Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Moral identity; Social identity; Moral disengagement; Conflict; Aggression; Revenge;
Journal Article | Journal of Experimental Social Psychology | 43 | January 2007
A Grotesque and Dark Beauty: How Moral Identity and Mechanisms of Moral Disengagement Influence Cognitive, Emotional, and Behavioral Reactions to War
Two studies examine the extent to which moral identity and moral disengagement jointly drive reactions to war.Study 1 finds support for a hypothesized positive relationship between moral disengagement and the perceived morality of a highly punitive response to the perpetuators of the September 11th attacks. It also finds that this effect was eliminated for participants who place high self-importance on their moral identities.Study 2 finds that moral disengagement effectively reduced the extent to which participants experienced negative emotions in reaction to abuses of Iraqi detainees by American soldiers; however, the eVectiveness of moral disengagement was negated when participants’ moral identities were primed.