[Ethics] E2/P4: Case studies on Attitude, Behavior Change, Persuasion, Prejudice, Discrimination

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  1. Case Study: Ashley Madison & Extra Marital Affairs
  2. Case study: Transgender rights
  3. Case Study: Organ donation
  4. Case Study: Nido Tania
  5. Case Study: Jessica Lal
  6. Case Study: Bhai hates Jugaad
  7. Case Study: Road Rage
  8. Case study: Raju, the Guide
  9. Case Study: Aashiqui 2
  10. Case Study: Suicide of a UPSC aspirant
  11. Descriptive Questions

Make sure you’ve read the Ethics article series on “Attitude” (Codename E2P1 to E2P3) before attempting these questions and case studies.

Case Study: Ashley Madison & Extra Marital Affairs

AshleyMadison.com is an online dating website meant for married people who want extra-marital relationship. Its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” In 2015, A hacker group “The Impact Team” stole the user data and threatened to leak it unless the owners stopped this “unethical” website that encourages adultery.
Social scientists who study marriage and fidelity say that Ashley Madison doesn’t create a market for cheating, the site only helps facilitate our biological predisposition to get a new partner for procreation. Male affairs tend to be physically-driven, while women have affairs for emotional reasons. Just like water will find its level, such male or female will find extra-marital relationship irrespective of Ashley Madison website runs or shuts down. Hence it is not ‘unethical’ for an entrepreneur to own and operate such website.
Answer following Questions:

  1. Is Impact team’s action justifiable on ethical grounds? Yes/No and Why?
  2. Do you agree with the views given by Social scientists in above passage? Yes/No and Why?
  3. Youngsters these days, don’t have the same attitude towards love and relationship as the older generation. Discuss the factors have led to this change in attitude?
  4. List the foundational values of marriage and examine the factors shaking those foundations in Modern times.
  5. Your best friend, who helped you in every crisis, has come to seek financial assistance from you. His age and attempt limit in UPSC and other competitive exams is over. He is unable to find any other job/business. So, now he wants to start such cheating website for Indian couples. He wants to borrow money from you to rent the server. What will you do?
  6. In above question, suppose your best friend borrowed money from you without disclosing his intent to start adultery-website. You later come to know about his business through third friend, you confront him, he says he shall return your money with interest as per the agreed terms but will not shut down the website. Would you consider filing a PIL /complaint against his website to the authorities? Yes/No and Why?
  7. Suppose you come across the Ashleymadison.com’s user-data leaked by those hackers and….
    1. One of the users happens to be your friend’s wife. But he is unware of her affair or this website or this hacked data. Will you inform him? Yes/No and Why?
    2. If one of the users happens to be your wife or husband, what will you do?

Case study: Transgender rights

In April 2015, Supreme Court on Tuesday recognized the transgender community as a third gender along with male and female and ordered the government to treat them as “socially and economically backward classes” and provide them reservation in government jobs and admissions.
Answer following:

  1. Why do ordinary people show negative attitude towards transgender? Examine the reasons and suggest remedies to change their attitude.
  2. Suppose you are the dean of a government institute wherein a transgender have availed admission. List the steps you’ll initiate to ensure she doesn’t face discrimination.
  3. Suppose you are the Head of a government department wherein some transgender have got job. List the steps you’ll initiate to ensure they don’t face discrimination.

Case Study: Organ donation

In Australia, a dead person’s organ can be donated only after consent from next of kin. But the consent rate is dismal. Recent Studies gave following reasons why family members decline consent:

  1. Religious belief that body integrity must be maintained during burial.
  2. Family members can’t sit and watch as their loved one dies and immediately wheeled out of an intensive care unit for organ donation. It’s very traumatic sight for them.
  3. When doctor declares a person brain dead, his body becomes eligible for donation, but often family members suspect doctor’s judgement and believe that by some miracle the patient will gain consciousness again.
  4. They fear their loved one’s organs will be sold in black market illegally.
  5. They suspect that doctor has not tried ‘hard’ to save their family member because he was a willing organ donor.

Answer following

  1. What should be done to change the attitude of ordinary people towards organ donation of their loved ones?
  2. As an Australian law maker, would you consider removing the condition of “next-of-kin consent” altogether in organ donation process? Justify your stand.

UPSC Ethics Case studies attitude change

Case Study: Nido Tania

On 29th January 2014, Nido Tania, a 20-year-old Student from Arunanchal Pradesh had gone to Lajpat Nagar in Delhi and was looking for an address, when someone at a sweet shop allegedly began mocking his hairs. Nido responded by breaking a glass door at the sweet shop and the incident escalated. Nido was beaten up with sticks and iron rods by a group of around seven men. Police had reached the spot and brokered compromise after taking bribes. Subsequently, Tania returned to his Safdarjung home but died in sleep because of internal bleeding.
Answer following:

  1. Murder as a result of “Hate crime” should be punishable to death. Do you agree? Justify your stand in the light of Nido Tania case.
  2. Discuss the factors behind the rising incidents of prejudice and violence against migrants and minorities working Metro cities of India? Suggest remedies to change the attitude of people.
  3. If a group of strangers begin mocking you for your hairs/clothes/facial features. What would you do? (A) argue with them (B) suffer in silence because you can wind up dead (C) something else. Justify your choice.

Case Study: Jessica Lal

On the midnight of April 29, 1999, Manu Sharma walked in with his friends and demanded to be served liquor. Barmaid Jessica Lal refused to serve Manu Sharma, even though He was ready to offer Jessica Rs.1000 for it. Manu Sharma then produced a .22 calibre pistol and fired it twice: the first bullet hit the ceiling which was to serve as a warning to Jessica not to refuse liquor, but when Jessica refused again, Sharma fired again and the second hit Jessica in the head and killed her.
Answer following:

  1. If you were in place of Jessica, would you have served liquor after the first warning shot from Manu Sharma’s pistol, to save your life? Justify your stand.
  2. Why do the rich and affluent brats in Northern India like to brandish wealth and weapon in public view and create nuisance? What should be done to change their arrogant attitude?

Case Study: Bhai hates Jugaad

Recently, RBI Governor Dr.Raghuram Rajan observed, “Jugaad, or working around difficulties by hook or by crook, is a thoroughly Indian way of coping, but it is predicated on a difficult or impossible business environment. And it encourages an attitude of shortcuts and evasions, none of which help the quality of final products or sustainable economic growth.”
Answer following:

  1. It is the economic factor rather than attitude of Indians, responsible for “Jugaad” Do you agree? Justify your stand.
  2. Indians indulge in Jugaad because their Moral compass is not pointing to the straight North. Do you agree? Justify your stand.
  3. Suggest remedies to change the typical Indian “attitude of shortcuts and evasions” observed by Dr.Rajan.
  4. “If we change the Jugaad attitude of Indians, then Grassroot innovation will stop.” Do you agree? Justify your stand.

Case Study: Road Rage

Panna Lal was a migrant laborer residing in Delhi. As he reached Gandhi road, his bicycle brushed by a car. Panna Lal dragged the driver out of his car and began abusing him. The driver whipped out a knife and stabbed Lal thrice and fled from the spot. Onlookers did not rush Panna Lal to hospital, Police arrived late and he died of excessive bleeding.
Answer following:

  1. If you were in place of Panna Lal, what would you have done If some car-driver brushed your bicycle because of his irresponsible driving?
  2. If you were the car-driver, what would you have done IF your tempo brushed Hira Lal’s bicycle because of Panna Lal’s irresponsible cycle-riding, and yet he is accusing you and demanding money for repairs?
  3. “If others are driving in irresponsible manner, you should do nothing, suffer in silence and go about your way, because they can murder you in road-rage in broad day light and no onlookers will help you”. Would you give this advice to your child? Yes/No and Why?
  4. Often, people show indifferent / passive attitude towards road accident / road-rage victims. Discuss the factors responsible and suggest remedies.
  5. List the factors responsible for rising incidents of road-rage in Indian cities. Suggest remedies to change attitude of drivers.

Case study: Raju, the Guide

Raju guide Dev Anand

  • Raju was a boy in fifth standard, until his drunkard father forced him to leave studies and work at a snack and souvenir shop in the newly opened railway station after the death of his mother.
  • Raju grows up to become a freelance tourist guide. He is hired by a wealthy and aging archaeologist Marco and his young wife Rosie. Raju learns that Rosie was daughter of a Devdasi who had to give up her passion of classical-dancing after marriage, because (1) it was an unacceptable profession/hobby to Marco (2) UPSC was not asking any culture related questions during that pre-CSAT era.
  • Later, upon learning about Marco’s extra-marital affair from the leaked data of Ashleymadison.com, Rosie tries to commit suicide but Raju encourages her to leave husband and guides her into becoming a classical dancer/actress. As money begins to flow in with her success, Raju’s possessive instinct and general corruption alienates him from Rosie.
  • Marco comes back to win Rosie, but Jealous Raju does not want him to have contact with Rosie and forges her name on the release of property in divorce settlement papers. Subsequently, Rosie and Raju drift apart. Raju is convicted of forgery, resulting in a two-year jail sentence.
  • Upon release, Raju becomes a Sadhu, preaching the villagers to educate their children, respect women and reject superstitious practices. Ultimately, he dies while fasting to remove optional subjects from UPSC.

Answer following:

  1. “Raju’s possessive instinct and general corruption alienates him from Rosie…. Jealous Raju does not want Marco to have contact with Rosie.” To what extent can we blame lack of education and parental nurturing, for Raju’s attitude towards Rosie? Would Raju have acted different manner had he completed a degree from IIT/IIM? Justify your stand.
  2. After completing jail sentence, Raju comes to you seeking job in your travel company. During interview, he demonstrates having all the requisite skills to manage the travel business and how keep the tourists entertained. Will you hire him knowing fully well that he is a convicted fraudster who has completed his jail term? Justify your stand.
  3. In above question, suppose Raju doesn’t tell you about his jail-term, you hire him, and later on you come to know about his criminal past from a newspaper photo tagged in Raju’s friend’s facebook profile. Will you fire Raju? Justify your stand?
  4. Suppose, Raju comes out as a reformed man from jail and launches a political party with genuine intend to work for the nation. But he continues to receive unfavorable treatment in print-media and trolls/cyber-bullying on social media. As Raju’s PR-manager, what will you do to change the attitude people, and persuade them to vote for Raju?
  5. What have you learned about human nature and behavior from this passage about “The transcend of Raju from a guide of tourists, to the guide of Rosie, to a guide of religion”?
  6. “Death of Raju as a saint vindicates the perverse goodness of mankind”. Elaborate.
  7. As the British Viceroy of Colonial India, suppose you enacted a law banning Devdasi system, which leads to civic unrest by orthodox Indians. Your deputies’ advice you to repeal the law, for the maintenance of law and order. What will be your course of action?
  8. As independent India’s first minister for women and child welfare, what would you do to change attitude of Indians towards Devdasis?

Case Study: Aashiqui 2

Arohi, an aspiring singer meets successful musician Rahul Jaykar who helps her become a Bollywood singer and both fall in love. But when people and rivals begin to gossip that Rahul is using her for pleasure and money, he lapses into alcohol addiction and his own singing career suffers. Arohi attempts to rehabilitate Rahul, sacrificing her singing career in doing so. Rahul understands that he has become a burden in her life, and that leaving her is his only option to save her. The next day he bids her farewell and jumps from a bridge, killing himself.
Answer following:

  1. Dissect the Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral components of Rahul’s attitude towards Arohi.
  2. “Rahul’s incapacity to handle criticism was responsible for his death.” Do you agree? Justify your stand.
  3. What would you have done as Rahul’s best friend, to change his attitude?

Case Study: Suicide of a UPSC aspirant

In May 2013, V.Y.Manjunath, a UPSC aspirant committed suicide. Police investigation revealed following

  1. He had apparently created a charade of having qualified for the IAS among his family and friends by fudging documents, postings on social media and even flying with his parents to the UPSC in Delhi.
  2. “Finally my Dad said ‘very good son’,” says an August 2012 Facebook post by Manjunath after he lied to him about having cleared prelims 2012.
  3. After declaration of final result, Manjunath couldn’t hide the truth, unable to show face to family, neighbors and society, he hanged himself in an under-construction building.

Answer following

  1. Discuss the moral culpability of the following, in the suicide of Manjunath:
    1. Expectations of Parents from their children.
    2. Manjunath’s attitude towards success.
    3. Society’s attitude towards failure.
  2. Exam related suicides incidents are routinely appearing in newspapers. Suggest remedies to address this issue.

Descriptive Questions

  1. Define attitude. Discuss its role in shaping behavior of a person towards society.
  2. “There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.” Yet we find instances of gang-rapes and dowry deaths on daily basis in Indian newspapers. Examine the reasons and suggest remedies to change Indian society’s attitude of towards women.
  3. The attitude of modern day school teachers towards children is full of greed (as in tuition) and violence (as in corporal punishment). Examine the reasons and suggest remedies to change their attitude.
  4. An Indian has loyalty to the family but is apathetic to the community where he lives.  Discuss the behinds this inconsistency in his attitude? How can we change it?
  5. Suppose you’re tasked to design a TV advertisement to change the attitude of rural people towards open defecation, how will you go about it?
  6. A friend of yours in engaged in gambling, debauchery and lavish lifestyle beyond his income. He believes that life is short and full of uncertainties- you can die any moment, so there is no point in saving money or remaining faithful to your life partner. How will you persuade him to change his attitude?
  7. In 2015, there have been reports of Indian youths being recruited by ISIS through social media. ISIS wants to establish a caliphate under the leadership of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, through whatever violent means necessary. Why do youth feel attracted towards such radical ideology/views? What can be done to change their political attitude?
  8. The increasing spread of the Internet frames the urgency for effective social controls on attitudes online. Elaborate.
  9. Examine the reasons behind lack of civility among digital citizens. What should be done to change their attitude?
  10. Culture is the sphere where we socialize ourselves – and the Internet- global in its reach, is a dimension of that sphere. In this context, discuss the role of social media in shaping moral attitude of a person.
  11. Compare and contrast the political attitude of Urban and rural people and analyse the underlying factors.
  12. Compare and contrast the moral attitude of Western vs. Indian society and analyse the underlying factors.
  13. Attitudes are shaped by moral convictions and therefore, they transcend the boundaries of culture, region and religion. Elaborate.
  14. Narrate a real life incident where your moral conscience was tested. How did you handle it?
  15. With your personal example, discuss the role of peer-pressure in shaping one’s behavior.
  16. “Attitude determines the altitude of your life.” Elaborate.

From next session (E3/P1) we shall move to two new topics viz. Foundation values of civil services and emotional intelligence.
Visit Mrunal.org/Ethics for more study material on Ethics.

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48 Comments on “[Ethics] E2/P4: Case studies on Attitude, Behavior Change, Persuasion, Prejudice, Discrimination”

  1. once again thanku mrunal sir..

  2. Sir IR and eco article plssssss

  3. bas sir asehi article barsate raho

      1. mppsc mains 2014 admitcard aagaye hai…

  4. Any whereabouts of Mrunal Bhai??Anybody having any info about him plz share..
    @aspirants from SPIPA: are there any economics classes planned for GS mains by Mrunal sir?? Any other info will in this regard will be highly appreciated.

  5. Mrunal bhai…you are on fire…please ab aise hi continue rakhna … Thank you

  6. This time our syllabus would be almost entirely covered.
    Thanks mrunal Sir for maintaining the momentum.

  7. Awesome Mrunal Bhai ..
    there are many new mushrooming online businesswalas now but still none comes closer to you .
    i attended many pre batch starting seminars in delhi on ethics but was not impressed by anyone . half of them dont know how to speak ; and another half have some problem or the other . did not join any and was wondering if had done the right thing . now after this series of articles from you , there are no regrets ; in fact relieved that i didnt join any . saved my money and more importantly , time !

    grateful forever to you ( as usual :) )…

  8. cutoff off/analysis/strategy for 2015 prlims please …

  9. mrunal bhai your articles are much better than kavan’s videos for understanding the concept..keep posting articles plz

  10. LETS start answering questions case by case….

  11. To what extent can we blame lack of education and parental nurturing, for Raju’s attitude towards Rosie? Would Raju have acted different manner had he completed a degree from IIT/IIM? Justify your stand.

    Raju’s drunkard father must have mistreated his wife, while she was alive.
    That explains Raju’s ‘possessive attitude’ towards Rosie.
    suppose mother didn’t die and Raju continued in school, then also he’d have retained the same attitude.
    Therefore, in my opinion, parent nurturing/drunkard father more responsible then education.


  13. thanks for the articles mrunal and kavan ……..but i am having trouble in figuring how to frame the answer …..can u give sample answers for some of these questions……….thanks

  14. I’m having 55% in 10 plus 2 but have more than 60% in all 10, graduation and masters….am I eligible for the post of Rbi grade B 2015??

  15. case 1 Q 1
    NO, Because it encroaches user’s right to privacy…and Even if adultery is unethical …one should try to check it, but the action taken by the hacker’s group is also not ethical since it can lead to disastrous consequences in the lives of users.

  16. In the SSC CGL 2015 Tier 1 results, my roll number is appearing in the list of “CANDIDATES WHOSE COPIED WEREN’T EVALUATED DUE TO SEVERAL REASONS”. The rejection reason says “TF”.

    Is there anyone with a similar fate? Or does anyone know what is ‘TF’?

    1. TF means Test Form No.

  17. We r unfortunate one,because mrunal sir stopped writing all the current,economy series.plz come back sir with your exceptional posts.

  18. It would be great if you can come up with sample answers for some of the case studies so that it would be help for us while answering case studies

    1. Yes Sir, that will be of immense help

      1. yes sir sample answers

  19. Thanks for such creative work.
    But How much time do you take to make these notes?
    Because I am wondering if one can make notes this way for all subjects and be able to complete significant amount of syllabus in 1 – 1.5 years.

    1. hahaha true Manjunath, hence nowadays UPSC mains is not about judging best among the good answers but bad among the worst answer.

      1. sir
        how you manage your schedule?
        and how you get such a enthusiasm.

      2. true…. Anything you read is somewhere linked with UPSC syllabus

  20. the new criteria of 60 pc throughout 10th, 12th and graduation came as a shock on me and others like me,when the selection itself is tough and has 3 phases the new change doesnt give a chance to many who are good but may not fulfill the criteria. I would like to ask mrunal sir what may be the chances RBI will remove the criteria, or else people like me will surely lose the chance to attempt. Thank you sir

  21. Mrunal sir thanks for this series i was not getting what to do with ethics such a wonderful work is hoped from you only

  22. Anyone has any news about preliam result?

  23. is UPSC removing optional subject from UPSC 2016 and pub ad would replace it with optional? to kya ab pub ad optional le ya wait kare notification ka aur tab tak optional tayar na kare? senior were saying to prepare optional till December? what to do?

  24. Sir
    while writing answer we have to mention which theory we use to reach this conclusion or these r to develop our understanding only , so that we can get right answer,and we need not to mention any thory
    plzz tell me

  25. Test form no shi nhi fill kiya bhai tune omr sheet m……2013 m mere sath bhi same hua tha….rhti laga k omr copy manga skta h.

  26. Sir i am so greatful to u
    Thank u so much…sir…u clrared all my concept…of economy..geography..nd now ethics…hats off
    Sir i am appearing for mppsc mains besides upsc(expected)..wud b grtful..if u can atleast upload emotional intelligence nd civil services value..before mains..on 30th this month..

  27. sir I am unable to download PPT from mediafire its showing an error

  28. mrunal bhai hurry up..post next articles as early as possible..only 2 months left for mains

  29. “…..Ultimately, he dies while fasting to remove optional subjects from UPSC…..
    You nailed it…LOL

  30. Thank you so much for the articles Mrunal sir :)

    No words about your creativity and way of teaching. Marvellous :)

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