This research investigated the role of
contemplation, conversation (conceptualized as social contemplation), and
explanations in right-wrong decisions. Several theories suggest that
contemplation or morally-oriented conversations will promote ethical decisions
and that immediate choice or self-interested conversations will not; other
theories suggest that individuals’ explanations will reinforce their decisions.
An experimental task tempting people to lie supported all of these predictions.
In addition, truth-tellers viewed the situation as morally-oriented and
non-truth-tellers viewed it as oriented around self-interest, both before and
after their decisions. These findings provided the basis for a new, process
model of moral decision making.