Morality and Self-Control: The Role of Binding and Individualizing Moral Motives

Eric Silver, Jasmine R. Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The notion that morality and self-control are linked is deeply rooted in Western scholarly and religious traditions, yet few studies have examined this notion empirically. To fill this gap, we employ a pluralistic moral framework and data from four independently gathered samples to examine the relationship between morality and self-control. We hypothesize that people with higher levels of morality (measured as individualizing and binding moral motives) will exhibit higher levels of self-control, and that these moral motives will mediate the association between prior socialization and self-control. Consistent with our hypotheses, we find that the individualizing moral motive is positively associated with self-control, net of demographic and parenting measures, and that it mediates the association between prior socialization and self-control. However, contrary to our hypotheses, we find that the binding moral motive is inversely associated with self-control. These divergent results, found across four data sets, indicate that the relationship between morality and self-control is more complex than previously understood, and highlight the importance of expanding the conceptualization of morality to include both individualizing and binding moral motives in order for a more complete understanding of the relationship between morality and self-control to be obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDeviant Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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