When Doing Right Feels Wrong

Have you ever been in a position where you had to choose between someone you care about and a value that you hold dear? Maybe you had to decide whether to report a friend who was cheating on an exam, or a co-worker who was stealing from the tip jar. This week, we tell the story of a Detroit police officer who found himself in this sort of dilemma, forced to choose between people he loved and the oath he swore to serve his community. What happens in our minds when we have to decide what is right and what is wrong?

Additional Resources:


The Power of Moral Concerns in Predicting Whistleblowing Decisions, by James A. Dungan, Liane Young, and Adam Waytz, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2019.

The Psychology of Whistleblowing, by James Dungan, Adam Waytz and Liane Young, Current Opinion in Psychology, 2015.

The Whistleblower’s Dilemma and the Fairness–Loyalty Tradeoff, by Adam Waytz, James Dungan, and Liane Young, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2013.

Grab Bag: 

Why Do Whistleblowers Risk Speaking Out?, by Adam Waytz, TEDMED, 2018.

The Whistle-Blower’s Quandary, by Adam Waytz, James Dungan and Liane Young, NYT Opinion, August 2013.


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