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Descriptive ethics can broadly be thought of as the study of morality and moral issues from a scientific point of view. It can be thought of as the branch of ethics that attempts to develop conceptual models and test those models empirically in order to enhance people’s understanding of ethical or moral behavior, moral decision making, and moral phenomena. This area or branch of ethics is also referred to as behavioral ethics. Descriptive or behavioral ethics, then, describes and explains moral behavior and phenomena from a social science perspective or framework.

It can be useful to distinguish morality from ethics, even though they may be used interchangeably in common parlance. Morality can be thought of as the set of norms, rules, standards, principles, or values that ...

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