Exploring the relationship between morality and offending through the use of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire

Thompson, R., Newton, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2491-8401 and Reeves, C., 2021. Exploring the relationship between morality and offending through the use of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire. Crime Prevention and Community Safety. ISSN 1460-3780

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This study applies the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) to examine the relationship between morality and self-reported offending, captured using a questionnaire (N= 184). One hundred and forty-one respondents (77%) reported previously committing an offence. Identified measures of morality revealed no statistically significant differences between self-reported offenders and non-offenders, challenging commonly held presumptions that offending is associated with lower levels of morality. Moreover, this pattern was consistent across a range of offence types and offence severities. Using the MFQ, morality was broken down by individual MFQ foundations (sub-domains). A consistent although non-significant pattern emerged: scores for the in-group/loyalty, authority/respect and purity/sanctity foundations were lower than the harm/care and fairness/reciprocity foundations for all respondents. This highlights the importance of future research into morality and offending moving beyond the use of single metric measures of morality, and deconstructing this further into sub-domain measures, such as those offered by the MFQ.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Crime Prevention and Community Safety
Creators: Thompson, R., Newton, A. and Reeves, C.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature)
Date: 13 September 2021
ISSN: 1460-3780
Rights: Post-prints are subject to Springer Nature re-use terms. Access to the article via the SharedIt link is subject to the SharedIt terms and conditions: https://www.springernature.com/gp/researchers/sharedit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Lee Houghton
Date Added: 03 Jun 2021 12:25
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 03:00
Related URLs:
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42968

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