Self-interest bias in moral judgments of others’ actions

Bogdan Wojciszke , Konrad Bocian

Abstract

The automatic and affective nature of moral judgments leads to the expectation that these judgments are biased by the observer’s own interests. Although the idea of self-interest bias has been around for a long time it was never directly tested with respect of moral judgments of others’ behavior. Participants of three experiments observed other persons’ counter-normative behavior (breaking a rule or cheating for gain) which was judged as immoral. However, this judgment became much more lenient, when observers themselves gained from the observed behavior. All three studies showed that the influence of self-interest on moral judgments was completely mediated by the observer’s increased liking for the perpetrator of immoral acts, but not by changes in mood. When participants were induced to dislike the perpetrator (in a moderation-of-process design) the self-interest bias disappeared. Implications for the intuitionist approach to moral judgment were discussed. Keywords: Self-interest; Moral judgment; Egotistic bias
Author Bogdan Wojciszke (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Bogdan Wojciszke,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
, Konrad Bocian (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Konrad Bocian,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
Journal seriesPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, ISSN 0146-1672, (A 40 pkt)
Issue year2014
Vol40
No7
Pages898-909
Publication size in sheets0.55
ASJC Classification3207 Social Psychology
Abstract in PolishThe automatic and affective nature of moral judgments leads to the expectation that these judgments are biased by the observer’s own interests. Although the idea of self-interest bias has been around for a long time it was never directly tested with respect of moral judgments of others’ behavior. Participants of three experiments observed other persons’ counter-normative behavior (breaking a rule or cheating for gain) which was judged as immoral. However, this judgment became much more lenient, when observers themselves gained from the observed behavior. All three studies showed that the influence of self-interest on moral judgments was completely mediated by the observer’s increased liking for the perpetrator of immoral acts, but not by changes in mood. When participants were induced to dislike the perpetrator (in a moderation-of-process design) the self-interest bias disappeared. Implications for the intuitionist approach to moral judgment were discussed. Keywords: Self-interest; Moral judgment; Egotistic bias
DOIDOI:10.1177/0146167214529800
Languageen angielski
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Bocian-Wojciszke-2014a.pdf of 14-09-2015
448.02 KB
Score (nominal)40
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2014 = 1.844; WoS Impact Factor: 2014 = 2.909 (2) - 2014=3.527 (5)
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Dorobek Naukowy - Preview URLhttp://dn.swps.edu.pl/Podglad.aspx?WpisID=15540
Dorobek Naukowy - Approve URLhttp://dn.swps.edu.pl/Biuro/ZatwierdzanieWpisu.aspx?WpisID=15540
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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