Reexamining the role of intent in moral judgements of purity violations

Kupfer, T.R. ORCID: 0000-0003-1147-6082, Inbar, Y. and Tybur, J.M., 2020. Reexamining the role of intent in moral judgements of purity violations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 91: 104043. ISSN 0022-1031

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Abstract

Perceived intent is a pivotal factor in moral judgement: intentional moral violations are considered more morally wrong than accidental ones. However, a body of recent research argues that intent is less important for moral judgements of impure acts-that it, those acts that are condemned because they elicit disgust. But the literature supporting this claim is limited in multiple ways. We conducted a new test of the hypothesis that condemnation of purity violations operates independently from intent. In Study 1, participants judged the wrongness of moral violations that were either intentional or unintentional and were either harmful (e.g., stealing) or impure (e.g., public defecation). Results revealed a large effect of intent on moral wrongness ratings that did not vary across harmful and disgusting scenarios. In Study 2, a registered report, participants judged the wrongness of disgust-eliciting moral violations that were either mundane and dyadic (e.g., serving contaminated food) or abnormal and self-directed (e.g., consuming urine). Results revealed a large effect of intent on moral wrongness judgements that did not vary across mundane and abnormal scenarios. Findings challenge the claim that moral judgements about purity violations rely upon unique psychological mechanisms that are insensitive to information about the wrongdoer's mental state.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Creators: Kupfer, T.R., Inbar, Y. and Tybur, J.M.
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Date: November 2020
Volume: 91
ISSN: 0022-1031
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.jesp.2020.104043DOI
1523934Other
Rights: ©2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 10 Mar 2022 09:43
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 10:38
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45840

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