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Psychology

Theses/Dissertations

DePaul University

Morality

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Proactive Workplace Bullying In Teams: Test Of A Rational And Moral Model Of Aggression, Anthony S. Colaneri Aug 2017

Proactive Workplace Bullying In Teams: Test Of A Rational And Moral Model Of Aggression, Anthony S. Colaneri

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

This study tested part of a recently developed theoretical model of proactive workplace aggression put forth by Dixon, Chang, and Johnson (2015). The model postulates distinct motives underlying why perpetrators will morally justify their aggressive behavior, dependent upon the relative in/out-group status and relative hierarchical status of the target. Participants from Amazon’s MTurk community were shown one of four vignettes that described a team workplace scenario where the participant was presented with the choice to act aggressively toward a coworker in order to help facilitate the team’s goal. All four of the model’s dyadic perpetrator-target relationships ...


Morality Provides Meaning, Geoffrey Alexander Wetherell Aug 2015

Morality Provides Meaning, Geoffrey Alexander Wetherell

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Previous separate models of meaning in life have suggested that meaning is composed of several components operating across levels of construal. For example, sometimes people might look to a component of meaning in a state of concrete construal to gain a sense of consistency or predictability, and at other times they may look to a component of meaning to create feelings of higher purpose in life. These models of meaning have the potential to shed light not only on the various facets of life that make people feel life is meaningful, but to discover the ways in which these components ...


Trait Contempt And The Five Moral Foundations, Russell Steiger Aug 2015

Trait Contempt And The Five Moral Foundations, Russell Steiger

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Rozin and colleagues’ CAD model (1999) proposed that violations of three different moral domains (community, autonomy, and divinity) each elicit a specific emotional response (contempt, anger, and disgust). Moral Foundations Theory (MFT; Haidt & Joseph, 2007) is a five-factor moral taxonomy derived from the three moral domains used in the CAD study. This thesis investigates whether the CAD model fully applies to MFT, regarding both state and trait emotions. In keeping with the CAD model, previous research found that state anger relates to harm and fairness violations (autonomy), and that both state and trait disgust relate to purity violations (divinity; Horberg, Oveis, Keltner, & Cohen, 2009). However, no study has empirically tested whether the loyalty and authority foundations (community) relate to state or trait contempt. This gap in the literature was investigated across two studies. Study 1 used a correlational design that primarily focused on the development of a new comprehensive trait contempt instrument and construct; exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the instrument’s items formed factors that matched their predicted structure, and that each of these factors contributed strongly to a latent trait contempt construct. To test the convergent and discriminant validity of the new instrument, participants completed previously developed instruments that assess trait anger, trait disgust, and trait contempt (Crowley, 2013; Izard et al., 1993). However ...


From Crime To Punishment: Moral Violations And The Social Function Of Emotion, Michael Ray Brubacher Jun 2014

From Crime To Punishment: Moral Violations And The Social Function Of Emotion, Michael Ray Brubacher

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Punishments that are issued by the criminal justice system can enhance factors related to recidivism or contribute to offender rehabilitation. Investigating the ecological element of public attitudes toward punishment can inform efforts of second-order change for reducing recidivism and improving offender and community wellbeing (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Kelly, 1966; Watzlawick, Weakland, & Fisch, 1974).

The form and duration of punishments can be influenced by the goals that punishments are meant to achieve. Punishment goals include retribution, incapacitation, individual deterrence, general deterrence, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. Each of the goals can lead to sanctions that impact offender behavior differently yet substantive predictors of when the different goals are pursued have yet to be discovered.

An important stakeholder in the operations of the criminal justice system is the general public, and public opinions regarding sentencing practices can impact the punishments that are issued (Roberts, Stalans, Indermaur, & Hough, 2003). This paper will whether the moral characteristics of crimes along with social functional accounts of emotion can predict public support for the goals of punishment.

Social functionalist accounts of emotion suggest that different emotions are elicited by appraisals that are made of events in the environment. Emotions then lead to different action tendencies for responding to the appraisals. The action tendencies are goal oriented and may take the form of punishment goals.

The appraisal of a crime by the public can include an assessment of its moral qualities. Moral Foundations Theory suggests there are five categories of moral concern: harm, fairness, ingroup, authority, and purity (Haidt & Graham, 2007). This paper examined whether public appraisals of the five types of moral violation predict three appraisals of the offender: whether the offender committed an immoral act, whether the offender was morally incompetent, and whether the offender possessed an immoral nature. These secondary appraisals were then used to predict five emotions that people may experience when being informed of a crime: anger, fear, contempt, sympathy, and disgust. Finally, the emotions, each with their own goal-oriented action tendency, were used to predict the goals of punishment desired by the public.

Predicted relations between the appraisals, emotions, and punishment goals were combined to form a path model. To test the model, 546 participants completed an online survey and a path analysis of the model was conducted. A majority of the predicted relations were significant; however, the model did not fit the data. Additional analyses were then performed to develop a model that did fit the data.

Violations of authority and purity moral principles indirectly predicted support for all the punishment goals. Furthermore, while the appraisal of an immoral act lead to anger and support ...


Moral Principles And Political Ideology: Exploring The Mediating Role Of Abstract Value Endorsements, Anthony N. Washburn Aug 2013

Moral Principles And Political Ideology: Exploring The Mediating Role Of Abstract Value Endorsements, Anthony N. Washburn

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Much research has examined the association between political ideology and endorsement of distinct moral principles (e.g. Goren, 2005; Haidt & Graham, 2007; Haidt & Joseph, 2004). The associations that have typically been observed show that political liberals tend to endorse moral principles that place the individual at the center of concern, resulting in judgments of right and wrong based on caring for individuals and promoting fairness (individualizing foundations); while political conservatives tend to endorse moral principles that include the group as an equally worthy recipient of concern and priority (binding foundations), resulting in moral judgments based on maintaining and preserving important traditions, hierarchies, and social systems as well as caring for individuals and promoting fairness (Moral Foundations Theory, Haidt & Graham, 2007; Haidt & Joseph, 2004). However, research has also shown that endorsement of certain moral principles could be a result of adhering to specific political ideologies (i.e. liberalism versus conservatism) (Goren, 2005; Jost, Federico, & Napier, 2009). In addition, research has also shown that endorsement of abstract values, or overarching principles that guide our behavior, our judgment of others’ behavior ...