Paper-thin Principles: New study looks at the emotional and psychological disadvantage of going against one's ethical code

MONTREAL, Jan. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — In 1825, John Quincy Adams signed a treaty that required Native Americans in Georgia to relinquish their claim on their land. It was a decision he regretted almost immediately, later declaring such policies to be “among the heinous sins of this nation.” Principles are a guidance system: they help people navigate sticky situations, encourage forethought, and prevent actions that could lead to guilt and regret, hence the term, “moral compass”.

Going against these principles not only make people unhappy, according to a study conducted by PsychTests, they can also wreak havoc with a person’s self-esteem, self-trust, and general attitude towards life.

Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared people who regularly override their principles to those who typically stick with them. Here’s where they differed:

PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY GO AGAINST THEIR PRINCIPLES TEND TO BE NEGATIVE AND CYNICAL
> 52% are pessimists who tend to expect the worst of situations and people (compared to 25% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 46% prefer not to get their hopes up so that they don’t end up disappointed (compared to 25% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 42% often keep themselves up at night ruminating about problems (compared to 20% of people who don’t go against their principles).

PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY GO AGAINST THEIR PRINCIPLES TEND TO HAVE SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES
> 38% don’t see themselves as being special or important (compared to 10% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 42% don’t bother to set goals for themselves because they don’t believe they have the skills to achieve them (compared to 6% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 35% feel they don’t deserve any of the success they have attained (compared to 7% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 45% downplay their achievements (compared to 24% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 46% chastise and insult themselves when they mess up (compared to 13% of people who don’t go against their principles).

PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY GO AGAINST THEIR PRINCIPLES DON’T TRUST THEMSELVES
> 42% ignore their gut instinct, even when it’s warning them of a potential danger (compared to 21% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 45% frequently experience self-doubt (compared to 17% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 37% second-guess their decisions (compared to 16% of people who don’t go against their principles).

PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY GO AGAINST THEIR PRINCIPLES TEND TO HAVE A FOLLOWER MENTALITY
> 45% adopted the beliefs of their family/friends rather than developing their own (compared to 13% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 44% often pretend to agree with other people’s point of view, even when it starkly contrasts their own opinion (compared to 18% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 44% change their attitude, behavior, or appearance in order to please others (compared to 12% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 42% have a need for approval and want to be liked by everyone (compared to 34% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 53% consistently put other people’s needs ahead of their own even when doing so creates resentment (compared to 36% of people who don’t go against their principles).

PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY GO AGAINST THEIR PRINCIPLES TEND TO BE UNHAPPY
> 46% see their lives as being one problem after another (compared to 13% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 39% feel like they have no control over their lives (compared to 10% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 46% can’t figure out what they want out of life (compared to 19% of people who don’t go against their principles).
> 40% often feel sad (compared to 9% of people who don’t go against their principles).

“When you go against your ethics or cast them aside in order to please others, you create a sense of dissonance,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “Sometimes, the guilt you feel will be enough to discourage you from doing it again, but that’s not always the case. You may find yourself rationalizing the act of defying your principles, even though deep down you know it feels wrong, and that’s where the danger lies. People who frequently behave contrary to the direction of their moral compass suffer on an emotional and psychological level. It eats away at them, because they know they are not walking the path that they want. Your morals define who you are, and when you go against them, you are battling your own nature. Sticking to your moral code is a challenge, but it’s a lot harder living with yourself when you don’t follow it.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out the Emotional Intelligence Test at https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3979

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).

Media Contact

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D, PsychTests AIM Inc., 5147453189, [email protected]

SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc.

Paper-thin Principles: New study looks at the emotional and psychological disadvantage of going against one's ethical code WeeklyReviewer

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