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Personal Ethical Framework – Decision-Making

The life of each person can be described as a string of decisions that determine its course. In this regard, the role of subjective judgement is rather considerable, as certain choices are rarely universal. In other words, each individual pursues his or her own agenda, making decisions that correspond with their worldview. This process is enabled and supported by specific decision-making paradigms that serve to guide the person through life, both consciously and subconsciously. The importance of such decision-making frameworks reveals itself when particularly difficult choices arise, creating dilemmas. These situations are usually related to the matters of ethics and ethical choices, becoming the ultimate test of a person’s values and integrity. At this point, the decision-making framework helps to navigate in difficult environments and make the right choices. Although such paradigms are often formed and applied subconsciously as a result of the upbringing process and prior experience. However, examining and analyzing personal decision-making frameworks is highly important, as it enables a better understanding of the values and principles that guide an individual throughout life. This essay explores my personal decision-making framework with its key principles.

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Define

Within my decision-making framework, I make continuous attempts to appraise the impact on my actions. In fact, all choices have consequences, as enabled by the intertwined, complex nature of society. The primary focus of my paradigm is on positivity and common good. Evidently, the world is complicated, and points of view vary greatly from one individual to another. Under these circumstances, it may be challenging to keep all actions within the domain of positivity. In other words, everything is relative and positive actions for some people may cause negativity among the others. Therefore, one may assume that common good is not attainable, but I am convinced that such an objective is worth the efforts. Accordingly, I would define my personal decision-making framework as thoughtful of others and aware of the consequences.

Describe

My decision-making framework reflects the years of my personal, spiritual, and academic experience. Whenever a necessity of choice arises, I engage in a process of consecutive situational analysis the duration of which depends on the magnitude of the case. As per my decision-making framework, I begin by establishing the context of the dilemma. More specifically, I establish an understanding of the setting, the nature of the choice, and other people involved in the scenario. Once the context becomes clear, I start asking myself a series of questions:

  • What will happen if choose option A?
  • What will happen if I choose option B?
  • What will happen if I opt out of choosing?
  • Who will be affected by my choice?
  • How serious will the consequences be for these people?
  • What do the people I care about expect me to choose?
  • What would my family do in a similar situation?
  • How comfortable am I going to feel about making this choice?

While this set of questions may appear rather long, I have come to execute this sequence rather quickly with experience. In terms of interesting features, I would distinguish the emphasis of the framework on other people. As I grew older, I began to care more about the consequences of my actions experienced by others. Most importantly, these considerations are not limited to these people’s perception of me and my public image. In other words, these ideas are not conditioned by vanity or pride, as I genuinely care about the well-being of others. Moreover, the framework’s analysis is not limited to my immediate surroundings and my closest family or friends. On the contrary, I believe that it is every ethical person’s obligation to consider the well=being of others regardless of personal affection.

Personal Application

The described ethical framework is a natural product of a combination of factors that determined my personal and academic development across my life. First of all, my Christian worldview has had an immense impact on my values and principles. These ideas draw a concrete distinction between the good and the bad in terms of ethics (Ogbuehi, 2017). In other words, I am nurtured in an environment where people’s actions are deemed positively and negatively based on the way in which they affect the world. Evidently, in today’s complexity, it may difficult to observe such a distinction, as the world often submerges in morally grey areas. Furthermore, the “good” and the ”bad” are largely subjective, and each individual may interpret a situation differently. However, Christian values provide a straightforward reference point in this regard. According to them, I make meaningful efforts to be helpful and forgiving of others, focusing my energy on positivity and assistance to those who need it.

At the same time, the experience of family has had a strong influence on the development of my moral attributes. I come from a family of immigrants who had to endure serious challenges in order to ensure better lives for themselves and, more importantly, for future generations. I observed this struggle and the effect it had on family, drawing long-term conclusions. Because of this experience, I am aware of the truly multi-faceted nature of life in its different forms. I know the difficulties endured by millions of others, which is why my choices, from smaller to global ones, are aimed at preventing or alleviating these issues. I am convinced that all actions and choices should be fair and transparent, as hidden agendas are often harmful for others. I learned this lesson across my childhood, as I grew up playing sports. Therefore, I am aware of the concepts of fair game and sportsmanship, which is why I translate these values into my daily life.

Finally, because of my family’s past, I’ve grown to become a true patriot of the United States. This land provided me and my relatives with the long-awaited freedom and opportunities to fulfill our talents. The sense of gratitude has accompanied me throughout my life, affecting my decision-making framework to a considerable degree. As a result, I do my utmost to exercise only the positive influence on my surroundings and the people who live there.

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Analyze

To an extent, the development of my ethical paradigm occurred on a subconscious level, as enabled by my environment. As I matured and obtained the required expertise, I have become able to add an academic dimension to my decision-making framework. From my perspective, it corresponds with the principles embedded in the theory of planned behavior (TPB) (Miller, 2017). According to its postulates, internal beliefs, principles, and values predetermine a person’s behavior and response to various situations (Ajzen, 2020). In my situation, there are two aspects of TPB, an internal and an external one. In the first sense, my experience has taught me the optimal choices in the most frequent situations. As a result, I am able to execute my decision-making sequence more efficiently and quickly. From an external perspective, the TPB helps me predict the response from others to my actions and choices. Naturally, it requires a profound knowledge of people’s beliefs and values, which is why I pay considerable attention to those around me.

Synthesize

The discussed decision-making framework has become my primary means of navigation in the complex social and academic environments. As per this paradigm, I approach each dilemma with the intention of devising an optimal solution for all parties involved. The primary idea of this process is to avoid harm at all costs. In fact, if universal good is hardly attainable, it is vital at least to prevent damage and negativity in regard to others. Driven by gratitude and Christian ideas, I include the perspectives of all people affected by the situation in my decision-making process. As I complete the dilemma resolution sequence, I attempt to predict the response to my actions from others. This process establishes a strong relation between my internal decision-making value framework and TPB, a prominent psychosocial theory recognized in the professional environment.

Evaluate

Ultimately, I have grown to recognize the value of internal ethical paradigms in the life of an individual. In my case, this framework has created a strong moral compass enabled by my family’s experience. Even though it may be impossible to have only positive consequences of my actions, I still choose to try. To accomplish this goal, I tend to think outside the realm of my personal agenda. Whenever I face a difficult decision, I attempt to assess the situation from various perspectives and estimate the impact of each possible choice on others, to the best of my knowledge. This approach has helped me establish positive relationships with people I care about, who do not hesitate to reciprocate with positivity.

References

Ajzen, I. (2020). The theory of planned behavior: Frequently asked questions. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 2(4), 314–324. Web.

Miller, Z. D. (2017). The enduring use of the theory of planned behavior. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 22(6), 583–590. Web.

Ogbuehi, F. I. (2017). Christian ethics in a corrupt society: A challenge to Christians in Nigeria. Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities, 18(2), 320–340. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Personal Ethical Framework – Decision-Making." November 25, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/personal-ethical-framework-decision-making/.

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