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Financial Whirlpools by Karen L. Higgins

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Chapter 4

Who Are You Anyway? Values, Beliefs, Norms, and Behaviors

One interviewee replied to attempts to get him to justify why honesty was good and lying bad:… “I don’t know. It just is. It’s just so basic… It’s part of me. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s very important.”

Bellah et al.1

Standard economic theory assumes that we are born with fully formed preferences. But we are shaped by what happens around us, including, and perhaps most importantly, by the economy.

Stiglitz2

How do you define yourself? Is your identity established by what you do, what you have, or what you think? In my MBA course on ethical leadership, students write a three-page paper with the title “Who I am and what I believe.” For some, this paper is difficult—how ...

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