A moral act elevation and prosocial behavior: Moderators of morality

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A moral act elevation and prosocial behavior: Moderators of morality

Elevation refers to the feeling experienced when a moral act is witnessed. The current study sought to illuminate elevation by examining conditions under which elevation is amplified. Study 1 demonstrated that the character of the recipient of the moral deed moderates the relationship between witnessing a moral deed and experiencing elevation. Study 2 replicated the first and included a behavioral outcome measure: donation behavior. Study 3 considered an additional factor: the immoral act. Finally to ensure the character of the recipient is not the sole moderator Study 4 experimentally tested a second moderating variable (i.e. the effort required for completing the moral act). As a whole these four studies consistently support Haidt’s conceptualization of elevation open the door for a new path of theoretical exploration and introduce a new line of applied research seeking to maximize prosocial behavior by exposing people to acts of morality.

The Journal of Positive Psychology, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2013, 50-64

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