Individual differences in intuitive processing moderate responses to moral transgressions

Sarah J. Ward, Laura A. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the widespread recognition that intuitive processing is integral to moral judgment, research has provided minimal support for the role of individual differences in faith in intuition (FI) in moral outcomes. We propose that reliance on intuitive processing is likely to influence moral behavior when people experience internally generated morally-relevant feelings. We conducted two studies to test this proposal, examining whether FI would moderate the effects of moral recall manipulations on morally-relevant outcomes. In Study 1 (N=120), FI moderated the effects of condition such that after imagining telling a lie in an email, people high in FI gave increased valuations of hand cleansing products. In Study 2 (N=197), FI moderated the effects of condition such that after recalling a past personally relevant immoral act, FI predicted less cheating on an unsolvable IQ test. Implications for moral psychology and the importance of theoretically informed methods for studying the role of individual differences in intuitive processing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Information processing styles
  • Intuition
  • Moral behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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