owl email icon.jpg

Noggin teaches lab staff and students to ideas and terminology to speak ethics fluently so they can more effectively use the ethics processes of the Brain They Have rather than the brain they think they have.

Answer the questions posed at the end of our presentation here!

Cultures need a shared language of ideas and terminology to sustain them, and a shared reality that the culture understands, organizes, and works with.


Using the brain processes map in Noggin–My Brain on Ethics is one way to build a shared language of easily remembered ideas and terminology for lab personnel and students to understand, organize, and work with the material of the STEM discipline that your lab or classroom focuses on. 


Noggin provides online video and text instruction with attractive illustrations to show how a person’s brain uses quick/automatic and slow/deliberate processes to recognize ethical issues, judge what is right and wrong, choose how to act, and confirm or improve their ethics processes and criteria.    

The map highlights shared processes and criteria to verify ethics judgments and resolve disagreements. Users can understand not only what is right or wrong but how and why they and others judge and act the way they do.

Noggin Brain Process Map.png

Ethics Competencies for STEM Labs and Lab-Based Classes

Lab personnel and students should be able to:


Define what ethics is

Define ethics in terms of its central purpose so that it is possible to determine what does or does not clearly fall within the domain of ethics.    


Noggin suggests that a central function of ethics is to guide behavior so that people can live together in complex societies and pursue their individual and common purposes.

Speak ethics
Confidently speak an ethics language with concepts and terminology and apply it in STEM activities.

Noggin teaches a set of ideas and terminology that focuses on the ethics processes that people use to recognize not only a judgment about what is ethical but also how—the process, and why—the criteria they or others used to make that judgment.  Some of Noggin’s key terminology, shown in the Brain Processes Map above, is:

Recognize ethics issues = Open the Frame

Make ethics judgments = Be the Judge by using four processes: Trust my Gut, Use my Head, Engage the Crowd, and React to criticism or threats

Decide how to act = Check my Narrative, and Choose Tactics to succeed

And after acting = Look Back to confirm or revise my ethics processes and/or standards.


Recognize that Ethics Is Dynamic Process
Recognize inclusivity by understanding that common processes and criteria can include different specific content as individuals and cultures determine how best to live together in complex societies. Inclusivity, therefore, requires a commitment to dialogue and empathy.

Noggin suggests that specific content of the criteria for what’s ethical—the pattern/emotion triggers, the ethics tests, and the crowd advice and example—may be seen differently by different individuals and within different cultures.  Noggin offers processes for identifying these differences, and resolving or at least appreciating the ethical intent involved in them.

Identify Ethics Issues
Identify ethics issues in the STEM subject matter they work with, the activities of research and publication, and the staffing and management of the lab or classroom.  And understand and be able to explain to others why these issues are ethics issues and by what processes and which criteria they can be resolved;

Noggin suggests identifying ethics issues by using the gut judgment pattern/emotion triggers, the list of ethics tests for reasoning, and the advice or examples from crowd engagement as guides for scanning the STEM activities, processes, and products as well as for criteria for resolving these issues.

Explain Why the issue is an Ethics Issue
Understand not just what actions are ethical, but also how—the processes—and why—the criteria—people use to make ethics judgments;

Noggin’s map identifies these judgment processes as Trust my Gut intuitions, Use my Head reasoning, Engage the Crowd discussion and imitation, and immediate Reaction to threats or criticism.  The criteria are the pattern/emotion triggers for gut judgments, ethics tests for ethical reasoning, and discussion and conscious or unconscious imitation for Crowd engagement.

Processes & Criteria
Understand and practice the skills for doing each of these judgment processes more effectively:

Trust my Gut

Recognize I made a gut judgment
Identify its pattern/emotion trigger
Verify that the judgment is sound by asking whether to widen or switch the pattern and whether the emotion is appropriate.


Use my Head, employing language that fits easily into professional conversations

Introduce the test into my thinking or the conversation
Show why the test is a valid way to judge what’s ethical
Apply the test
Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of that test

Engage the Crowd

Select my Crowd
Discuss pattern/emotion triggers and ethics tests
Consciously or Unconsciously imitate what my Crowd does or says
Be aware of the difference between the Crowd I Respect and the Crowd Around Me

React to Threats or Criticism

Watch for Reaction in myself and others
Understand the limitation of this mode of making/justifying judgments
Avoid triggering Reaction in others

Skills for Judgment Processes
Understand and practice the additional judgment skills of checking for extraneous influences on my judgment and considering each judgment process’s strengths and weaknesses.

Check Extraneous Influences and Strengths & Weaknesses
Understand and practice skills for checking for extraneous influences on my judgment
and considering each judgment process’s strengths and weaknesses

Ability to Overcome Barriers to Acting Ethically
Understand and practice the processes for deciding how I will act in an ethics situation:

Noggin identifies these as Check my Narrative to see what kind of person I am or aspire to be and Choose Tactics to overcome situational or organizational barriers;

Confirm or Revise Ethics Processes and Criteria
Understand and practice Looking Back after acting, to review and, depending on the results, confirm or adjust my processes and criteria for acting ethically.

Noggin explains that this process of Retrospection is done either consciously or unconsciously to prepare for future ethics situations.

Promote Inclusivity by Resolving Disagreements
Understand and practice resolving ethics disagreements by listening in order to identify how and why I and others made conflicting judgments and decided how to act:

Noggin teaches what to listen for that reveals the process and the criteria that others I disagree with are using to make their ethics judgment, how to respond effectively, and how not to drive others into reaction mode.

Understand the Ethical Basis for and Motivate with Profession’s Ethics Code
Use the pattern/emotion triggers, translated ethics tests, and the Crowd’s advice & example
to understand the ethical basis for specific provisions of the profession’s Code of Ethics,
and use this to motivate myself and others to follow these code provisions for ethics reasons in addition to compliance reasons.

Noggin teaches that these criteria provide an excellent checklist for understanding and using the provisions of a Profession’s Ethics Code.

Identify most Useful Ethics Criteria for my Profession
Identify the pattern/emotion triggers, the ethics tests, and the virtues or character traits that are most helpful to participate in the STEM activities of a person’s work or profession.

Noggin’s ethics criteria provide an excellent checklist for Identifying the pattern/emotion triggers, the ethics tests, and the virtues of my crowd that are most helpful in the STEM activities of my work or profession, so I have them ready to use.

© 2021: EthicsOps.com, All rights reserved.


ethics test.PNG
patterns and emotion2.PNG

Noggin- My Brain on Ethics

Our team at EthicsOps work closely with professors and managers to provide custom ethics content that best suit their needs.

Whether you want a fully immersive online course or an annual certification in ethics training, our authors can make it happen.


Thanks for submitting!