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JPSP2009MoralityRevisedandResubmittedpaper.pdf264.31 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Proscriptive versus prescriptive morality : Two faces of moral regulation
Authors: Janoff-Bulman, Ronnie
Sheikh, Sana
Hepp, Sebastian
Keywords: Morality
BF Psychology
Issue Date: Mar-2009
Citation: Janoff-Bulman , R , Sheikh , S & Hepp , S 2009 , ' Proscriptive versus prescriptive morality : Two faces of moral regulation ' Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , vol 96 , no. 3 , pp. 521-537 . , 10.1037/a0013779
Abstract: A distinction is made between two forms of morality on the basis of approach–avoidance differences in self-regulation. Prescriptive morality is sensitive to positive outcomes, activation-based, and focused on what we should do. Proscriptive morality is sensitive to negative outcomes, inhibition-based, and focused on what we should not do. Seven studies profile these two faces of morality, support their distinct motivational underpinnings, and provide evidence of moral asymmetry. Both are well-represented in individuals' moral repertoire and equivalent in terms of moral weight, but proscriptive morality is condemnatory and strict, whereas prescriptive morality is commendatory and not strict. More specifically, in these studies proscriptive morality was perceived as concrete, mandatory, and duty-based, whereas prescriptive morality was perceived as more abstract, discretionary, and based in duty or desire; proscriptive immorality resulted in greater blame, whereas prescriptive morality resulted in greater moral credit. Implications for broader social regulation, including cross-cultural differences and political orientation, are discussed.
Version: Postprint
Status: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0022-3514
Type: Journal article
Rights: (c) 2009 American Psychological Association. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Appears in Collections:University of St Andrews Research
Psychology & Neuroscience Research

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