The reason why people indulge in wrongdoing only to deceive themselves into thinking they are ethical people has been detailed in a new study.
Recently, when it was revealed that News of the World engaged in hacking phones of celebrities, politicians and members of the Royal British family, it shocked the world that a best-selling newspaper can play along with unethical practices.
"Some people may have remained quiet because they believed that this was acceptable practice - perfectly normal for the non-naive," said UAB social psychologist Rex Wright, Ph.D.
"Some people consider you to be naive if you abide by conventional rules of ethics."
"People might have felt that this was a small price to pay for a very lucrative activity," says Wright, professor in the UAB Department of Psychology.
"They also might have believed the odds of getting caught twice were small, especially if police officials were turning a blind eye. They might have had some arrangement with officials that allowed them to continue if they had resignations and convictions on occasion."
"People can become convinced that something is okay as a result of watching others," Wright added.