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Agency and intentionality-dependent experiences of moral emotions

Bland, AR; Schei, T; Roiser, JP; Mehta, MA; Zahn, R; Seara-Cardoso, A; Viding, E; ... Elliott, R; + view all (2020) Agency and intentionality-dependent experiences of moral emotions. Personality and Individual Differences , 164 , Article 110125. 10.1016/j.paid.2020.110125. (In press).

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Abstract

Moral emotions are thought to influence moral behaviour by providing a driving force to do good and to avoid doing bad. In this study we examined moral emotions; specifically, guilt, shame, annoyance and feeling “bad” from two different perspectives in a moral scenario; the agent and the victim whilst manipulating the intentionality of the harm; intentional and unintentional. Two hundred participants completed a moral emotions task, which utilised cartoons to depict everyday moral scenarios. As expected, we found that self-blaming emotions such as shame and guilt were much more frequent when taking on the perspective of the agent whilst annoyance was more frequent from the victim perspective. Feeling bad, however, was not agency-specific. Notably, when the harm was intentional, we observed significantly greater shame ratings from the perspective of the agent compared to when the harm was unintentional. In addition, we also found clear gender differences and further observed correlations between moral emotions and personality variables such as psychoticism and neuroticism.

Type: Article
Title: Agency and intentionality-dependent experiences of moral emotions
DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2020.110125
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110125
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102137
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