UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

How Power Affects Moral Judgments

Zheng, Mufan; (2019) How Power Affects Moral Judgments. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

[img] Text
How power affects moral judgments--Mufan Zheng.pdf
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 1 March 2020.

Download (2MB)

Abstract

People in powerful positions often make decisions that have moral implications. Lammers and Stapel (2009) proposed that high power increases deontological (rule-based vs. utilitarian or outcome-based) moral reasoning. Yet, the links between power and moral reasoning remain poorly understood. Ten studies tested the replicability, generalizability, mechanisms and context specificity of the links between power and moral judgments. Contrary to Lammers and Stapel argument that power leads to deontological reasoning, I argue that the links between power and moral judgments are flexible and situated. They are dependent on processing style and the focal goals that emerge in association with power roles. Study 1 was an exact replication of the prior findings. Study 2 examined moral judgments in an organisational setting. Studies 3 and 4 investigated how power and the presence/absence of harm to life interacted with preferences for deontological versus utilitarian moral judgments. In Studies 5 and 6, I tested whether processing style modifies the moral reasoning of powerful and powerless individuals by manipulating cognitive load and deliberative thinking. Studies 7 to 10 examined how active goals (regulation- and person-centred goals) guide the moral judgments of power holders (vs. powerless individuals), and also assessed the motivation to maintain authority and the role of goal commitment. Consistent with past research power holders, by default, were inclined to make deontological judgments. This was triggered by intuitive reasoning preferences. However, power differences in moral reasoning were dependent on focal goals. Power holders were motivated to maintain authority and were more committed to focal goals, and this led to greater context specificity in the moral judgments of power holders compared to those of powerless individuals.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: How Power Affects Moral Judgments
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10066797
Downloads since deposit
3Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item