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Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Psychology of Morality: A Review and Analysis of Empirical Studies Published From 1940 Through 2017

Naomi Ellemers, Jojanneke van der Toorn, Yavor Paunov, and Thed van Leeuwen
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1–35

Abstract

We review empirical research on (social) psychology of morality to identify which issues and relations are well documented by existing data and which areas of inquiry are in need of further empirical evidence. An electronic literature search yielded a total of 1,278 relevant research articles published from 1940 through 2017. These were subjected to expert content analysis and standardized bibliometric analysis to classify research questions and relate these to (trends in) empirical approaches that characterize research on morality. We categorize the research questions addressed in this literature into five different themes and consider how empirical approaches within each of these themes have addressed psychological antecedents and implications of moral behavior. We conclude that some key features of theoretical questions relating to human morality are not systematically captured in empirical research and are in need of further investigation.

Here is a portion of the article:

In sum, research on moral behavior demonstrates that people can be highly motivated to behave morally. Yet, personal convictions, social rules and normative pressures from others, or motivational lapses may all induce behavior that is not considered moral by others and invite self-justifying
responses to maintain moral self-views.

The review article can be downloaded here.

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