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Self-enhancement in moral hypocrisy: Moral superiority and moral identity are about better appearances.
PLoS One. 2019; 14(7):e0219382.Plos

Abstract

People often consider themselves as more moral than average others (i.e., moral superiority) and present themselves as more moral than they actually are (i.e., moral hypocrisy). We examined whether feelings of moral superiority-as a manifestation of self-enhancement motives-motivates people's hypocritical behavior, that is, their discrepant moral performances in public versus private settings. In three studies (total N = 1,151), participants distributed two tasks (one favorable and one unfavorable) between themselves and an anonymous partner, with the option of using an ostensibly fair randomizer (e.g., a self-prepared coin). We found that when experiencing feelings of moral superiority (vs. non-superiority), people, especially those who highly identified with moral values (Studies 1 and 2), were less likely to directly give themselves the favorable task, but they were not less likely to cheat in private after using the randomizer (Studies 1 to 3). Both self-enhancement motives and moral identity have implications for hypocritical behavior, by motivating public moral appearances but not private moral integrity.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, National Demonstration Center for Experimental Psychology Education (Beijing Normal University), Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal Univerisity, Beijing, P. R. China. Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31276561

Citation

Dong, Mengchen, et al. "Self-enhancement in Moral Hypocrisy: Moral Superiority and Moral Identity Are About Better Appearances." PloS One, vol. 14, no. 7, 2019, pp. e0219382.
Dong M, van Prooijen JW, van Lange PAM. Self-enhancement in moral hypocrisy: Moral superiority and moral identity are about better appearances. PLoS One. 2019;14(7):e0219382.
Dong, M., van Prooijen, J. W., & van Lange, P. A. M. (2019). Self-enhancement in moral hypocrisy: Moral superiority and moral identity are about better appearances. PloS One, 14(7), e0219382. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219382
Dong M, van Prooijen JW, van Lange PAM. Self-enhancement in Moral Hypocrisy: Moral Superiority and Moral Identity Are About Better Appearances. PLoS One. 2019;14(7):e0219382. PubMed PMID: 31276561.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Self-enhancement in moral hypocrisy: Moral superiority and moral identity are about better appearances. AU - Dong,Mengchen, AU - van Prooijen,Jan-Willem, AU - van Lange,Paul A M, Y1 - 2019/07/05/ PY - 2019/01/29/received PY - 2019/06/23/accepted PY - 2019/7/6/entrez PY - 2019/7/6/pubmed PY - 2020/3/4/medline SP - e0219382 EP - e0219382 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 14 IS - 7 N2 - People often consider themselves as more moral than average others (i.e., moral superiority) and present themselves as more moral than they actually are (i.e., moral hypocrisy). We examined whether feelings of moral superiority-as a manifestation of self-enhancement motives-motivates people's hypocritical behavior, that is, their discrepant moral performances in public versus private settings. In three studies (total N = 1,151), participants distributed two tasks (one favorable and one unfavorable) between themselves and an anonymous partner, with the option of using an ostensibly fair randomizer (e.g., a self-prepared coin). We found that when experiencing feelings of moral superiority (vs. non-superiority), people, especially those who highly identified with moral values (Studies 1 and 2), were less likely to directly give themselves the favorable task, but they were not less likely to cheat in private after using the randomizer (Studies 1 to 3). Both self-enhancement motives and moral identity have implications for hypocritical behavior, by motivating public moral appearances but not private moral integrity. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31276561/Self_enhancement_in_moral_hypocrisy:_Moral_superiority_and_moral_identity_are_about_better_appearances_ L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219382 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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