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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Do People Believe That They Are More Deontological Than Others?

Ming-Hui Li and Li-Lin Rao
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
First published January 20, 2019


The question of how we decide that someone else has done something wrong is at the heart of moral psychology. Little work has been done to investigate whether people believe that others’ moral judgment differs from their own in moral dilemmas. We conducted four experiments using various measures and diverse samples to demonstrate the self–other discrepancy in moral judgment. We found that (a) people were more deontological when they made moral judgments themselves than when they judged a stranger (Studies 1-4) and (b) a protected values (PVs) account outperformed an emotion account and a construal-level theory account in explaining this self–other discrepancy (Studies 3 and 4). We argued that the self–other discrepancy in moral judgment may serve as a protective mechanism co-evolving alongside the social exchange mechanism and may contribute to better understanding the obstacles preventing people from cooperation.

The research is here.