Structure-seeking as a psychological antecedent of beliefs about morality.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

People differ in their beliefs about the objectivity of moral claims. We investigated a possible psychological antecedent that might be associated with people's beliefs about the objectivity of moral claims. More specifically, we examined the relationship between the endorsement of moral objectivism and one's need to see the world as structured, ordered, and predictable. By believing that the world comprises objective facts about morality, a simple, rigid, and unambiguous structure is imposed on the moral landscape that is invariant to the whims and preferences of any particular person or group. Our results suggest that those more in need of personal structure and order in their lives are indeed more likely to endorse moral objectivism. We discuss the implications of these results for psychological theories of control and structure-seeking, and for cooperation, prosociality, social orderliness, and social goal pursuit. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stanley, ML; Marsh, EJ; Kay, AC

Published Date

  • October 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 149 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1908 - 1918

PubMed ID

  • 32105120

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-2222

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0096-3445

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/xge0000752


  • eng