The Illusion of Moral Superiority. / Tappin, Ben; McKay, Ryan.

In: Social Psychological and Personality Science, Vol. 8, No. 6, 01.08.2017, p. 623-631.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Published

Standard

The Illusion of Moral Superiority. / Tappin, Ben; McKay, Ryan.

In: Social Psychological and Personality Science, Vol. 8, No. 6, 01.08.2017, p. 623-631.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Tappin, B & McKay, R 2017, 'The Illusion of Moral Superiority', Social Psychological and Personality Science, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 623-631. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550616673878

APA

Tappin, B., & McKay, R. (2017). The Illusion of Moral Superiority. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(6), 623-631. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550616673878

Vancouver

Tappin B, McKay R. The Illusion of Moral Superiority. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2017 Aug 1;8(6):623-631. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550616673878

Author

Tappin, Ben ; McKay, Ryan. / The Illusion of Moral Superiority. In: Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2017 ; Vol. 8, No. 6. pp. 623-631.

BibTeX

@article{dd16869aa87c4b05af2612c63e69610c,
title = "The Illusion of Moral Superiority",
abstract = "Most people strongly believe they are just, virtuous, and moral; yet regard the average person as distinctly less so. This invites accusations of irrationality in moral judgment and perception—but direct evidence of irrationality is absent. Here, we quantify this irrationality, and compare it against the irrationality in other domains of positive self-evaluation. Participants (N=270) judged themselves and the average person on traits reflecting the core dimensions of social perception: morality, agency, and sociability. Adapting new methods, we reveal that virtually all individuals irrationally inflated their moral qualities, and the absolute and relative magnitude of this irrationality was greater than that in the other domains of positive self-evaluation. Inconsistent with prevailing theories of overly positive self-belief, irrational moral superiority was not associated with self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that moral superiority is a uniquely strong and prevalent form of “positive illusion”, but the underlying function remains unknown.",
author = "Ben Tappin and Ryan McKay",
year = "2017",
month = aug,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1948550616673878",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "623--631",
journal = "Social Psychological and Personality Science",
number = "6",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Illusion of Moral Superiority

AU - Tappin, Ben

AU - McKay, Ryan

PY - 2017/8/1

Y1 - 2017/8/1

N2 - Most people strongly believe they are just, virtuous, and moral; yet regard the average person as distinctly less so. This invites accusations of irrationality in moral judgment and perception—but direct evidence of irrationality is absent. Here, we quantify this irrationality, and compare it against the irrationality in other domains of positive self-evaluation. Participants (N=270) judged themselves and the average person on traits reflecting the core dimensions of social perception: morality, agency, and sociability. Adapting new methods, we reveal that virtually all individuals irrationally inflated their moral qualities, and the absolute and relative magnitude of this irrationality was greater than that in the other domains of positive self-evaluation. Inconsistent with prevailing theories of overly positive self-belief, irrational moral superiority was not associated with self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that moral superiority is a uniquely strong and prevalent form of “positive illusion”, but the underlying function remains unknown.

AB - Most people strongly believe they are just, virtuous, and moral; yet regard the average person as distinctly less so. This invites accusations of irrationality in moral judgment and perception—but direct evidence of irrationality is absent. Here, we quantify this irrationality, and compare it against the irrationality in other domains of positive self-evaluation. Participants (N=270) judged themselves and the average person on traits reflecting the core dimensions of social perception: morality, agency, and sociability. Adapting new methods, we reveal that virtually all individuals irrationally inflated their moral qualities, and the absolute and relative magnitude of this irrationality was greater than that in the other domains of positive self-evaluation. Inconsistent with prevailing theories of overly positive self-belief, irrational moral superiority was not associated with self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that moral superiority is a uniquely strong and prevalent form of “positive illusion”, but the underlying function remains unknown.

U2 - 10.1177/1948550616673878

DO - 10.1177/1948550616673878

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 623

EP - 631

JO - Social Psychological and Personality Science

JF - Social Psychological and Personality Science

IS - 6

ER -