas showing deontology) in a series of ethical decision-making scenarios. The differences between the two dilemmas were found to have significance. The results indicated that age and education (criminal justice versus other majors) were significant, but not as predictors of ethical decision-making; with criminal justice majors having a higher selection of deontology than non-majors. Gender was the significant predictor of ethical decision-making. Women, having higher levels of deontology than men. Results found that with increased religious attendance, and those without military experience had higher levels of deontology but were not significant predictors of ethical decision-making. Furthermore, as individuals increased their socio-economic status there was a decrease in deontological inclinations. Finally, the results of traditional on-campus program and non-traditional program students was not a significant predictor of ethical decision-making. These findings are evidence that individual characteristics influence deontological and utilitarian inclinations and help resolve some of the theoretical ambiguities in prior research. This research can help inform academic institutions, criminal justice organizations, and students preparing for a career in public safety to be better prepared to make quick and ethical decisions in the field and help focus training and educational programs to assist with this process.
|Commitee:||Conis, Pete, O'REILLY, AYN EMBAR-SEDDON|
|Department:||School of Public Service Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Criminal justice, Decision-making, Deontology, Ethical, Socio-cultural, Utilitarianism|
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