Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/43967
Title: Immorality East and West : are immoral behaviors especially harmful, or especially uncivilized?
Authors: Buchtel, EE
Guan, Y
Peng, Q
Su, Y
Sang, B
Chen, SX 
Bond, MH 
Keywords: Culture
Lay concepts
Lay prototypes
Morality
Virtue ethics
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Personality and social psychology bulletin, 2015, v. 41, no. 10, p. 1382-1394 How to cite?
Journal: Personality and social psychology bulletin 
Abstract: What makes some acts immoral? Although Western theories of morality often define harmful behaviors as centrally immoral, whether this is applicable to other cultures is still under debate. In particular, Confucianism emphasizes civility as fundamental to moral excellence. We describe three studies examining how the word immoral is used by Chinese and Westerners. Layperson-generated examples were used to examine cultural differences in which behaviors are called “immoral” (Study 1, n = 609; Study 2, n = 480), and whether “immoral” behaviors were best characterized as particularly harmful versus uncivilized (Study 3, N = 443). Results suggest that Chinese were more likely to use the word immoral for behaviors that were uncivilized, rather than exceptionally harmful, whereas Westerners were more likely to link immorality tightly to harm. More research into lay concepts of morality is needed to inform theories of moral cognition and improve understanding of human conceptualizations of social norms.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/43967
ISSN: 0146-1672
EISSN: 1552-7433
DOI: 10.1177/0146167215595606
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