Ethics and Trust in Critical Thinking Decisions

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Imagine you are seeking information on a new car that you are thinking of buying. Determine the level of trust that you would place in information provided by the following: a salesman at the car lot, the dealer’s Website, social media (i.e. Facebook), an associate from work, and finally a close friend. Discuss the key factors involved in assessing the amount of trust that you put into each.
If you were in a position to persuade another person, explain whether or not you would slant information in such a way as to make your point seem more credible if you sincerely believed that your position was correct. Discuss the primary ethical dilemmas that this scenario could cause for both you and the person whom you are trying to persuade.

Ethics and Trust in Critical Thinking Decisions

In seeking information about a car I intend to purchase, I would least trust a salesman at the car lot. This is because being a salesman, he or she would give me a subjective view about the car, probably heaping praises on its “superb” features. Such information would be less reliable. Similarly, the percentage of my trust in the information provided by the dealer’s Website would be below average. This is because the company, through the website, would give a description about the car with a view to attracting customers to buy it. As such, they would not be objective enough to mention even some of the disadvantages associated with the car. Social media would also not be dependable enough given that it often contains people’s opinions and not facts about an issue. For an associate from work, I would consider their information but not fully because still, it would not be first-hand information. I would settle for a close friend as a reliable information source especially if they own a car of the same model. The close friend would not have anything to lose by giving factual information about the car. Moreover, they would want to hoodwink me into making a purchase that I would later regret.

If I found myself in a position to persuade another person, I would definitely slant the information I would provide because I believe I would be doing the right thing by providing the correct information. However, the ethical dilemma I would find myself in is interference with the moral principle of autonomy (Knapp, Gotllieb & Handelsman, 2015). While I would be telling the truth, I would be denying the other person the chance to freely make their own choice or action. On the other hand, the person would be faced by the ethical dilemma of “truth versus loyalty” (Lo, 2013). They would be torn between believing me in bid to show loyalty and seeking further guidance about the truthfulness of my assertions.



Knapp, S., Gottlieb, M., & Handelsman, M. (2015). Ethical Dilemmas in Psychotherapy. Positive Approaches to Decision Making. American Psychological Association (APA).

Lo, B. (2013). Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: A Guide for Clinicians. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.



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