Morality in high definition: Emotion differentiation calibrates the influence of incidental disgust on moral judgments

C. Daryl Cameron, B. Keith Payne, John M. Doris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Changing people's emotions can change their moral judgments, even when the emotions are incidental to the judgment and hence morally irrelevant. It has commonly been assumed that people lack the motivation or ability to correct against such incidental emotional influences. We provide evidence that the ability to make fine-grained distinctions between emotions is an important moderator of these effects. In two experiments, we found that measured (Experiment 1) and manipulated (Experiment 2) emotion differentiation calibrated the relationship between incidental disgust and moral judgments. Whereas unskilled emotion differentiators made stronger moral judgments after incidental disgust priming, skilled emotion differentiators did not. Emotion differentiation may sharpen moral perception, by enabling people to discount incidental emotions while making moral judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Morality in high definition: Emotion differentiation calibrates the influence of incidental disgust on moral judgments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this