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If Your Friends Jumped Off a Cliff...

Study Shows the Power of Social Media Over Ethical Perceptions

By Barbara Ruland, SIOP Communications Specialist

Throughout history, parents have been asking their children variations of the question, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump off too?”

Researchers explored that time-honored question in the context of social media and ethics for a study that generated a lot of interest when presented at the 2017 Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Orlando, Florida.

Social media use continues to grow, both in terms of use and influence. According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of Americans use some type of social media. Their 2016 study of social media in the workplace reports that many US workers are using social media at work, for a wide variety of reasons.

Poor ethical decisions can have serious bottom-line impact on companies, as in last fall’s Wells Fargo fraud case. The financial services company spent nearly $200 million on fines and restitution ordered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau....Read more


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