How are Moral Foundations Associated with Empathic Traits and Moral Identity?

Current Psychology (forthcoming)
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We examined the relationship between moral foundations, empathic traits, and moral identity using an online survey via Mechanical Turk. In order to determine how moral foundations contribute to empathic traits and moral identity, we performed classical correlation analysis as well as Bayesian correlation analysis, Bayesian ANCOVA, and Bayesian regression analysis. Results showed that individualizing foundations (harm/care, fairness/reciprocity) and binding foundations (ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, purity/sanctity) had various different relationships with empathic traits. In addition, the individualizing versus binding foundations showed somewhat reverse relationships with internalization and symbolization of moral identity. This suggests that moral foundations can contribute to further understanding of empathic traits and moral identity and how they relate to moral behavior in reality. We discuss the implications of these results for moral educators when starting to teach students about moral issues.

Author's Profile

Hyemin Han
University of Alabama


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