Psychology of Corruption
affiliation not provided to SSRN
July 25, 2012
Journal: The Learning Curve, Lady Shri Ram College for Women Finalist, Young Psychologist 2012, National Paper Presentation Competition, Christ University, Bangalore, India
Background: Corruption can refer to a wide variety of actions and/or behaviours, which makes establishing a clear definition difficult. Corruption is an inherently multi-level phenomenon. It can operate at Individual, group, organizational and industry level. This study defines corruption as “a process which perverts the original nature of an individual or group from a more pure state to a less pure state”. In order to standardize the notion of morality, we’d consider ‘appropriate’ as what ‘appropriate’ is under law. And unethical, vice versa.
Paper: The objective of the paper is to study the various psychological processes that underlie corruption and attempts to find solutions to the same by altering these very processes, using the principles of learning. The various approaches to motivation and classical, operant, social and cognitive schools of learning have been applied so as to understand the underlying causes of corruption. Various psychological processes, like compliance phenomenas, self serving biases, escalation of commitment that operate to determine corrupt behaviour have been captured through the course of research. Corruption today has become a lifestyle and it not only requires a macro level change in the system, it also requires an alteration in the psychological processes that underpin corruption. The application-based research is solution centric and proposes various anti-corruption strategies, based on learning principles, which can be implemented in india.
Conclusion: A theoretical analysis, indicates that corruption is a widespread phenomenon which is increasingly a normative behaviour and can be curbed through effective implementation of various schedules of reinforcements, punishments, transparency, accountability, awareness, modelling, and psychological strategies to understand and combat corruption. The real problem of corruption is not political; it is psychosocial.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: Psychology, Human nature, Corruption, India, Learning, Motivation
JEL Classification: J48, D73, D78, Z00, G18, G28, E61Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 27, 2012
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