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I’ve come to one of my favorite parts of my internship experience so far–preparing a training on fraud and ethics. Not only is the topic interesting (to say the least), but the task itself brings my teaching skills back to life. 

I watched an embarrassingly large amount of videos online. Many seemed too cheesy or too mainstream. Only a few worked just right for public work. 

I found a Ted Talk from Dan Ariely, an economist who studies human behavior. His research shows that people cheat less often if asked to sign a Standard of Conduct, recall the Ten Commandments, or swear on the Bible. People also cheat less often if they witness cheating from an individual that does not resemble their social group. This was particularly interesting because the National Business Ethics Survey shows most ethical violations occur at the managerial level. 

Given some time, I’d like to leave Hillsborough with a version of the Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure with specific examples of violations that occur in broad government sectors to facilitate memorable and relatable dialogue with staff during training. I want the sessions to spur debate and demonstrate the challenge of ethics in real life.


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