Moral conformity in online interactions: rational justifications increase influence of peer opinions on moral judgments
Over the last decade, social media has increasingly been used as a platform for political and moral discourse. We investigate whether conformity, specifically concerning moral attitudes, occurs in these virtual environments apart from face-to-face interactions. Participants took an online survey and saw either statistical information about the frequency of certain responses, as one might see on social media (Study 1), or arguments that defend the responses in either a rational or emotional way (Study 2). Our results show that social information shaped moral judgments, even in an impersonal digital setting. Furthermore, rational arguments were more effective at eliciting conformity than emotional arguments. We discuss the implications of these results for theories of moral judgment that prioritize emotional responses.
Kelly, M; Ngo, L; Chituc, V; Huettel, S; Sinnott-Armstrong, W
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