At a local leadership meeting at my agency, we were given a test to determine our ethical type (out of 6 options). There were 42 questions. But they were very repetitious. So I will just present 6 questions here. From these six questions, you can surmise your ethical type. To each statement, rate yourself between 1 and 6, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 6 being “strongly agree.”
- When confronted by an ethical dilemma you should consider how each possible choice personally impacts you and you should do what you think is best for you in that situation.
- Ethical dilemmas are best resolved by undertaking that action which promotes the greatest good for the greatest number.
- Being true to my inner self is important to me when making ethical decisions.
- Ethical dilemmas are best resolved by following the word of God.
- Written codes of conduct are helpful in resolving ethical dilemmas.
- Friends, family, and coworkers are excellent sources of wisdom concerning what is and what is not ethical in certain situations.
Don’t read this until you are through rating yourself on the above statements.
The 6 ethical types are: egoism (the first question), utilitarianism (the second question and so on), existentialism, divine command, deontology, and conformism.
Egoism’s central principle is that one should undertake that action which is in the best interest of the decision-maker.
Utilitarianism’s fundamental principle is that one should undertake that action which is in the collective best interest of the greatest number of people.
The Existentialist believes that one should always act in accordance with the purity of one’s own heart.
Divine Command is an ethical philosophy that is grounded upon spiritual or religious teachings.
Deontology’s central principle is that ethical and moral dilemmas are best resolved by following certain prescribed duties and obligations that are imposed by virtue of a person’s existence as a human being.
Conformism is a person who will look to family, friends and colleagues before undertaking an ethical dilemma.
Then for those who scored high in two or more areas there is the Eclectic type. This usually involves the Existential and some other type(s).
I scored high in Existential (4.4) and Utilitarianism (4.7). And low in Egoism (this is very common) and Divine Command. This makes me an Eclectic.
The advantage of being an Eclectic is that they tend to gather information and deliberate more about ethical decisions. The disadvantages are: it may make decision-making agonizing and difficult and (2) decisions may lack consistency (may have a certain radomness?).
All this seems about as useful as reading my daily horoscope.