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Effects of Temporal Distance on Evaluation of Moral Transgressions and Its Effect Mechanism

Author: YangQingSong
Tutor: ZhongYiPing
School: Hunan Normal University
Course: Basic Psychology
Keywords: temporal distance moral transgressions moraljudgment effect mechanism
CLC: B842
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 59
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Abstract


Moral judgment plays an important role in the study of social psychology. Moreover, it is the hot topic about studying moral transgressions in moral judgment. In recent years, construal level theory has been introduced to the field of moral judgment, and achieved fruitful results. Construal level theory holds that people responding to social events depend on the mental representation of events, with varying degrees of abstraction, of which depends on psychological distance on perception of people."The introduction of the concept of psychological distance", provides a new perspective to our understanding of a large number of social phenomena, and simpler, powerful explanation. Many studies have found that psychological distance had impact on Moral judgment, which have important value for theoretical development and practical application. However, there are some question. For example, what role some important characteristics about subject and object of moral judgment play between time distance and moral judgment? Such as, moral value orientation and emotional state of subject, and the degree of moral transgressions. Previous studies neglected analyzing degree of moral transgressions about experimental materials. In fact, we often face different degrees of moral transgressions in the daily life. Is effects of temporal distance on them the same? It is likely to lead to the inconsistent results among some studies because of neglecting the impact of this factor. In addition, moral value orientation of subjects is different, moral judgment is also different; and emotional state is different, moral judgment is also different. How do they affect the relationship between time distance and moral transgressions judgment? For these problems, based on construal level theory in this study, three studies were designed to explore effects of temporal distance to evaluation of moral transgressions and effect mechanism.Study one:this study, through moral self evaluation questionnaire, aimed to examine what role different degree of moral transgressions played between temporal distance and evaluation of moral transgressions, including Experiment1. Results:near temporal distance (today), compared with distant temporal distance (next year), moral transgressions were judged as more stringent, but for the low and highly degree moral transgressions. The research results supported the hypothesis of construal level theory, but also showed that there was the boundary effect about effecting temporal distance on evaluation of moral transgressions.Study two:this study, through moral self evaluation questionnaire and emotional states primed, aimed to examine what role emotional states played between temporal distance and evaluation of moral transgressions, including Experiment2and3. Results:for high and low negative emotions, as well as high intensity of positive emotion, effect of temporal distance on evaluation of moral transgressions disappeared, while in neutral and low intensity of positive emotion, there were obviously differences. These results showed that the effects of temporal distance on evaluation of moral transgressions were mediated by emotional valence and intensity.Study three:this study, through pro-social value questionnaire and moral self evaluation questionnaire and moral value orientation primed, aimed to examine what role moral value orientation played between temporal distance and evaluation of moral transgressions, including Experiment4,5and6. Results:the moral transgressions occurred in distant temporal distance, compared to near temporal distance, moral transgressions were judged as more stringent, but this phenomenon was only reflected in subjects with the prosocial value orientation. When priming individualistic value orientation, the effect of temporal distance to evaluation of moral transgressions disappeared. However, when priming prosocial traits, the effect still existed. These results showed that, moral value orientation mediated the effect of temporal distance on evaluation of moral transgressions.

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