1887

The Integrity Mindset: An Obligation to Ourselves and Others

    Author: C. K. Gunsalus1
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    Affiliations: 1: Director, National Center for Professional and Research Ethics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • aIn short, people tend to endow greater value in things which they have than things they stand to gain. In Kahneman and Tversky’s theory, this tendency makes people loss averse. So we have a naturally occurring tendency to value our own ideas over competing ideas, and we fear “losing” our own ideas, leading to an over-valuation and over-identification with our own ideas.
      bMaccoby uses the terms “productive” and “unproductive” narcissists.
      cSee, for example: Tavris, C., and E. Aronson. 2007. Mistakes were made but not by me. Harcourt Brace, Orlando, FL; Gilovich, Thomas. 1991. How we know what isn’t so: the fallibility of human reason in everyday life. Free Press, New York, NY.
      dSee, for example: Bazerman, M. H., and A. E. Tenbrunsel. 2010. Blind spots: why we fail to do what’s right and what to do about it. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; Dunning, David. 2005. Self-insight: roadblocks and detours on the path to knowing thyself. Psychology Press, New York, NY.
      eWith credit to Alfred E. Neuman.
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Director, National Center for Professional and Research Ethics, University of Illinois, 1308 W. Main Street, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801-2307. Phone: 217-333-1416. Fax: 217-244-1764. E-mail: gunsalus@illinois.edu.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 120-123. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.859
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    Abstract:

    Scientists and scholars should cultivate and maintain an integrity mindset. This involves the ability to build habits consciously to counteract systematic cognitive errors that undermine effective decision making. Both individuals and institutions need these habits to support ethical well-being of teaching and research in a system that has some dysfunctional elements that can be seen to reward questionable or selfish conduct that undercuts achieving the highest standards of integrity. Key junctures at which to develop an integrity mindset include: framing questions in designing experiments; critiquing students; sharing results with collaborators; writing up work for publication; pursuing disagreements with others; and assessing allegations of improper practice or misconduct. When we teach and talk about the responsible conduct of research, including discussing straightforwardly the places the formal and hidden curricula deviate from each other, we must do so in the integrity mindset.

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References & Citations

1. Alberts B, Kirschner MW, Tilghman S, Vamus H 2014 Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws PNAS 16 5773 5777 10.1073/pnas.1404402111 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1404402111
2. Ariely D 2012 The (honest) truth about dishonesty Harper Collins New York, NY
3. Bazerman M 2014 The power of noticing: what the best leaders see Simon and Schuster New York, NY 23
4. Demosthenes Third Olynthiac, paragraph 19, Olynthiacs, Phillippics, Minor Public Speeches… Vince JH 195453
5. Feynman R 1985 Surely you’re joking, Mr Feynman: adventures of a curious character W W Norton & Co New York, NY 341 343
6. Hafferty FW 2000 In search of a lost cord: professionalism and medical education’s hidden curriculum 11 34 Wear D, Bickel J Educating for professionalism: creating a culture of humanism in medical education University of Iowa Press Iowa City, Iowa
7. Kahneman D 2011 Thinking fast and thinking slow Farrar, Strauss and Giroux New York, NY
8. Kahneman D, Tversky A 1979 Prospect theory: an analysis of decision under risk Econometrica 47 2 263 291 10.2307/1914185 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1914185
9. Kerr S 1995 On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B Acad. Manage. Exec. 9 1 7 14
10. Maccoby M 2000 Narcissistic leaders: the incredible pros, the inevitable cons Harvard Bus. Rev January–February 69 77
11. Sinclair U 1935 I, candidate for governor: and how I got licked University of California Press London, UK [Reprinting, 1994] 109
12. Sutton R 2010 Good boss, bad boss Business Plus New York, NY 221
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.859
2014-12-15
2017-11-19

Abstract:

Scientists and scholars should cultivate and maintain an integrity mindset. This involves the ability to build habits consciously to counteract systematic cognitive errors that undermine effective decision making. Both individuals and institutions need these habits to support ethical well-being of teaching and research in a system that has some dysfunctional elements that can be seen to reward questionable or selfish conduct that undercuts achieving the highest standards of integrity. Key junctures at which to develop an integrity mindset include: framing questions in designing experiments; critiquing students; sharing results with collaborators; writing up work for publication; pursuing disagreements with others; and assessing allegations of improper practice or misconduct. When we teach and talk about the responsible conduct of research, including discussing straightforwardly the places the formal and hidden curricula deviate from each other, we must do so in the integrity mindset.

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