Things that Influence our Values

1. Religion. Religion has an influence over what is considered right and wrong. Religion can be the

guiding force for many people when creating their ethical framework.

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2. Culture. Every culture has a societal set of values. For example, in Costa Rica living a “pure life” (Pura

Vita) is the country’s slogan. As a result of this laid back attitude, the culture focuses on a loose concept

of time compared to the United States, for example. Similar to our models, our culture tells us what is

good, right, and moral. In some cultures where corruption and bribery is the normal way of doing

business, people in the culture have the unspoken code that bribery is the way to get what you want.

For example, in India, China, and Russia, exporters pay bribes more often than companies from other

countries, according to the New York Times. [7] In Europe, Italian businesses are more apt to pay

bribes compared to other European Union countries. While bribery of a government official is illegal in

many countries, it can happen anyway. For example, the government officials, such as police, may view

themselves as underpaid and therefore find it acceptable to accept bribes from people who have

broken the law.

3. Media. Advertising shows us what our values “should” be. For example, if Latrice watches TV on a

Thursday night, advertisements for skin creams and hair products might tell her that good skin and

shiny hair are a societal value, so she should value those things, too.

4. Models. Our parents, siblings, mentors, coaches, and others can affect our ethics today and later in

life. The way we see them behave and the things they say affect our values.

5. Attitudes. Our attitudes, similar to values, start developing at a young age. As a result, our

impression, likes, and dislikes affect ethics, too. For example, someone who spends a lot of time

outdoors may feel a connection to the environment and try to purchase environmentally friendly


6. Experiences. Our values can change over time depending on the experiences we have. For example,

if we are bullied by our boss at work, our opinion might change on the right way to treat people when

we become managers.



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